Teams with the best chance at the 2020-21 NBA Championship

The NBA season is getting down to the home stretch with teams still battling for playoff positioning. Which teams have a leg up on the competition with the best chance at the NBA Championship and also have the best NBA point spread? Let’s take a look at the top five. 

1. Los Angeles Clippers 

The Clippers very well could have had the best team last season, but came up short of the title. Although Kawhi Leonard recently returned after missing nine out of 10 games with a foot injury, the team was 11-1 over a recent 12-game stretch, with several victories against top contenders in the conference. Paul George averaged 31 points during the games Leonard was out, while Reggie Jackson and Terrance Mann also picked up the slack. The Clippers have one of the best records in the NBA since the All-Star break and are on the tails of the Suns for second in the Western Conference. The return of Leonard could put the Clippers over the top. 

2. Brooklyn Nets 

Despite having a slew of injuries, the Nets still have one the top records in the Eastern Conference. James Harden could be out the rest of the regular season after a setback in his recovery from a hamstring injury. Kevin Durant recently returned and combined with Kyrie Irving to shred the Phoenix Suns' top five defense for more than 130 points. The one issue with the team is their 24th -ranked defense, which could come to haunt them against top teams in the playoffs. The Nets are just a .500 team without Harden and need him back to become the favorites to win it all. 

3. Phoenix Suns 

Despite recently losing two straight games for the first time all year, the Suns have done well on a road trip against the top teams in Eastern Conference with wins over the Bucks, and 76ers, and Knicks. The Suns are one of only three teams in the NBA that rank in the top 10 both offensively and defensively, but have been less than mediocre over the last few weeks (21st ) against varying levels of offenses. The Suns beat the Jazz and Clippers last week, which could tell a lot about the Suns chances moving forward. 

4. Philadelphia 76ers 

The Sixers lost four straight before thumping the Thunder at home, which started a five game winning streak to pull them to the top of the Eastern Conference standings. Not too much should be taken from those losses considering the 76ers were without Ben Simmons for all, Tobias Harris for three, and Joel Embiid against the Bucks. As of this writing, The 76ers are an excellent 22-8 in games within five points in the last five minutes of the game. The 76ers are 20-4 with their entire lineup together, which makes them a legitimate title threat if they remain healthy. The good news for the 76ers is that they have the easiest schedule left in the NBA, which could help them hold the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

5. Utah Jazz 

The Jazz don’t have the big-name players that the other top teams have, but they have the best supporting cast. Utah’s defense, which is 2nd in the NBA, is the key to success, led by center Rudy Gobert. Offensively, Donovan Mitchell needs to return from an injured ankle and lead the fifth-ranked attack. Utah was the first team to clinch a playoff berth and are tied with the Suns for the top seed in the West. It remains to be seen if they have enough star power in the playoffs to go the distance.
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