The 3 favorites to win the 2023 NBA Championship

The NBA Championship has traditionally been passed around among a handful of teams throughout NBA history. The current leaders when it comes to the most championships are the Boston Celtics.

This is thanks partly to the legendary Bill Russell, who won 11 championships with the Celtics. They have since won six more, bringing their grand total to 21. Despite reaching the final last season, they have not lifted a championship since 2008.

However, they continue to be one of the leaders when it comes to the favourites to lift this year’s title. Some analysts and oddsmakers already consider them the favourite for the championship. You can find a range of the best NBA sportsbooks here, on all sorts of different markets.

Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics. [Credit/si.com]

We have already talked about Bill Russell and the Celtics. Sadly, Bill passed away this year, but his incredible legacy lives on. As discussed at the beginning of the article, the Celtics are the most successful team in the history of the NBA.

They are woven into the very fabric of the sport, and some of the greatest players of all time have donned the Massachusetts-based team’s famous green and white jersey. Other legends include John Havlicek, Larry Page and Sam Jones.

Of course, John Havlicek and Sam Jones both played for the Celtics during their golden years, and the pair are two of only four players to have eight or more NBA Championships to their name.

Havlicek, Jones and Bill Russell all played for the Celtics during this period when they completely dominated basketball for a decade. Bill Russell called Havlicek “the best all-round ball player he had ever seen”.

Larry Bird

Larry Bird, as we all know, wasn’t part of this illustrious setup, but he is widely considered one of the greatest players in the game’s history. He is part of the Boston Celtics’ folklore and drove them to several titles in the 1980s.

As we enter the 2020s, the Celtics are back up in the higher echelons of where they belong as one of the great NBA franchises. They put in a good showing in last year’s playoff final, only to lose to the Golden State Warriors.

Despite the Celtics finishing second behind the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference, they hit a rich vein of form during their playoff campaign. Although they came up short against the Warriors, they’ll be happy they’re back, mixing it with the elite at the game’s highest levels.

This year, the Celtics are among the best again, with most oddsmakers placing them in the top three as we get closer to the playoffs. There is some seriously stiff competition.

However, players like Jayson Tatum will want to reach the very top with the Celtics this season, and out of the top three favourites, the Celtics are closest to their rivals. Them lifting their first NBA Championship since 2008 isn’t out of the question at all.

Golden State Warriors

Golden states’ Stephen Curry. [Credit/si.com]

If it doesn’t mention the Golden State Warriors at some point, you cannot take any article discussing the favourites to win the NBA Championship this year seriously.

This team have not only proved to be the best on multiple occasions, but they have also consistently performed when it mattered. They simply cannot be ruled out, because they have one of the greatest players of all time on their roster who can win a game single-handedly.

Stephen Curry needs no introduction and is one of the most recognizable faces in American sports. Along with LeBron James, he is the face of the NBA and is widely considered the greatest shooter in the history of the sport.

It seemed that the Warriors had their name on last year’s trophy from the beginning. The squad had everything and looked a level above everyone else in the playoffs. This was despite only finishing third in the Western Conference.

More about Golden State Warriors

They have had a tougher time this season and have had to improvise due to serious injuries to Draymond Green and Stephen Curry. Klay Thompson’s lengthy period on the sideline has also thankfully come to an end for the Warriors.

Successive championships wouldn’t be out of the question for this Warriors team, which is not only one of the best teams in the league but also one of their generation’s greatest teams. History will look upon them favourably as one of the great dynasties of their era.

If they can win their sixth title of the past nine years, that will reaffirm that they truly are one of the all-time great squads and that Stephen Curry is the greatest player of his generation.

LeBron James is probably a better all-rounder, but if Steph can scoop title after title, the argument could be made for him. However, Steph, now at the age of 34, may have one eye on retirement and successful post-retirement investments, like Shaq.

LA Clippers

The Clippers could be the dark horse that proves that the race for the NBA Championship is a marathon and not a sprint.

Despite falling short in the NBA Play-In Tournament in last year’s campaign, they have silently and seemingly become the bookmaker’s favourite for the championship. This team could be peaking at the right time since last season’s shortfall was due to the injury list they had.

 One of their star men, Kawhi Leonard, is back in the picture, which can only be a good thing for the California-based outfit. John Wall being brought in during the offseason fills in the gap that was evident last year.

Bringing in a quality guard spot could provide the impetus that pushes the Clippers toward their first-ever NBA Championship. We all know how good a player Wall is, and the Clippers will be hoping he can capture his old form after such a long injury layoff.

It is all well and good having the best team on paper, but there have been some incredible teams on paper that have fallen short in the playoffs over the years. It isn’t enough just to have these marquee names in the team – there needs to be a combination of things.

Having a bit of luck is one of those things. The Clippers didn’t have this last year, after being struck by injuries to key players. However, with all these players now coming back into contention, the Clippers are one of a handful of teams with the full package.

If they can avoid injuries and have these players all working together, they could pip both the Celtics and the Warriors to the title this year. However, that is a big if, and one or two injuries could derail their chances again.

 Conclusion

If we had to choose, we would say that the Clippers are the ones that could lift their first championship in 2023. They need to avoid injuries and gel together like a well-oiled machine. If they can do this, they have the strength in their squad and the depth to come out on top against any team in their way.

However, you also can’t rule out the other two teams, and nobody will be shocked if any of these three wins the biggest prize in basketball. The Warriors could cement their legacy, as could Steph Curry, but the Celtics could make that final push and go one better than last season. We just can’t decide between them all.

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