The NBA is coming back! 22 teams will battle for the 2019-20 NBA championship.
The new tournament format will be played at the Walt Disney World Resort, in Orlando. Action begins July 30. The Utah Jazz and the New Orleans Pelicans will be the opening match. The two rivals for Los Angeles will finish the opening day of competition.
88 games left to play in the world’s best basketball competition. We select a group of the 5 main contenders and give you all the information you need to know ahead of season restart.
Los Angeles Lakers: Running for their first NBA title since 2010
With a record of 49-14 before the break, the Lakers were playing at a high level. Led by Lebron James, the team won against the Bucks and the Clippers in back-to-back games before the break, proving they are the main contenders to win the 2019-20 NBA title.
At age 35 and playing his 17th NBA season, this year could be Lebron’s best, but also, last chance to win his 4th ring. The King has been outstanding this season, and he’s also the main candidate for the MVP Award. He currently leads the NBA in assists, averaging 10,6 per game.
Remaining games: LAC, TOR, UTAH, OKC, HOU, IND, DEN, SAC
Los Angeles Clippers: Seeking their first ever NBA Championship
The goals is to lift the Larry O’Brien Trophy. The team never had the opportunity to build chemistry during the season. Paul George was out in the first 11 games and Kawhi Leonard was under load management to avoid injuries. As the team added Marcus Morris and Reggie Jackson, they finally got all their roster available. But the NBA was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the competition returns, the Clippers will be a serious contender, if they keep the team healthy.
The Clippers had 7 wins in the last 8 games before the break, losing the last one against the Lakers.
Remaining games: LAL, NO, PHX, DAL, POR, BKN, DEN, OKC
Houston Rockets: Can James Harden pick up where he left off?
It’s very hard to predict how far can the Rockets go. But a team that has a backcourt with James Harden and Russell Westbrook is definitely a title contender.
Averaging 39 points per game and shooting 66% from the field, Harden had a tremendous sequence between November and January. However, his stats drop to 29 PPG, shooting 57,2% from the field in the last 22 games before the break. Harden put a lot of effort during the lockdown and if he can pick up his rhythm, he can lead the Rockets to the title.
Remaining games: DAL, MIL, POR, LAL, SAC, SA, IND, PHI
Milwaukee Bucks: NBA’s leading record before the break
With 53 wins and 15 losses, the Bucks were the best record in the NBA before the break. Also, Giannis Antetokounmpo was the main candidate to win the MVP Award of the regular season, his second.
The team lost 2 games in a row for the first time this season before the break but was dominant defensively. With a deep roster, the Bucks are the major contender coming from the East.
Remaining games: BOS, HOU, BKN, MIA, DAL, TOR, WSH, MEM
Toronto Raptors: Still the current NBA Champions
No one expected the Raptors to be so consistent this season. After the departures of Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, the team kept a high competitive level and was the second seed in the Eastern Conference before the break.
Surprisingly, the Raptors have a better win percentage (71%) and scoring average (+6,5) without Kawhi, improving their stats in comparison with last season.
Despite having lots of injuries during the season, Toronto still got a 46-18 record. That reveals how deep is the team in terms of level, and how good is the chemistry between the players. Will Toronto repeat the success of last season?
Games remaining: LAL, MIA, ORL, BOS, MEM, MIL, PHI, DEN