In the recent years there has not been a clear favorite to win the NBA Finals heading into the playoffs. This year is more of the same. Boston, Milwaukee, Phoenix, and Denver appear to be the favorites but a handful of teams can come out of nowhere to win it as well.
Golden State Warriors
The Warriors won the championship last season but early in this current season they were struggling. They were out of the playoffs entirely, including the play-in games. Now, they have quietly climbed back into a playoff spot as they are now sixth in the West. No one should be sleeping on the Warriors, especially now that they are essentially at full strength at the right time.
With the Eastern Conference arguably getting weaker with the trades of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to the West, the Cavaliers find themselves as arguably the third or fourth best team in the conference. With their current seeding they may only have to beat one of either Boston or Milwaukee to advance to the Finals.
Los Angeles Lakers
It took the Lakers a long time to figure out how to be successful and they may have found that now with D’Angelo Russell at point guard. At this point in the season it may be too late for the Lakers to get an automatic bid with a sixth place or higher finish in the West but they can still make the play-in game. That could line them up to play either Memphis or Sacramento in the first round which would be a decent matchup for them. From there anything can happen.
Photo Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Stephen_Curry_vs_Washington_2016.jpg