The 2020/21 NBA season is continuing to shape up nicely, with numerous teams appearing to hold a genuine chance of winning the championship.
There is little to choose between the leading teams in both conferences, setting up the prospect of a thrilling battle developing as the campaign progresses.
The latest NBA odds by The TwinSpires Edge rate the Los Angeles Lakers as favourites to retain the title, and they are currently going well in the Western Conference.
Read on as we take a closer look at four teams who we believe will be in contention to come out on top when the play-offs come around.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers bounced back from successive defeats against the Philadelphia 76ers and Detroit Pistons to rattle off three victories in a row.
That run took their season record to 17-6, and they look in good shape to finish on top of the pile in the Western Conference.
The addition of Marc Gasol and Montrezl Harrell has strengthened the Lakers’ roster, and they remain the team to beat in the NBA.
With LeBron James showing no signs of slowing down just yet, it would be a brave move to back against the Lakers winning a second successive championship.
Brooklyn remain a work-in-progress, but their multi-talented offense gives them every chance of going all the way this season.
Working out how to get of the best out of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving hasn’t proved easy, but Nets’ coach Steve Nash appears to be getting to grips with the task.
The trio contributed a combined 90 points during the Nets’ recent 124-120 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers, highlighting their collective ability.
If the Nets can improve the defensive side of their game, they should be a force to be reckoned with as the season reaches the business end.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers have looked strong despite losing the likes of Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Patrick Beverley during the course of the campaign.
While Leonard and George have returned, Beverley remains on the sidelines, and it is unclear when he will be ready to play again.
The Clippers have continued to pick up victories during his absence, but they will be much stronger when he eventually returns to action.
With a six-game homestand to come during February, the Clippers can be expected to stay amongst the leading contenders for success this season.
The Bucks have been a little inconsistent this season, but there were signs during their recent victory over the Indiana Pacers that things were beginning to click into gear.
Giannis Antetokounmpo turned in his third triple-double performance in the Bucks’ 130-110 win over the Pacers, highlighting that he is rediscovering his best form.
The 26-year-old has not only resolved his scoring issues, but he is now proving to be much more effective from a playmaking perspective.
Antetokounmpo has long been talked about as the man who will end the Bucks’ long wait to win the title, and it would be foolish to underestimate their chances.