The 2018/19 NBA season gets underway on October 16 and it promises to provide its usual roller-coaster journey for teams across the league.
The Golden State Warriors are heavily fancied to win the NBA Finals for the third year on a row, but the likes of Boston Celtics, Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers will be eager to knock them off their perch.
The wagering market rates the title battle as a one-horse race, but it’s still important to check betting sites like BetEasy to see how this changes throughout the season. We suggest that you keep an eye on NBA betting by BetEasy to stay updated with the latest predictions on your favourite team.
Read on as we look at three of the main talking points for the upcoming season.
James could light up LA
LeBron James’ decision to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers is undoubtedly the headline news this summer, but whether he can lead them to glory is another matter.
James has appeared in every NBA Finals since 2011 with Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers, winning the title on three occasions.
However, it took James time to gel with his teammates after joining those two clubs and the Lakers will be eager to avoid that this season.
If the 33-year-old can hit the ground running, the Lakers could be the team to end Golden State’s dominance.
Cavaliers have plenty to prove
James’ exit from the Cavaliers certainly weakens their roster, but it’s unlikely to keep them out of the play-off picture this term.
There will be plenty of pressure on Kevin Love to justify his $120 million contract extension, while there is no guarantee that new addition Collin Sexton will adjust to life at NBA level.
If Sexton can defend well and shoot from distance with accuracy, he could well pick up some of the slack created by James’ departure.
The Cavaliers can probably forget about appearing in the NBA Finals this season, but a run to the play-offs isn’t beyond them.
Toronto gamble on Leonard
A mysterious injury kept Kawhi Leonard out for much of last season and it was no surprise when he requested a trade from San Antonio Spurs back in June.
The Spurs agreed, sending him and Danny Green to Toronto for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a protected first-round pick.
The move is a gamble for the Raptors after winning 59 games last term, particularly with Leonard still believed to be eyeing a move to Los Angeles in 2019/20.
However, if whatever was ailing Leonard has been resolved, the Raptors could be a good bet to go deep in the play-offs.