We are a few weeks into the 2021-22 NBA regular season and the betting favorite to win a title hasn’t changed: Brooklyn at +240. Do oddsmakers think that All-Star guard Kyrie Irving will decide to play at some point? He hasn’t because he’s not vaccinated. So either he will have to get the shot or the New York City mandate will have to change. Irving also could be traded but that seems unlikely.
Analysis NBA Season 2021-2022
Irving is not eligible to play at Barclays Center in Brooklyn due to the city’s mandate for vaccines. Irving could be a part-time player and play in all of their road games, and just not play in the home games. However, the Nets made it clear before the season that they would not let him be with the team unless he was going to be a full-time participant.
Are the Nets good enough with Kevin Durant and James Harden to win a title without Irving? Probably. Durant leads the NBA in ppg (29.4). KD has posted one triple-double. He and Harden are the only teammates with a triple-double this season. Harden is tied for the league lead in triple-doubles (three).
Brooklyn is 5-0 this season when holding its opponent under 100 points. The Nets have won 22 straight games (last loss: 94-82 on 12/26/19 vs. New York) when holding their opponent under 100 points (11-0 last season).
One of the biggest risers on the title odds since the start of the season is Golden State, owner of the NBA’s best record and now +800. Golden State leads the NBA in scoring, assists, steals, fastbreak points, opponent field goal percentage and is second in opponent scoring, and third in field goal percentage, rebounding, opponent 3-point field goal percentage.
The Warriors are the only team in the NBA to score at least 100 points in every game this season. The Warriors franchise record for the most consecutive 100-point games to begin a season is 61, set by the 1960-61 team. The Warriors visit the Nets in a potential NBA Finals preview Tuesday.
Keep in mind that the Warriors are only going to get better when All-Star guard Klay Thompson and second-year center James Wiseman make their season debuts. Thompson is making steady progress in his recovery from a torn ACL and is about five to six weeks away from returning. That could mean he’s back by Christmas.
Wiseman’s rookie season was marred by health concerns and eventually ended prematurely by a torn meniscus after the Warriors made him the second overall selection in the NBA draft two years ago. Since having surgery April 15, his approach to his recovery has been “incremental,” according to Coach Steve Kerr, but it is entering its final stages.
“He’s doing more and more each day,” Kerr said. “There hasn’t been that ‘ah-ha’ moment where he just took this leap. We’ve been purposely deliberate the last couple of months and just slowly ramping things up. He’s moving well and he’s engaged in a lot of drill work in practice and doing 5-on-0 stuff. … Over the next couple weeks, there should be three-on-three involved, and you just hope to ramp it up from there.”
It’s possible that Wiseman debuts by Thanksgiving. In his first season, Wiseman averaged 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds on 51.9% shooting, and showed flashes of potential. Wiseman brings a level of athleticism to the front line the Warriors do not otherwise have.
Are the Washington Wizards legit contenders? No one seems to think so even though they have the best record in the East. They are +18000 title long shots. Star Bradley Beal is looking for his sixth-straight season with at least 1,700 points, the longest streak in team history. Additionally, Beal can surpass Elvin Hayes’ total of six seasons with 1,700+ points, a franchise record. Beal did miss Saturday’s game after a death in the family and won’t play Monday, either, but should be back Wednesday in Charlotte.The Wizards are looking to score over 110.0 points per game for the fourth consecutive season, the longest streak in franchise history since having eight-straight seasons from 1963-1971.