One thing I hate about the NBA is the extreme unlikelihood of a team coming out of nowhere to win a championship. The Golden State Warriors won a series last year and were won of the biggest Cinderella stories in NBA history. So how unlikely is it for a team outside of the big three (Spurs, Mavericks, and Suns) to take home the hardware this year? Bodoglife.com (they've had issues with their domain name) lists the Spurs as the favorite to win it all at 7:2, the Mavs and surprisingly the Celtics at 4:1, the Suns at 9:2, the Rockets at 5:1, and the Bulls at 9:1. The Nuggets at 20:1 and the Pistons at 15:1 look somewhat attractive, but I'd take Dallas and Phoenix against the field if I had to bet on NBA futures. Defending champs are always overrated, and I'm confident it will come down to one of those three teams. If you take the two with the longer odds I think you're getting 60% odds at a better than 2:1 payout.
I find it pretty surprising that the Rockets and Celtics are in the rare air. I started this entry assuming there'd be a dropoff either after the Suns or Pistons, but Detroit shares the same line with Miami and Cleveland, and there's barely any dropoff after Phoenix. KG is still an elite player, but I don't see how his addition, when you traded half your roster, is enough to go from 24 wins to elite status. And I don't see how Ray Allen is that big of an improvement when he's the clear number three option on offense.