The new NBA season begins on Tuesday, October 28, and looks set to be another exciting year of basketball action. This will be the 69th time the NBA Championship has been contested and the opening game of the new campaign will feature the defending champions, the San Antonio Spurs, taking on the dangerous-looking Dallas Mavericks. San Antonio will be keen to pick up where they left off, and get the defense of their title off to a successful start. The Spurs are 10/3 second favourites to make it back to back NBA Championship wins, and Gregg Popovich's side should make a bold bid to do just that if their recent record is anything to go by. It would be a shock if the Mavericks were to upset the Spurs come October 28th, and an even bigger surprise were the team for Dallas to make a sustained bid for the 2014/15 NBA Championship. The Dallas Mavericks did win the title in 2011 but that was their only championship to date and the odds compilers at betfair.com have put the Mavericks in at odds of 33/1 to add a second NBA crown this time around.
Favourites to capture the NBA Championship this season are the Cleveland Cavaliers. In recent times, the Cavs have done little to suggest that they may be capable of challenging for major honors, but the 2014 off-season has seen there be dramatic change for the 2007 Conference Title winners. Euroleague coach David Blatt joined on June 20th, after leading Maccabi Tel Aviv to the 2014 Euroleague Championship. Blatt was named 2014 Euroleague Coach of the Year and his arrival should definitely see an upturn in fortunes for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Tyronn Lue has also joined the coaching staff, becoming the highest paid assistant coach in the NBA and that was topped by the return of LeBron James to the playing roster. Kansas' Andrew Wiggins also arrived as the number one pick of the NBA Draft and it looks like the Cavs have gone all out to ensure that this season is a successful one. Their record 26-game losing run in the 2010-11 season will be firmly put to bed should David Blatt manage to deliver an NBA Championship in 2015.
Outside of the big two, the Oklahoma City Thunder definitely cannot be discounted in this season's NBA title race. Having won division title for the last four years in succession, Oklahoma are one of the most consistent teams in the National Basketball Association, and are arguably overdue a second NBA Championship. The Oklahoma City Thunder last won the title way back in 1979, when they were known as the Seattle SuperSonics. This side became the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2008 following a dispute between owner Clay Bennett and lawmakers in Seattle, Washington. A relocation ensued, and the Thunder have managed to establish themselves as a real force too be reckoned with in the NBA since.
Other sides with realistic NBA Championship ambitions for the upcoming season include the Chicago Bulls, the Los Angeles Clippers and the Houston Rockets to name but a few. It remains to be seen whether any of them can stop the San Antonio Spurs from winning back to back NBA titles, but it certainly looks like we are in for yet another year of enthralling NBA action!
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