Lakers, Heat, Celtics make up early NBA favorites

By Peter Sblendorio

Sports Editor

This Tuesday, the NBA season kicks off with three of the sport’s biggest contenders taking the floor. Here is a look at why the Lakers, Heat, and Celtics all have a strong chance to be the last team standing this summer.

Lakers: The Lakers are the defending champs two years running. They boast unmatched size in the frontcourt, with two 7-footers in Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol clogging the paint and a 6-10 forward in Lamar Odom coming off the bench. They also have unmatched postseason experience on their roster, and their head coach, Phil Jackson, is looking for title number 12. Not to mention that the Lakers have the NBA’s best player, Kobe Bryant.

Odds: 7 to 2.

Heat: The Heat play host to the best trio of superstars in recent memory. The additions of reigning MVP LeBron James and forward Chris Bosh to a team that already has 2006 Finals MVP Dwayne Wade make the Heat perhaps the toughest team to guard in the league. There is not much else on this roster, but with James, Wade and Bosh leading the way, the Heat will not need much else.

Odds: 5 to 1.

Celtics: Coming off an NBA title in 2008 and a second place finish last year, the Celtics have been the most successful team in the NBA behind the Lakers in the last three years. The original big three of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen are getting older (especially the latter two), but their Finals run a year ago prove that this roster can still be successful. Point guard Rajon Rondo has elevated his play, and another big year from him could have the Celtics in the finals once again.

Odds: 6 to 1. 

Click here for more on the NBA.