2024 NBA Title Contenders

As enjoyable as the NBA regular season is, nothing compares to the playoffs. That’s when we know teams will play their hardest every night and the cream will rise to the top. Of course, the playoffs are a long journey and anything can happen. There are at least half a dozen teams that probably have a legitimate chance of winning the 2024 NBA title. Let’s take a look at some of the top contenders, as well as a few dark horse teams to consider.

Eastern Conference Favorites

Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics

The Celtics have dominated the Eastern Conference from wire to wire thanks to outstanding performances from Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Their strong home record this season makes them formidable in a four-game series during the playoffs. After reaching the NBA Finals in 2022 and falling to the Golden State Warriors 4-2, the Celtics are determined to claim their first championship since 2008 with Tatum and Brown playing at the top of their game and leading the way.

Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks created a buzz during the offseason with the signing of Damian Lillard, an eight-time NBA All-Star. Teaming up with Giannis Antetokounmpo, they've become one of the league's most dangerous duos, promising a tough challenge in the playoffs. Of course, there have been hiccups along the way. Milwaukee has also struggled to win games down the stretch. But talent-wise, the Bucks have enough with Lillard and Giannis to win a championship.

Western Conference Favorites

Denver Nuggets

Denver Nuggets

As the reigning NBA champs, there is a lot of faith in Denver’s fanbase that the team can repeat. Thanks to legalized Colorado sports betting, Nuggets fans can put their money where their mouth is and bet on their favorite team to win the title. Colorado has over a dozen sportsbooks, making the state a leader in this industry and giving fans plenty of options.

On the court, two-time MVP Nikola Jokic is the driving force behind Denver’s title hopes in 2024. Jokic, who leads the league in triple-doubles this season, remains a constant challenge for opposing teams. With strong point guard play from Jamal Murray and plenty of experience from last season, the Nuggets have the pieces to win another championship.

Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers aren’t going to be one of the top seeds in the Western Conference. However, their roster features stars like James Harden, Kawhi Leonard, and Paul George. That trio has the Clippers poised for a strong playoff push. Keep in mind that Leonard is a two-time NBA Finals MVP. That experience will be critical for a franchise that has never won an NBA title and has historically struggled in the playoffs.

Dark Horses to Watch

Minnesota Timberwolves

The Timberwolves faced adversity when Karl-Anthony Towns suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee, necessitating surgery and an extended absence. However, seasoned veterans like Rudy Gobert and Mike Conley have helped fill the void while Anthony Edwards has emerged as the team’s leading scorer and a bonafide star. There is a chance Towns could return, especially if the T’Wolves make a deep playoff run. After an exceptional regular season, Minnesota is certainly a wild card to watch in the playoffs.

Philadelphia 76ers

Philadelphia predictably struggled after losing Joel Embiid to an injury in February. But the 76ers have gotten hot late in the regular season after he returned. Of course, Philly’s path to the NBA Finals will be tough because the Sixers aren’t among the top seeds. But if Embiid is healthy, the 76ers can beat anyone, especially with the way Tyrese Maxey has played this season.

Los Angeles Lakers

The regular season hasn’t been pretty for the Lakers. But the same was true last year when they made a run from the play-in tournament to the conference finals. Who’s to say they can’t do something similar this year? Guided by the formidable pairing of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the team boasts a potent combination of talent and experience with supporting players like Austin Reaves and D'Angelo Russell boosting their chances chances.