The bizarro world that is 2020 continues. One of the gifts that this shitty year has brought us is COVID-19, which has made the sports world punt (pardon the pun).
Several college conferences announced they would be playing conference-only opponents during this college football season. A few college conferences announced they would not be playing any fall sports at all. Several college athletes in Power Five conferences (ACC, SEC, Big 10, Big 12, and Pac-12) have tested positive for COVID-19 and there is a concern that college football may be moved to next spring.
Major League Soccer started its “MLS Is Back” tournament with a couple of teams bowing out of the tournament because of positive COVID-19 tests. Major League Baseball hit a few bumps in the road before (and after) announcing its return.
The NBA has not been immune to such bumps.
There have been dudes breaking rules regarding staying inside “the bubble” (the Disney Resort in Orlando). There are some stars that have tested positive for COVID-19, and either had to go into quarantine or skip the season restart. Guys have been bitching about the quality of the accommodations and food (get over it, dammit).
All and all, the NBA’s return is going to be VERY interesting.
Now with that being said, if everything stays as is in terms of health, this will be a VERY competitive NBA playoffs. The Lakers, Clippers and Bucks are still favorites to win it all. I’d throw the Celtics and defending champion Raptors in the mix as well. In fact, the good folks at Sports Betting Dime gave their odds of how things will pan out.
If there are no major injuries or COVID-19 cases, my picks to reach the NBA Finals are the Clippers and Raptors. Remember, the Clippers beat the Lakers two out of three and the Raptors had the second-best record in the East before the league suspended play.
While it sucks that the NBA (and MLS and the NHL) had to break because of the pandemic, it’s nice to see how this season will play out.
And it’s also nice to have more live sports to look forward to…