Even though there were recent reports some players are thinking about not playing when the NBA officially starts, most of the media is already thinking about games and the possible outcome on who might have the best chances to win the championship. In a recent interview for ESPN's show 'Get Up,' former NBA player Charles Barkley shared his thoughts about the frontrunners and teams flying below the radar for winning a championship.
When it comes to the teams that have the best chance of winning the championship, Barkley shares the opinion many fans and analysts already have. The Los Angeles Clippers and the Milwaukee Bucks are the two top teams with the deepest teams in the NBA, which is why Barkley is giving them a slight advantage over everybody else.
Los Angeles Clippers. I think they are the deepest team in the NBA. I am really pulling for the Milwaukee Bucks to be honest with you because I love Giannis and what they have done Milwaukee. I think the Clippers will be the favorites.
Charles Barkley, via Get Up
The NBA was always full of surprises, and every team has a chance to win if some things go in their favor. The regular season isn't often the real indicator of what a specific squad can do when it comes to elimination games. We've seen teams that had over 60 wins in the regular season and barely made it out of the first round or even being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. On the other hand, we've seen teams that barely made to the playoffs, but made a significant improvement in the playoffs and beat teams that were better on paper.
Barkley believes the Philadelphia 76ers and Portland Trailblazers are the sleepers this year. Still, several things need to happen for them to achieve greater success coming into the playoffs. Blazers, according to Barkley, need Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins, who are the essential pieces they are missing. If they end up coming back when the season continues, their chances of winning increase dramatically. Nurkic was out for an extended period since he suffered a compound fracture of his tibia and fibula while Collins was struggling with his shoulder injury.
I got two sleepers. In the eastern conference, the Philadelphia 76ers, but I will tell you something. One team in the western conference, if they get Nurkic back and Zach Collins, nobody will want to see the Portland Trailblazers. They have the best backcourt in the NBA. Whiteside has been playing pretty good all year, but if they get Nurkic and Zach Collins back, nobody is going to want to see the Portland Trailblazers. Those two teams can win a championship.
Charles Barkley, via Get Up
Whether these teams are the real sleepers this season, we'll soon find out. The Blazers and Sixers didn't impress a lot of people during the regular season, but things have changed quite a bit since then. With that being said, there is no guarantee; they will even pose a treat for the teams that have had a good regular season so far. On the other hand, the NBA is full of surprises, and we might see one of these teams actually make it far into the playoffs and even win a championship. These things remain to be seen.