The Brooklyn Nets were the pre-season favorites to end the 2021-22 at the top of the NBA’s Eastern Conference. As the calendar turns from 2021 to 2022, the Brooklyn club is still at the top of the board, but the No. 2 rated Milwaukee Bucks have gained ground on the Nets. Meanwhile, the Miami Heat holds steady at No. 3. One team who has dropped down the board after a hot start to the season is the Washington Wizards.
2022 NBA Eastern Conference Odds
|New York Knicks||+6600||+10000||+6600||+6600||+4000|
Nets remain favorites
The Brooklyn Nets went 8-4 during the month of December, opening the month with a win over the Timberwolves and closing the year with a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. Despite a less than stellar record and the fact that the Nets fell to the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference standings behind the Chicago Bulls, Brooklyn is still the favorite to end the season at the top of the conference.
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) January 2, 2022
One thing that worries team leader Kevin Durant is the Nets tendency to let up against teams the club takes for granted. For example, the Nets dropped a 120-116 game to the LA Clippers on January 1. The losses to the 76ers and Clippers marked the first time this season the Nets lost back-to-back games. The Nets are 23-11on the season.
Bulls take the top spot
The Chicago Bulls had a productive last month of 2021. Chicago went 9-2 in December and finished the month on a seven-game winning streak. The team then opened 2022 with an eighth straight win, defeating the Washington Wizards 120-119.
Despite the Bulls strong December, the team remains outside the top-three favorites to win the 2021-22 NBA Eastern Conference. The Bulls jumped from +1600 to +1000 in the odds and should make a jump into the top three if they remain hot. Chicago has not lost more than two games in a row all season and the club’s leading scorer, DeMar DeRozan is the number five scorer in the NBA with an average of 26.8 points per game.
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) January 2, 2022
Watch the Bucks
The 2021 NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks will go as far as two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo takes them and if Antetokounmpo’s play is any indication, the team could go very far. Milwaukee ended 2021 on a five-game winning streak. The club then opened 2022 with a 136-113 win over the New Orleans Pelicans. In that game, Antetokounmpo had a triple-double in that game. He scored 35 points, had 16 rebounds and added 10 assists. It was Antetokounmpo’s second triple-double of this season.
The Greek Freak delivers.
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) January 2, 2022
Antetokounmpo missed five games because of COVID-19 protocols. Since his return, Antetokounmpo has averaged 33 points, 11.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists.
A healthy Antetokounmpo, who is second in the NBA in scoring, is a dangerous player.
The Washington Wizards were one of the hottest teams to open the 2021-22 NBA season. The Wizards cooled off in a big way in December. Washington went 5-9 in December and dropped from +8000 to +10000 in the odds to win the Eastern Conference.
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