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NBA playoffs 2021: How likely is Lakers-Celtics in the Finals? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
While the start of the 2021 NBA Playoffs has just kicked off, it’s fun to jump ahead and think about the championship matchup. That’s what these teams are really playing for, right?
The NBA play-in tournament came to a close for the East on Thursday night where the Washington Wizards defeated the Indiana Pacers for the eighth seed to advance to take on the No. 1 seed Philadelphia 76ers.
While the tournament was met with opposing opinions it proved to be successful and highly competitive with many games coming down to the wire and finding their way into the playoff picture.
Let’s take a look at the teams most likely to make it all the way through the postseason and face each other for the 2021 trophy.
When are the 2021 NBA Finals?
The 2021 Playoffs will begin on May 22. The NBA Finals series is scheduled to start on July 8. If the series goes to a Game 7, they will conclude on July 22.
What is the most likely matchup in the 2021 NBA Finals?
The Brooklyn Nets are involved in the three most likely NBA Finals matchups, with a showdown against the Los Angeles Lakers having the best odds at +450. The Lakers edged out the Clippers, who are +500 to meet the Nets in the Finals. A Nets-Jazz matchup is in third at +650.
The most likely Finals not featuring the Nets? That would be the Lakers against the Sixers at +1100.
If the seventh-seeded Celtics make a Cinderella run to the Finals, their most likely opponent is the Lakers. That historic rivalry has +15000 odds of being renewed in the 2021 Finals.
There’s a four-way tie for the least likely Finals matchup, all involving the Grizzlies, with Memphis-Atlanta, Memphis-Boston, Memphis-New York and Memphis-Washington all at +50000.
Here are the current top 25 matchups most likely to be featured in this year’s championship, provided by PointsBet.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Brooklyn Nets
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Brooklyn Nets
Utah Jazz vs. Brooklyn Nets
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Utah Jazz vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Utah Jazz vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Phoenix Suns vs. Brooklyn Nets
Denver Nuggets vs. Brooklyn Nets
Denver Nuggets vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Phoenix Suns vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Phoenix Suns vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Dallas Mavericks vs. Brooklyn Nets
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Miami Heat
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Brooklyn Nets
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Miami Heat
Utah Jazz vs. Miami Heat
Denver Nuggets vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Dallas Mavericks vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Atlanta Hawks
Los Angeles Clippers vs. New York Knicks
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Atlanta Hawks
Los Angeles Lakers vs. New York Knicks
Editor's note: All odds are provided by our partner, PointsBet. PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.