SportsTips’ NBA Power Rankings 2021: Playoffs – Conference Finals

SportsTips’ NBA Power Rankings 2021: Playoffs – Conference Finals
Mon 21st June 2021

We have finally made it to the Conference Finals, meaning just four teams remaining and we have updated our NBA Power Rankings accordingly.

The Milwaukee Bucks have taken over favouritism for this year’s title, but where do we have each of the four teams?

Read on below to find out where the last four teams stand in our NBA Power Rankings as we get stuck into the Conference Finals for the 2020-21 NBA season:

1. Phoenix Suns

NBA Championship Odds: +135
Western Conference Finals: 1-0 (Los Angeles)
Postseason Seed: 2nd – West
Previous Ranking: 1

What an interesting week it was for the Phoenix Suns. They spent the first three days celebrating and recovering from their sweep of the Nuggets, then the next three days figuring out how they will compete in the Western Conference Finals with Chris Paul sidelined with COVID-19 and then the last day watching Devin Booker putting on a show to take a 1-0 advantage over the Clippers. 

Booker had his first career triple double, taking over playmaking duties in the absence of Paul, but also scoring 40 points and ensuring his team got over the line. Now there is no uncertainty when Paul will return, but luckily for the Suns, Kawhi Leonard is no certainty to go for LA and they still have home court advantage for the remainder of the postseason. 

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2. Milwaukee Bucks

NBA Championship Odds: -105
Eastern Conference Finals: 0-0 (Atlanta)
Postseason Seed: 3rd – East
Previous Ranking: 4

The new favorites to win the 2021 NBA Championship, the Milwaukee Bucks. Last week saw the Bucks go 2-1 against the Nets, needing overtime in game seven to break the deadlock and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. The question is now, against a lesser yet in-form opponent in Atlanta, can they finally deliver. 

Many questioned Milwaukee’s ability to perform in the postseason after multiple years of failures, but this group seems different to previous years and now has home court advantage against a side they beat two out of the three times they played them in the regular season.

3. Atlanta Hawks

NBA Championship Odds: +1200
Eastern Conference Finals: 0-0 (Milwaukee)
Postseason Seed: 5th – East
Previous Ranking: 7

The Atlanta Hawks have kept their fairytale postseason alive, eliminating the 76ers in seven games. The Hawks won three of the four games played in Philadelphia, coming up big on Sunday to ensure they advanced. With Trae Young leading the way, this team plays with incredible heart and confidence, something that hasn’t been matched by either of their opponents so far. 

Young has had seven double-doubles in the first 12 postseason games of his career, helping keep his teammates involved and ready to go at all times. Many may think that Atlanta is going to be outmatched in this series against the Bucks but since firing Lloyd Pierce and elevating Nate McMillan to head coach, the Hawks have gone on a 35-15 run, including the postseason, the best record in the East and second best in the league.

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4. Los Angeles Clippers

NBA Championship Odds: +850
Eastern Conference Finals: 0-1 (Phoenix)
Postseason Seed: 4th – West
Previous Ranking: 5

With the odds stacked against them, the Los Angeles Clippers did the unthinkable, beat the Jazz, in Utah, and then close them out in six games, all without Kawhi Leonard for their last three games. While they didn’t need him in games five and six against Utah, they certainly need him now in the Western Conference Finals. 

Playing a Phoenix team that is missing Chris Paul, LA were unable to take advantage without their main man to deliver for them. Paul George put up 34 points in an effort to rally the team to victory but managed just one point on 0/5 shooting in the fourth quarter, which seems to be a common theme for both he and the Clippers. 

*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.

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Tim is a keen follower of all American sports, in particular the NBA and NFL. He has followed both sports for over a decade and would happily sit down and watch every game, regardless of who is playing! No matter the sport, whether it be NFL and NBA or even MLB, NHL, UFC and all sports, Tim covers it from every angle, staying in the loop to bring you the most up-to-date information and the best picks and predictions on the market.