🏀 The NBA's Best Young Teams

The future of the league is here. Tune in tonight to watch two of the best young squads face off on primetime, as the Thunder take on the Magic on TNT. Shai vs. Paolo 👀 (2 min read)

Photo by Joshua Gateley/Getty Images

Young NBA Teams

With the Super Bowl in the rearview mirror, sports fans around the world are ready to start directing more attention toward the NBA. Rosters are now fully formed (save for some last minute buyout additions) following the trade deadline, and the season’s stretch run will soon begin after the All-Star break. What better way to dive back into basketball than a matchup of some of the league’s premiere young talent? 🔥

  • Tonight’s inter-conference battle features a Thunder squad that has surpassed all expectations, looking like a legitimate Finals contender

  • Orlando has not made the same quantum leap, but is emerging as a solid playoff team with an incredibly bright future. And they have their first All-Star in Banchero since trading away Vucevic

While the Thunder’s level of play has trailed off a bit of late, they’ve spent a significant chunk of the season as the West’s No. 1 team. The most notable difference between last season and this one is the emergence of a Big Three around superstar guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who made First-Team All-NBA last year and has only upped his stellar play. Chet Holmgren and Jalen Williams give OKC a formidable and well-balanced star trio ⭐️

  • The Thunder patched up their depth at the trade deadline, acquiring veteran forward Gordon Hayward from the Hornets. Hayward will fit in seamlessly with OKC’s group of versatile, multi-purpose wings

  • Of course, the Thunder will only go as far as their top dog and MVP candidate can carry them (don’t sleep on his chances at the award 👀)

The Magic were a team many expected to be active at the trade deadline, given their need for a steady veteran PG. Their lack of activity was surprising, but ultimately this is a squad that is likely a year behind the Thunder’s developmental track. They possess a young pair of forwards in Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner, whose star potential as a duo feels boundless — both combine excellent guard skills with looming size and athleticism 💪

  • Despite coming in as the No. 1 pick last year, it feels like Banchero’s sheer athletic force was underrated entering the NBA

  • Fresh off being named to his first All-Star team, Paolo clearly possesses the type of high-level upside that SGA has reached in these last two years

  • The re-emergence of defensive stud Jonathan Isaac after years plagued by injuries has jump-started a dominant defensive unit 🔒

  • Spread: Thunder -2.5

  • Moneyline: Thunder -142, Magic +120

  • Over/Under: 227

  • When: 7:30PM EST on TNT

Trivia Question: Who was the last player on each team to win MVP?

Photo by Joshua Gateley/Getty Images

For My Parlay Gurus

While the Magic have impressed this season, the Thunder are clearly among the league’s elite and have bolstered their already superior depth. Look for another strong effort from SGA, who can exploit Orlando’s weakness at the guard position. I like the Thunder to cover in a statement primetime win 👇

  • Thunder -2.5 @ Magic: -110

  • OVER 227 Total Points: -110

$100 on this bet would win you $234 — if we hit, make sure you email [email protected] for a chance to win an Overtime hoodie*. Many will enter, only some will win 😉

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Trivia Answer: Russell Westbrook was the last Thunder player to win MVP (2017), while the Magic have never seen a player win MVP

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