1. Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks have just been cruising to wins like usual lately. But, these wins will only matter so much when playoff time comes. This group has shown their dominance in every game, looking like a team who could very soon host the Larry O’Brien trophy. If these guys can keep the pace they are at right now in the playoffs, it won’t be so difficult to get out of the East. 

  1. Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers have been playing well all year and now they could be on the verge of losing it all. If the season ends Lebron will have the most to lose. With the Lakers in cruise control with the number one seed, Los Angeles fans are praying for a playoff.

  1. Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers are right where they want to be standings-wise. They stand in the two seed of the West, and could have a potential first round matchup with the Mavs in the playoffs. This group has shown relentless composure, winning in any game, at any time. When, and if the postseason begins, this team is one that all teams will fear.

  1. Boston Celtics

Before the suspension of the season, the Celtics were 3rd in the East, two games behind Toronto for the second spot. We think that this Celtic team is better than the Raptors because they can deal with an injury, and still win. These guys have the next man up, ready to make a play. Kemba Walker will be a huge threat in the playoffs, as he is one of the most clutch shooters in today’s game. Gordon Hayward is healthy, and if all goes well, we could see the Celtics back in the title game in no time.

  1. Denver Nuggets 

Many people wonder if Denver has the team to make it far in the postseason, or if they need one more man to team up with the Joker. Their record shows that they are in fact a team that could maybe compete with the L.A. teams, but we are not so sure of that. The Nuggets have a relatively young team, most of them making their playoff debuts last year. It took Denver seven games to get past the Spurs last year, and it doesn’t look any easier in the West this year. It is going to be a struggle for Denver in the first round no matter what, but their record has shown they can win games. 

  1. Houston Rockets

The Rockets have the fantastic duo in Russell Westbrook and James Harden. The question left is can they keep sustaining this pace of play. The Rockets are known for the high powered offense, but will that be enough? They currently hold the 6 seed and would play the Nuggets in a potential playoff series. Will the small ball be able to hold up against the Joker.

  1. Toronto Raptors

The Raptors have turned into quite a good team this year despite not having Kawhi. It makes you wonder if these guys could go back to back. The Raptors have a strong team and the East has been, well, the East. The Raptors should be able to win enough in the playoffs to make a run at another chip for Drake and Canada.

  1. Miami Heat

The Heat are one of the more surprising teams in the league this year. Tyler Herro and Jimmy Butler have proven to be a great, young duo. This year, we think that Miami can get to the second round, but not go farther. As of right now, Miami would be going up against Victor Oladipo and the Pacers. Not too easy for a first round matchup. They are two games behind the Celtics for the two spot

  1. Utah Jazz

Utah currently holds a playoff spot, but bad blood between their two star players could lead to problems. It will be up to Gobert and Mitchell to see whether this team will be able to  make a run in the Playoffs. The Jazz have a good thing going and it would be sad to see this pandemic be the thing that takes it away. We might see Gobert on the trading block depending on how long this thing lasts.

  1. Dallas Mavericks

Dallas finally has both Kristaps Porzingis and Luka Doncic back at the same time. Their chemistry has grown over this year, but they have yet to reach the peak of their potential. Currently, Dallas is sitting at the seven seed, but would much rather be just one spot above in the six spot, because the Clips currently have the two seed. 

  1. OKC Thunder

The Thunder have been playing surprisingly well this season, with Chris Paul. The question looming as the season could possibly end is what are they going to do with Chris Paul. With everyone playing so well right now, I would have to believe they keep him. But if a trade comes up what will the OKC front office do?

  1. Philadelphia 76ers 

Phili had high expectations going into this season, but things haven’t gone as planned. They are currently sitting at 6th in the East, and would have to play Boston in the first round if the postseason started today. They have a team loaded with talent, but just haven’t been able to put it all together. If they want to get farther in the playoffs than last year, it’s going to take a lot of winning, and a couple of upsets in the playoffs. 

  1. Indiana Pacers

After getting Victor Oladipo back, the Pacers are back on the rise. Dipo has finally gotten into a groove, and Indiana is playing like a complete team. As of right now, Miami would be their first round opponent. No complaints. This Miami team is young, and hasn’t had a playoff year together. If Indiana can pull off an upset in the first round, don’t count them out the rest of the way. 

  1. Brooklyn Nets 

The Nets are one of the teams in the league that is benefiting from this pandemic situation. With both their star players hurt, the team will have more time to see how well the two play with each other. The Nets, for now, are hovering at a 7 seed and could miss out on the playoffs if they slip up. That is assuming there is still a regular season.

  1. Orlando Magic

Orlando is a team who has been on the bubble for the last couple of spots in the playoffs recently. With the addition of Markelle Fultz, they have more depth at the guard position, and have another person to get the ball to an open man. Milwaukee wouldn’t be an easy matchup for anyone in the first round, as it is going to take a miracle to pull off any kind of an upset for the Magic. 

  1. Memphis Grizzlies

The Memphis Grizzlies are the team three others are chasing for the eight spot. These guys went on an amazing 20 game stretch, giving them a lead for the final playoff. Although nobody knows when the NBA is going to resume, or what they are going to do, Memphis would have one of the toughest schedules remaining in the NBA. Right now, they have a three and a half game lead over the Blazers, but they better play some clutch basketball to solidify this spot. 

  1. Portland Trail Blazers

This year has been one to forget for the Blazers, but it’s not over. They are just three and a half games behind the Grizzlies for the final playoff spot. Damian Lillard has had one of his best years, getting more and more consistent farther out from the three point line. This group has already shown that they can beat the Lakers, as they did earlier this year. It’s going to be exciting to watch Portland down the stretch, we will wait and see what they can do. 

  1. New Orleans Pelicans

Zion and Brandon Ingram were just starting to mesh in New Orleans, then the season stopped. If it gets backs we could see the Pelicans try to potentially push for a playoff spot. They have all that they need and are playing well enough to do it. The only question for the Pelicans is will they even have a chance to do it. 

  1. Sacramento Kings

The Kings have played great ball lately, winning seven of their last 10 games. With that play, they have a great chance at making a push for the playoffs. De´Aaron Fox has done an outstanding job leading this team, but they just need one more burst of wins to end the playoff drought. 

  1. San Antonio Spurs

San Antonio hasn’t had a great year, but they have shown a little hope recently. Their last game was a surprising win against Dallas, in a game where they showed a complete Spurs team. But, one game doesn’t define the rest. DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge have struggled to find chemistry, which has hurt the rest of the team. San Antonio’s biggest problem is inconsistency. They tend to show great possessions on offense, then just completely bail out, making just 15% of their shots in some 5 minute stretches. The Spurs have a 20+ year playoff streak that is on the line, and it is going to take a lot for them to keep it alive. 

  1. Washington Wizards 

Bradley Beal and the Wizards hold the nine seed in the East, five and a half games behind the last playoff spot. Washington needs to win the games that they are supposed to, they can’t let tanking teams edge by them to win a game. John Wall should be back next year, automatically making Washington a contender, but this year the Wizards still have a slim shot. 

  1. Phoenix Suns

Ever since the beginning of the season, Phoenix has struggled to get on a hot streak, and have forced their way out of the top eight in the West. It seems that Devin Booker needs one more piece to lead the Suns to the postseason, and it will be exciting to see them when that time comes. But for now, the Suns are looking for another top 10 draft choice to help their mixed core with veterans and young players. 

  1. Charlotte Hornets

The Hornets had an alright season last year, and are clearly in a rebuilding phase. Miles Bridges and Devonte’ Graham seem to be the franchise cornerstones for the team, but they haven’t stepped up. Charlotte will probably go into the draft with a top 10 pick, hopefully that can take the Hornets to the next level for the upcoming season.

  1. Chicago Bulls 

The Bulls found great talent in Coby White, and he has done somewhat of a decent job leading this team. Don’t get me wrong, this team is very young, and still has a lot of potential. But they do have a ways to go. If they can grab a couple more pieces to surround White and Markkanen, they will be a playoff team in the East soon.                

  1. Atlanta Hawks 

The Hawks have cleaned up their season since the all star break and their offense has been playing very well. The only question remaining for this team is defense. If Atlanta can somehow pull together on D, they turn into a really good team. With Clint Capela returning in the offseason this could be a potentially viable option for some defensive help on the inside.

  1. Minnesota Timberwolves

Russell kept Towns in Minnesota, but will that be able to turn into something. These two have played well on seperate teams, the only question is whether they can put it together with each other. We won’t see much from them this year, but the Wolves could get a top 5 pick along with the duo. That would no doubt make a splash in the West, and possibly turn into a dynasty in Minnesota.

  1. Detroit Pistons 

The Pistons have lost their star Andre Drummound after a trade to Cleveland. Now they have an injury prone Blake Griffin along with their young core. If they can somehow come out swinging this team may have a chance to do something. Chances are high for a lottery pick and maybe, just maybe  we see a climb for the Pistons.

  1. Golden State Warriors 

The Warriors have had injuries that have sent this team to the  bottom of the conference. They are a star studded team and with this extended break we get to see them. The Warriors are hoping this thing ends soon because otherwise they will have to play Curry and Thompson. If they can get another piece in the draft, especially in the top 5 they will be a  top contender.

  1. New York Knicks 

After a huge swing and miss during free agency last year the Knicks just  absolutely sucked this year. They were able to grab some wins with their young core, but still a disappointment. They will go into the draft with another chance at the top spot. Hopefully that will finally be the one to help turn this franchise around.

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers 

The Cavs are in last place in these rankings simply due to their performance. They continue to lose games because they haven’t meshed. With Kevin Love and Andre Drummound’s futures in question, we don’t know if this team will be ready for a playoff push in the future.

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