Looking ahead to the NBA playoffs picture
We are quickly coming up
to All-Star break in the 2019-2020 NBA season. With over half of the
total games played, the league has settled into a few different
Some, like the Lakers and
Bucks, have met and even exceeded their lofty expectations. They lead
their respective conferences and seem poised for strong playoff
success. Other teams, like the Atlanta Hawks (who are now going by
their alternate team name, Trae Young and the
Trashcan Kids), have woefully underperformed
and are scraping the bottom of the league standings.
This season could perhaps
best be summed up by the word Parity.
Although there are a handful of favorites to be hoisting the Larry
OB trophy come June, there is no team with the overwhelming odds
of, say, the 2018-2019 Golden State Warriors.
of the evenness at the top, there are still roughly 22 teams in the
playoff hunt after 50 games, something that hasnt been seen in the
last few years. At this point, the teams making
the playoffs are usually pretty locked up,
and positioning is what is being fought for.
quickly, lets cut out two entire tiers of teams, as theyre not
actually in the running for the championship:
New Orleans Pelicans
San Antonio Spurs
Golden State Warriors
New York Knicks
Now, lets take a look
at the different tiers of teams who are competing for the 2020
Championship, as well as their winning odds according to
LEADING THE PACK
Angeles Lakers +250
a record of 36-10 and their collection of top-tier players, defensive
acumen, and veteran presence, it is fairly obvious why the Lakers
could be seen as the top dog in the Championship race. With LeBron
and Anthony Davis, they have 2 of the top 7 guys in the NBA, who also
happen to complement each others skillsets nearly perfectly. Not
many other teams can match that 1-2 punch.
A new development is now
the Lakers have the perfect story line. The night before Kobe Bryant
sadly passed away, he congratulated LeBron - now playing for Kobes
team - for passing him in points. If you dont think LeBron has
already recognized all of the parallels between himself and Kobe, or
that the legends untimely death will motivate these Lakers, youre
Bucks are 41-6. Theyre beating teams by an average of nearly 13
points per game and on pace to win over 70 games. Giannis is
destroying worlds while only playing 30 minutes per game.
paper, the Buck should be the favorites over the Lakers. Theyre
deep, they play hard, and they kill you with a horrifyingly
analytical collection of 3s and dunks. But the paper doesnt tell
the whole story. Theyre young, Eric Bledsoe has a history of
disappearing come playoffs, and coach Budenholzer has struggled to
make adjustments in 7-game series.
Angeles Clippers +350
Clippers are a sleeper for favorites. They have the star power, they
have the depth and veterans, and they have the best bench duo in the
league. Where they struggle is health - with Kawhi and Paul George
rarely suiting up for the same game - and size, with Ivica Zubac
being their only true big on the team and the 68 Montrezl Harrell
struggling against bigs like AD and Giannis.
have the size and defensive prowess to compete, but how well does the
fit between Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Al Horford work in the
playoffs? Look for the 76ers to make a trade before the deadline to
bring in a scoring playmaker (Danilo Gallinari?)
guess whoever is doing the odds is just hoping that Westbrook and
Harden are on during the playoffs, because as soon as they start
missing, things can get ugly. The Rockets have a sneaky deep team
with lots of playoff experience with Eric Gordon, Austin Rivers,
Clint Capela, and PJ Tucker.
Utah Jazz +1400
like this dark horse. You have one of the best defensive centers of
all time protecting the paint and throwing down lobs, a dynamic
scoring playmaker in Donovan Mitchell, and a group of solid scorers
around them. If Mike Conley returns from the dead and actually looks
like Mike Conley, this is a true dark horse.
Boston Celtics +1600
have the best group of wings in the league in Tatum, Brown, and
Hayward. They have the scoring guard in Kemba Walker. But where are
the bigs? To get to the finals, they will likely need to get through
the goliaths in Philadelphia and the Greek Freak in Milwaukee, and
the Celtics are not prepared for that as of yet.
Denver Nuggets +1600
about too much talent, too little time. The Nuggets are the deepest
team competing for a championship by a longshot, but they seem to be
missing one piece in their puzzle. Could that be Michael Porter Jr?
He is long and athletic and can create his own shot, but struggles
with inconsistency and injuries. The Nuggets are another prime
candidate to be active at the trade deadline.
NOT QUITE THERE
Miami Heat +3000
Indiana Pacers +6000
Check out the TOP NBA handicappers on our ProCapper NBA leaderboards. Cash those NBA bets with these winning, documented experts.
Share this Article