Predictions for NBA Playoff Seedings

Staff Writer- Shane Zachos

West- For the most of the western standings it’s very close however, many teams are either starting to show a downfall or increase in how they are playing at the moment. Then again this is just a prediction on who and where the playoff teams will stand at the end of the regular season.

  1. Denver Nuggets- The Nuggets are one of the most improved teams in the NBA this year. With the help of their starting Center Nikola Jokic (the joker) is  averaging over 16 points per game and 9.4 rebounds. Denver is one of the most efficient offenses in the league this year. With the Portland Trailblazers trailing the Nuggets just by 3 games (as of press time) but the leading reason why I have the nuggets making the playoffs over Portland is because thenuggets are 7-3 in their last 10 games and have had a great kick start after All-Star break.

7th Memphis Grizzlies- As of press time, Memphis is in the seventh seed and they are on a bad downfall and they are 3-7 on their last 10 outings. The Grizzlies are known  for their great defense but so far this year they just haven’t been the same. Even though it is looking rough at the moment, Marc Gasol is still putting up 20 points and 6 rebounds per game this year.

GASOLGasol posting up Blake Griffin, looking to score. Photo Courtesy: Creative Commons

6th OKC Thunder- OKC started off particularly a little slow after the All-Star break but they have now been able to regain their stride. As of Press time they are 6-4 in their last 10 and are on a 3 game winning streak. Also, they just recently surpassed the Grizzlies for the 6th seed in the west and I see them staying there. However, they could extend their seeding if they were able to give the explosive Russel Westbrook some more help. When asking a freshmen Dillon Laconi on what the Thunder need he said “he needs shooters to be able to dish the ball to”.

5th Utah Jazz- The Jazz have one of the best defenses, if not the best in the league this year this year. With someone like Rudy Gobert crashing the glass and getting blocks the way he has this year, the Jazz are one of the most underrated teams in the league. Not to mention the one All-Star on the team, Gordon Hayward, has been averaging over 22 points and 1.1 steals per game. The reason I don’t see Utah being a higher seed is simply because they don’t have that much experience in the playoffs/playoff runs and that could be a big problem in the last couple of games.

4th LA Clippers- The Clippers seem to always be stuck into either the 3rd,4th,or 5th seed in the Western conference. At the beginning of the year the Clippers seemed to be battling for the first and second spots in the West but through the mid-season they went back to their old ways. This could possibly be the fact that Blake Griffin was not 100% at that time, or Chris Paul’s injury he suffered.

3rd Houston Rockets- The rockets have proved themselves to be one of the best three point shooting teams of the league. With James Harden having an MVP like season the future looks like a good one for this rockets team. The rockets have one of the most efficient offenses in the league and are doing great. Even though the defense isn’t the best… winning is winning.

2nd Golden State Warriors- The warriors and Spurs are battling for the #1 seed in the west at the moment. With Kevin Durant out and the “Splash Brothers” not playing to their full potential it looks like the spurs have the edge. When asking senior Costa where the Warriors will wind up he said “they will be third because without KD they suck.”

1st San Antonio Spurs- The spurs are right with the Warriors for the that one seed but I see them coming out on top. With Leonard having a great last couple outings and Patty Mills playing well and giving the Spurs life off of the bench I think it is clear to see that the Spurs will come out on top.

East- the East is a very tough seeding to predict. There are so many teams in the race and it’s very difficult to see where all the teams are going to be. There are some hints by some teams that could tell you where they could wind up.

8th Miami Heat- Even though it is hard to believe but at press time the Heat have a better record than the Bulls, the team Dwayne Wade left Miami to go to. The heat went on a crazy win streak after having a very slow start to this season. Dion Waiters is one of the most improved players in the league and has hit many clutch shots to lead his team to wins.

7th Chicago Bulls- As of the 15th of March the Bulls are the 10th seed in the East, but I have reason to believe that the Bulls have enough experience to just sneak into the playoffs. Even though it may just be Wade and Jimmy Buckets, the Bulls have many young weapons that could go off at any time. For example, Nikola Mirotic. Nikola has had a slow season so far but when he comes off the bench there has been many outings where he drops over 16 points to give Chicago a big lift.

6th Indiana Pacers- The pacers were just a tad disappointment this year. They added many new players and talented rookies like Myles Turner. With the leadership of PG13, I think the Pacers will be just fine at the 6th seed but could do more during playoffs. It may not seem like it but when you put together all the weapons Indiana has… it could be deadly.

5th Toronto Raptors- The Raptors may have won the trading battle with getting Serge Ibaka butt here are some things holding them back from getting the 4th or 3rd seed in the East. The big issue as of now is Kyle Lowly and his wrist injury. The All-Star guard has had another outbreak season with his duo in the backcourt DeMar DeRozan. With Lowly out the Raptors still have huge potential in the playoffs but if they want to do better than just the fifth seed then it is time for DeMar to step up his game like we all know he can do.  

demar Raptors star DeRozan rises up for a shot over Washington’s Bradley Beal. Photo Courtesy: Creative Commons 

4th Atlanta Hawks- The Hawks acquired hometown hero Dwight Howard in the offseason and he has helped out ATL in a big way. He is getting the team many boards and helps them with a presence in the post. If the hawks want to make more improvments to their game I think it comes down on the young guard Dennis Schoder. He has taken the starting point guard position on the court and he needs to do more if they want a better seeding.

3rd Boston Celtics- These last three seeds are the most hard of them all. The Celtics of course have the rise of IT (Isiah Thomas) but is that really enough to stop one of the league’s hottest teams. As of press time, the Celtics are only a single game ahead of the Wizards for the 2 seed in the East but I just don’t think they can keep it that way unless they get a hot streak of their own.

2nd Washington Wizards- The Wizards are doing great this year and may even be in talk for a finals appearance. With the speedy John Wall and the sharp shooting Bradley Beal Washington’s offense just can’t seem to be stopped by anyone. Not to mention that their bench is playing the best they have all season.

1st Cleveland Cavs- Let’s just face the facts LeBron James is the impossible player to stop in the league and when is he at his best? When it matters. At the moment the Cavs are only 2.5 games ahead of the Celtics but with Kyrie and LeBron and Smith being back from injury there not a high chance of the land getting passed up in the East.

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