The NBA Playoff picture seems an interesting one with the seeding games starting shortly in the NBA Bubble. Here we look at how the Eastern conference could line up.
The NBA is back and how. The squads are in the bubble and barring one off incidents and the Zion mystery , all is on track. The basketball gods have blessed us to witness the challenge that the Lakers are building or how the Clippers can finally reach their first conference finals or finally see the Greek Freak to complete his quest for the maiden NBA finals. So many storylines would get their deserving end once the NBA hits the ball rolling in Orlando inside the bubble.
Everyone is ready to play eight more regular season seeding games, to be played between the 22 teams, so it’s still possible that teams outside of a playoff spot could jump into the mix if they play well inside the bubble and in absence of any kind of crowd support.
It’s also very much of a possibility , especially in the Western Conference, that the seeding could change after the eight games are played.
Adding a play-in tournament to decide the No. 8 seed in each conference has increased the stake for borderline playoff teams to fight to finish 9th atleast. Here’s how that would work:
If the ninth seed is more than four games behind the eighth seed, the eighth seed earns the playoff spot; if the ninth seed is four or fewer games behind, then the eighth and ninth seed will enter a play-in tournament that is double-elimination for the eighth seed and single-elimination for ninth.
NBA Playoff Picture- The Eastern Conference
Let’s take an updated look at the playoff picture in both conferences. This article talks about the Eastern conference.
- Milwaukee Bucks: 53-12, 0 games back
- Toronto Raptors: 46-18, 6.5 GB
- Boston Celtics: 43-21, 9.5 GB
- Miami Heat: 41-24, 12 GB
- Indiana Pacers: 39-26, 14 GB
- Philadelphia 76ers: 39-26, 14 GB
- Brooklyn Nets: 30-24, 22.5 GB
- Orlando Magic: 30-25, 23 GB
- Washington Wizards: 24-40, 28.5 GB
Seeding and playoff scenarios
The Bucks might end up playing Wizards or Orlando in the first round and though given the season the Greek Freak is having this should be a cake walk, but if they end up playing Magic expect them to give a tough fight. Looks like a 4-0 beatdown anyways.
The defending champs would go up against a pseudo Brooklyn Nets without half of the squad and the coach. We have serious doubts that they would even be in the playoff picture by the end of seeding games and expect this to be a fine tune up for Raptors who have shown the grit of a champion and Nick Nurse & squad has proven there is more to them than just Kwahi Leonard. It would be an easy 4-0 clean sweep.
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The Boston Celtics would play the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round if the seedings remain the same. This would be a tough matchup for Boston given Philly’s impressive roster and the fact the Sixers won three out of four games in the 2019-20 season series.
Also, with the news that Ben Simmons would be playing the 4 and with Shake Milton moving to the point guard spot expect this to be a cracker of a series. The issues surrounding Kemba Walker’s knee and how the Celtics don’t have an answer to Embiid, this series looks a little in favor of 76ers but don’t count the C’s out just yet. The 76ers take this nail biter 4-3 .
The final match up between the dark horse of the eastern conference, Miami Heat and the Indian Pacers looks competitive on paper. With the news of Oladipo returning to the Pacers in the bubble should be a shot in the arm to them.
But when it comes to Spoelstra lead Heat they have dogs at every position and, Jimmy butler and team looks like there game and skill set would suit more to the bubble scenario than Pacers who have still to figure out how to bring Oladipo back in the starting lineup and building camaraderie. Expect Miami to take this series 4-2.