The Raptors had a difficult staying schedule to start with, but they were handed an absolute gauntlet in Orlando. Six of the eight games protest groups with 39 or more wins, including the NBA-leading Bucks and Lakers, and they do not have any opponents who arent currently in playoff position. Toronto would benefit from hanging onto the No. 2 seed, because that would mean a first-round matchup with the Magic, Nets or Wizards rather than the 76ers, Pacers or Heat.
Still the front-runner to challenge the Lakers in the Western Conference, the Clippers strength of schedule is mainly unchanged. The greatest concern for them is that Lou Williams is thinking about opting out of the reboot, which would be a significant blow to the Clippers offensive attack and depth. The Clippers ought to be one of the favorites to win the title if Williams plays.
Milwaukees strength of schedule remained quite much the same, so the Bucks are basically in the very same boat as prior to the schedule release. Theyre in no threat of offering up the top seed in the East (does that really matter any longer without home-court benefit?) Theyll utilize the eight seeding games to get Giannis Antetokounmpo and the rest of the lineup back in shape and all set for the playoff run.
Denver had a tough staying schedule prior to the shutdown, and it will remain that way at Walt Disney World. The West is fascinating with the nullification of home-court advantage, so seeding doesnt truly matter as much and matchups become more crucial. Well need to see if there is any possible tanking in the last couple of games to establish teams for the matchup they desire, as the Nos. 2 through 7 seeds in the West are all within four wins of each other. The Nuggets will hope their recently skinny super star, Nikola Jokic, recuperates from COVID-19 to lead them to playoff success.
Not just will the Celtics gain from being fully healthy for the restart, but theyll likewise have one of the more beneficial schedules in Orlando. Theyll deal with the Blazers, Nets, Magic, Grizzlies and Wizards, all under.500, which could permit them to overtake the Raptors for the No. 2 seed in the East.
The Lakers got hammered in terms of the schedule, going from the team with the 18th-ranked pre-hiatus staying strength of schedule to the third-most hard slate in Orlando. They have a comfortable lead over the Clippers and Nuggets, however, so the hard games likely wont hurt them– in truth, the rough schedule might help increase intensity as the playoffs near. The chief issue for L.A. in the seeding video games will be finding out rotations, especially with Avery Bradley out of the mix.
The Cavs would have enjoyed to have actually gotten a better take a look at Andre Drummond, however just got eight video games out of him after trading for him at the deadline. Provided the financial landscape of the league, he states he will “definitely” exercise his $29 million alternative for next season, so the choice wasnt actually in Clevelands hands anyway. Collin Sexton made a huge leap towards the end of the season, so the Cavs will hope he can construct off of that while they continue to search for a trade destination for Kevin Love.
They were one of the most popular groups in the NBA at the time of the hiatus, and now have the third-easiest schedule in Orlando. They were simply beginning to figure things out and now might have Marvin Bagley III back for some, if not all, of their seeding video games.
New Orleans had the simplest remaining schedule of all 22 teams at the hiatus, so its just fair it has the simplest schedule in Orlando. The Pelicans are the only team that has a combined opponent win percentage below.500, and each of their last six challengers presently own losing records. This puts them in prime position to go after down the Grizzlies for the No. 8 seed, whether straight-out or in a potential play-in series. Prepare for Zion Mania at Disney.
Utah has a more favorable Orlando schedule than before, however concerns are plentiful about how the Jazz will look without Bojan Bogdanovic, the teams second-leading scorer and lone high-volume spot-up 3-point danger. Theyre in the No. 4 area in the West, but just 2 1/2 games ahead of the No. 7 Mavericks. So possibly if things go improperly in the eight seeding games, the Jazz could play themselves into a first-round matchup with the Clippers.
The Sixers struck the schedule jackpot, which need to provide them every chance to move up from the No. 6 area in the East. They lead off with the Pacers, who might or might not have Victor Oladipo, then they get a run of 5 straight groups under.500. This indicates that Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and the Sixers could begin their Orlando season at 6-0 and build some major momentum heading into the playoffs.
It was a disappointing season for the Bulls, who finally offered in and revamped the front office after years of speculation. Chicago has talent– Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen, Coby White, Wendell Carter Jr.– but it has yet to find a method to equate it to wins. Well see if the new brass opts to shuffle the deck this offseason.
With the return of Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins, Portland appeared like a good bet to challenge for a playoff spot … and then the schedule came out. The Blazers go from the 16th most hard remaining schedule to the fifth-toughest throughout the restart, that makes their climb to the postseason that much steeper. You never desire to suspend Damian Lillard, however this will be a significant job, particularly given that Trevor Ariza pulled out of the reboot for household factors.
OKCs course to the playoffs got slightly more hard in the bubble, however not much. The Thunder are currently in the fifth spot in the Western Conference, with the exact same record as the Rockets, but might easily move up to No. 3 or fall to No. 7 depending upon their performance in their 8 video games. The entertainment worth of the Chris Paul-James Harden drama would practically be too much to consist of if they in some way end up in a first-round match against Houston.
DAngelo Russell averaged almost 22 points per game after coming over from the Warriors, however shot simply 41 percent from the field and 35 percent from 3-point range. Hell certainly gain from the presence of Karl-Anthony Towns, and the franchise hinges on the duos success. Now its time to begin putting quality pieces around them.
The long, odd trip is finally over, as one of the most strange seasons in NBA history comes to an end. The Warriors gained valuable understanding this year, namely that DAngelo Russell didnt fit which Eric Paschall is respectable, but all eyes right away move to next season, when a healthy Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins, plus whatever they get out of their high draft choice, need to make Golden State a title contender once again.
Indianas schedule got slightly simpler at Disney, however the genuine question is whether Victor Oladipo will play, and how hell look if he does. The All-Star was just beginning to discover his groove when the season shut down, and hell require to see how his body responds as he increases conditioning before he chooses whether to join his group for the resumption of the season. Without Oladipo and with Jeremy Lamb already lost to knee surgery, the Pacers would be much less of a playoff hazard.
The Spurs road to the playoffs got somewhat harder due to the schedule, however really it got much more hard due to the fact that LaMarcus Aldridge had season-ending shoulder surgery. Its looking a growing number of like San Antonios unconscionable 22-season postseason streak may lastly concern an end, unless Gregg Popovich can somehow manage a wonder at The Happiest Place on Earth.
Milwaukees strength of schedule stayed quite much the very same, so the Bucks are essentially in the exact same boat as before the schedule release. The Lakers got hammered in terms of the schedule, going from the group with the 18th-ranked pre-hiatus remaining strength of schedule to the third-most tough slate in Orlando. They have a comfortable lead over the Clippers and Nuggets, however, so the tough games most likely wont injure them– in reality, the rough schedule could help ramp up strength as the playoffs near. New Orleans had the easiest staying schedule of all 22 groups at the hiatus, so its just fair it has the easiest schedule in Orlando. The Wiz got a decent schedule reprieve, as they were set to deal with the most difficult staying schedule prior to the hiatus but will now navigate the 10th-most hard.
In terms of NBA futures, it does not get much bleaker than the Detroit Pistons., however Detroit might be the leader in the clubhouse to enter next season with the leagues lowest win total projection.
The Mavericks were another recipient of a more lax schedule, as they were predicted to have the fourth-hardest staying set of video games before the hiatus, and move to 15th in Orlando. They have the Suns twice, plus the Kings and Blazers, which ought to offer Luka Doncic, Kristaps Porzingis and Dallas a great chance to move up from the No. 7 spot and prevent a prospective first-round matchup with the Clippers.
The Nets went from the eighth-most challenging remaining schedule to the fourth-lightest, which should provide a great chance to hang onto the No. 7 seed and avoid play-in scenarios and a first-round match with the Bucks. They also have 2 matchups against the Magic, who are a half-game behind them in the standings, so their fate is at least somewhat in their own hands. Even with Wilson Chandler deciding out, Brooklyn should not remain in much threat of missing out on the postseason.
The Wiz got a good schedule reprieve, as they were set to deal with the toughest remaining schedule before the hiatus however will now browse the 10th-most difficult. Its still going to be an uphill struggle to catch Orlando or Brooklyn, particularly without Davis Bertans, however Washington might conceivably get within four games to force a play-in series. It would be fun to watch Bradley Beal in a win-or-go-home scenario.
The Suns have a very slim opportunity of making the playoffs, which certainly wasnt helped by their Orlando schedule– the seventh-toughest of the 22 groups. It will be fun to enjoy Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton for as lots of video games as they play, but winning might not be Phoenixs primary goal in the second half of the eight seeding games.
The Grizzlies were gazing down the second-most hard staying schedule in the NBA before the hiatus, and now that drops to sixth-toughest, but their position at No. 8 in the West is still in peril. The Pelicans will be breathing down their necks with the easiest schedule in Orlando, so Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr. and the Grizz will need to do all they can to fend them off. Fortunately for Memphis is that if it hangs onto No. 8 and is pushed into a play-in series for the last playoff area, it will just need to beat its challenger once out of two video games.
The Hornets season is over, however they can take solace in the truth that they outperformed expectations and established 3 players– Devonte Graham, Miles Bridges and PJ Washington– who could be legitimate franchise foundations moving forward. Theyll hope for lottery game luck and continued growth this offseason, however the rebuild in Charlotte has simply commenced.
The Hawks were really bad this year, just behind Cleveland for the third-worst net rating in the NBA, however theres reason to be enthusiastic with the development of Trae Young and John Collins, plus the addition of Clint Capela to potentially shore up their protective problems. They have a promising young crop of wings with Kevin Huerter, DeAndre Hunter and Cam Reddish, and will likely get another high draft pick this offseason. Sooner or later, however, you have to really begin winning video games.
Houstons schedule got somewhat harder, but it still needs to be thrilled that its gamers will be rested for the stretch run. James Hardens tiredness has actually typically been recommended as a cause for the Rockets current playoff losses, so hopefully that will not be an aspect this time around. This should also refurbish PJ Tucker, who has unbelievable demands put on him defensively in the Rockets small-ball setup.
Orlandos strength of schedule remains practically the exact same, and its main objective ought to be to ferret out the Nets for the No. 7 area in the East, consequently avoiding the Bucks in the first round. The Magic play Brooklyn twice in their 8 games, so theyll have every opportunity to do that.
Another victim of a rough schedule, the Heat went from the 14th-highest strength of schedule to the second-most difficult at Disney. Theyre in that logjam from the No. 4 through No. 6 seeds in the East, so falling to 6th would not always be the worst thing in the world for them, though they have actually lost both their matchups with the Celtics (presently No. 3 in the East) this season.
We didnt find out much about the future of the Knicks this season– were still uncertain how good RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson are, and we dont understand whether Kevin Knox and Frank Ntilikina will become part of the groups plans. After a front office overhaul, the highest concern this offseason is discovering a coach, with Tom Thibodeaus name supposedly at the top of the list.