As the Bulls and Heat sit at the top of the eastern conference—nothing is solidified so far in that conference. The eastern conference is up in the air thanks to injury and last minute trades. The dynamic of the playoff picture is changing every week. But it’s the teams we least expect right now that can make a run, possibly knocking off a top team. As for the western conference—the top 8 seem solidified. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if a certain team made an impact.
Brooklyn Nets (31-28) #8th seed
It might not seem like too much of a ‘unexpected’ thing if Brooklyn made a run—but it should be. Think about it, KD is still out with injury, they lost Harden, Irving is doing his own thing, Joe Harris is still out and the other teams above them have better chemistry. If the regular season ended now—the Nets would be in the play-in games. Anytime KD is playing, he always gives his team a chance to win. So as Brooklyn is trying to figure things out, it’s still worth nothing them being an unexpected squad.
Charlotte Hornets (29-31) #9th seed
The team that’s pleasing to the crowd with highlight dunks, screaming announcers and glittery passes from their all-star point guard—is dangerous. Make no mistake, Charlotte may be young but they possess the skills to go on a big run in the final stretch of this season. Terry Rozier and LaMelo Ball make a threatening back court. They may still be two years away from being championship contenders, but the Hornets energy and youth on their side.
Atlanta Hawks (28-30) #10th seed
Did we forget about that Trae Young? The guy who has the potential to the lead the league in points and assists. Right now he’s top 5 in the league in scoring with 9.3 dimes a night. It’s just his teammates that haven’t been picking up their weight. As much as I love ‘Lemon Pepper Lou’ he’s a bit passed his prime. And they have a few overpaid players who aren’t living up to their hype. Atlanta hasn’t been consistent. But if they can find their way to the play-in game—expect Young to start going off launching deep balls.
Los Angelas Lakers (27-31) #9th seed
Now although their season has been an extreme disappointment thus far—they still have LBJ. If the Lakers are fully healthy for 48 minutes each game, they stand a chance with anyone. Yes, Westbrook has been lackluster, but that doesn’t mean they can’t make a run. The Suns and the Warriors are the only real concern in a 7 game series—other than that, the Lakers shouldn’t be marked off just yet.