With the NBA all star game behind us and the NBA’s buy out market pretty well settled, we’re officially into the homestretch of the NBA season.
Conventional wisdom would tell you that if we just had the all star break that we must be about halfway through the season. The reality is that we’re right around two-thirds of the way through the season, give or take a game.
So with a third of the season remaining, we went through, game by game and projected a winner. This exercise was done with the intent of projecting the final league standings as we head into the playoffs and NBA draft lottery.
Knowing how we arrived at the final standings, lets take a long stretch forward and see what the newspapers will show mid-April. You’ll see the position in the standings, the team, their final record, and bracketed will be their projected record over the remaining slate of games:
- Milwaukee Bucks 70-12 (20-4)
- Boston Celtics 61-21 (20-4)
- Toronto Raptors 61-21 (19-5)
- Miami Heat 54-28 (18-6)
- Philadelphia 76ers 50-32 (14-9)
- Indiana Pacers 47-35 (13-11)
- Orlando Magic 39-43 (13-11)
- Brooklyn Nets 34-48 (8-17)
- Atlanta Hawks 26-56 (9-13)
- Washington Wizards 24-58 (3-22)
- Chicago Bulls 24-58 (4-19)
- New York Knicks 24-58 (7-17)
- Charlotte Hornets 24-58 (4-20)
- Detroit Pistons 23-60 (3-19)
- Cleveland Cavaliers 19-63 (2-22)
No change in who actually makes the playoffs from what we currently have, but there is some flip flopping as the Celtics will control the tie breaker with Toronto to secure home court in the 2nd round of the playoffs should they both advance (they will). Also, the Nets will be in a bit of a free fall, but being in the East they won’t fall so far as to fall out of the playoffs.
- Los Angeles Lakers 65-17 (21-5)
- Denver Nuggets 60-22 (20-4)
- Los Angeles Clippers 59-23 (20-4)
- Dallas Mavericks 54-28 (18-5)
- Houston Rockets 53-29 (15-9)
- Oklahoma City Thunder 51-31 (15-9)
- Utah Jazz 48-34 (12-12)
- New Orleans Pelicans 46-36 (21-3)
- Portland Trailblazers 42-40 (16-7)
- Sacramento Kings 38-44 (14-11)
- Memphis Grizzlies 34-48 (6-18)
- San Antonio Spurs 31-51 (7-18)
- Phoenix Suns 31-51 (7-16)
- Minnesota Timberwolves 22-60 (5-20)
- Golden State Warriors 17-65 (5-19)
In the league office wet dream, the Pelicans, led by rookie phenom Zion Williamson make an improbable late season push, aided by a weak schedule, and secure the 8th playoff spot, just ahead of Dame Dolla Lilliard and the Blazers, and well ahead of the Grizzlies who seem poised for a free fall. The schedule also gets a bit soft for the Mavs as well as they jump up to get home court in the first round. Lebron vs Zion, AD vs the Pelicans, Luka vs Harden. Some real interesting story lines for the spring are lining up.
Stay tuned, its gonna be a bumpy ride.
- Written by Jason Sullivan
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