By Noah Farb
(All records as of 1/29)
Tier One: Championship Contenders
1.Golden State Warriors
Tier Two: If Curry Breaks His Leg…
- Milwaukee Bucks
They somehow have a better record than the Warriors and have looked ok when Giannis Antetokounmpo is on the bench.
- Toronto Raptors
If Kawhi Leonard keeps playing like this my grandpa (Raptors Fan) will be very happy in the playoffs.
- Denver Nuggets
If Nikola Jokic stops getting stupid suspensions and instead gets ejected, he might carry my fantasy team to a win.
- Oklahoma City Thunder
Paul George has been so clutch that Westbrook has semi-normal usage during close games.
- Philadelphia 76ers
If Ben Simmons had a jump shot this would be the best team in the NBA.
- Boston Celtics
Trying my hardest not to be biased but if Gordon Hayward is half as good as he was in 2016-2017 they’re easily the best team in the East.
- Houston Rockets
James Harden has scored 30+ points in more games straight than 12 teams have total wins.
Tier Three: If Curry and Durant Break Their Legs…
- Portland Trail Blazers
If Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum had another all-star with them this team could be scary, but Lillard would not beat Horkan for me.
- Utah Jazz
In the insanely competitive West the Jazz could move from the 7th seed to the 3rd in six days.
- San Antonio Spurs
They have Popovich who is the Belichick of basketball. His playoff streak won’t end like Belichick’s AFC Championship streak will never end.
- Los Angeles Lakers
When Lebron comes back, anything is possible.
Tier Four: Fighting For A Playoff Spot
- Indiana Pacers
This could have been a great season for the Pacers if Victor Oladipo didn’t get hurt.
- Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers traded Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, let Deandre Jordan leave in free agency, and are having just as good if not better season than last year.
- Brooklyn Nets
Somehow the Nets are the 6 seed in the East right now. Spencer Dinwiddie’s injury might hurt them though.
- Miami Heat
The Heat have had lots of injuries but have controlled the 7th seed in the East while 10 teams have at least as good a record as they do in the West.
- Charlotte Hornets
Teams 19-22 are better than the Hornets, who benefit from playing in the East.
- Detroit Pistons
Same goes for the Pistons as the Hornets. The 9th seed in the East would be 13th in the west.
Tier Five: Teams That Would Benefit From Changing the Playoff Set-Up
- Minnesota TimberwolvesRecord 24-26
The Timberwolves would be in a playoff spot if in the East, so that means they are the 11th seed in the West.
- Sacramento Kings
The Kings have tons of decent young players with no one besides De’Aaron Fox that looks like a future all-star.
- Dallas Mavericks
Deandre Jordan the big free agent signing has done nothing as Luka Doncic continues to be great.
- New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans will drop on this list if they listen to Anthony Davis’s trade request as they have been horrible when he has been out this season to injury.
Tier Six: Hoping the Ping Pong Balls Will Fall Their Way
- Washington Wizards
Only question about Washington left this season, will Bradley Beal get traded?
- Memphis Grizzlies
Sadly for Grizzlies fans, Marc Gasol and Mike Conley won enough games to knock the Grizzlies out of the top of the lottery before getting traded.
- Orlando Magic
The Magic are in a similar position as the Kings, lots of decent young players but only one great player. Only difference is that Nikola Vucevic, Orlando’s all-star is much older and will probably be traded.
Tier Seven: Zion Hunting Season
- Atlanta Hawks
33 losses at this point in the season might not be enough to secure a top five pick that the Hawks need. The future is looking up for this team though.
- Chicago Bulls
39 losses at this point in the season might be enough to secure a top 5 pick for the Bulls who need it more than the Hawks.
- Phoenix Suns
The mixing of all the young talent on Phoenix’s roster has not worked out so far and Luka Doncic is the guy who looks like he should’ve been the number one pick, not Deandre Ayton.
- New York Knicks
The Knicks could get someone from Duke and sign some of the top free agents and completely flip their spot on this list next year.
- Cleveland Cavaliers
Not one starter on the Cavaliers was on the championship team two years ago, and only two players overall excluding JR Smith. Is Zion LeBron 2.0?