NBA Playoff Predictions

Planche writes about his NBA playoff predictions for this year

Planche writes about his NBA playoff predictions for this year

Zach Planche, Staff Writer

* – Eastern Conference

# – Western Conference

The NBA regular season is more than halfway complete, and multiple teams have already led playoff-promising campaigns. The teams below are opted to make their mark in the 2020 playoffs.

*Milwaukee Bucks
With more than 20 games left to play, the Bucks have already clinched a playoff spot. With a current record of 52-8, they’ve stood as the first team to reach 50 wins and also have less than ten losses. Led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, the team is successful on both sides of the floor and is accompanied by a deep bench.

*Philadelphia 76ers
The 76ers have had an impactful season with a current record of 37-24. The team is young and has a lot of room to grow with third-year center Joel Embiid and two-year forward Ben Simmons. With a veteran like Al Horford in the lineup, the team has the opportunity to make it far in the playoffs.

*Toronto Raptors
As the returning NBA champions, the Raptors had high expectations this season and have capitalized; currently second in the east. Last year, the all-star and two-time champion Kawhi Leonard led the team, but his absence has had little effect. With an emerging star in Pascal Siakam, veteran Marc Gasol, and consistent shooter Kyle Lowry, the team has a great chance at repeating the results from last year.

*Miami Heat
The Heat acquired Jimmy Butler in a trade with multiple teams, including the 76ers. This marks another great move by Miami this season, who drafted Tyler Herro, who has shown out in his rookie season. The team is currently fourth in the east with a 38-22 record. Their lineup is young, but will definitely have an impact on the upcoming playoffs.

#Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers currently lead the western conference with a 5.5-game lead. They’ve stood at the top for about the whole season, and the comfortable lead leaves room for error. LeBron James and his young squad can likely secure the top seed and make it to his ninth finals.

#Denver Nuggets
With an all-star Nikola Jokić and past all-star Paul Milsap, the team has stayed consistent both at home and on the road. The supporting cast of sophomore Michael Porter Jr. and Jamal Murray, the team has capitalized and could be a good match for the Lakers in the west.

#Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers organization made big moves this season with the acquiring of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. This acquisition of two all-stars gave the team a great chance, and the molding of the two has proved just that. With a record of 41-19, the team sits at third in the western conference and can definitely make it past the first round of playoffs.

#Houston Rockets
Past teammates, James Harden and Russell Westbrook, have found each other in Houston, and this time around they’re each former MVPs. There was speculation when this formation first happened, many feared the two would be too focused on overshadowing one another, but they have both grown in their selflessness on the court. The team is currently in fourth place, but with only game in between them and third place, the Rockets could end up being a top-three seed.