The Wildcats in the NBA are littered throughout the playoffs if the season ended today. We have about 5 1/2 weeks before the season ends and it’s time to start looking at how things are shaping up in the playoff picture.
The Bucks and the Lakers were tabbed among the top teams in their conference coming into the season.
The Bucks held on to their core group of players that included Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and (Kentucky’s own) Eric Bledsoe. They were the top seed in the East last year and are back in that spot again this year. They have a 7.5 game lead on the Raptors with 18 games left to play. It’s a safe assumption that they will lock in the top spot soon.
The Lakers however used the offseason to find a star to pair with Lebron and make a run at a title. They found that in Anthony Davis in a huge trade with New Orleans. The two have played well with each other throughout the season and as they are coming down the stretch, they are playing great winning 9 of their last 10. Right now they are up 6.5 games with 20 games left. I expect the Lakers to continue their winning ways, lock up the top seed, and have a great run in the playoffs and honoring Kobe throughout.
There are a few locks already and the jockeying for home games in the first round will be entertaining. The Raptors have locked in a playoff spot and will likely be the 2 seed in the East. They have a three game lead on the Celtics with two more games against teams over .500. Those two play each other on March 20th and it may determine the 2 seed in the East. As for the West, the Clippers, Nuggets, and Jazz are within 2 games of each other. I expect the Mavs to make a run to be in contention. That #2 spot will be important to get two home series before the conference championship.
Here’s the teams in the playoffs right now:
Outside Looking In
In the East there is a 6 game divide between the 8th place team and the 9th place team. I don’t expect a team from the outside jumping in although the Nets and Magic aren’t necessarily giving me a lot of confidence. In the West, Zion could push the Pelicans in to the 8 spot. There are a host of other teams that include Kentucky players that could end up in that 8th spot if they play very well including Spurs, Suns, Kings, and Blazers. All of which have a Kentucky player on the roster.
Wildcats in the Playoffs as of now
1 – Buck – Eric Bledsoe
3 – Celtics – Enes Kanter
4 – Heat – Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro
1 – Lakers – Anthony Davis and Rajon Rondo
2 – Clippers – Patrick Patterson
3 – Nuggets – Jamal Murray
5 – Thunder – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Nerlens Noel, and Hamidou Diallo
7 – Mavericks – Willie Cauley-Stein and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist