Tier 5: Could make a Run
8. Dallas Mavericks
Dallas could go deep into the Western Conference Playoffs. If the playoffs began immediately, they would face the Los Angeles Clippers. Obviously not a great draw, but Dallas has a chance to climb as high as the third or fourth seed if the eight seeding games goes their way.
Luka Doncic is a bonafide star, and it’ll be fascinating to see how he does in a playoff atmosphere alongside of Kristaps Porzingis. The Dallas Mavericks are one of the teams to keep an eye on in Orlando.
7. Miami Heat
The Heat, along with the next few squads on this list, are a team that could win the NBA Championship if certain things go their way. If some injuries or positive COVID-19 tests occur on some of the “elite” teams, the Miami Heat are capable of going the distance.
The Heat have one of the deepest rosters in the NBA. It has a coach with a championship resume. Jimmy Butler is one of the best leaders in the league. The Heat are a jack of all trades. Don’t be shocked if they make a deep playoff run and add to their championship legacy by winning a 4th NBA Title.
6. Denver Nuggets
Denver is a fundamentally sound team that plays fluid, beautiful basketball. Nikola Jokic, the best center in the game, is putting up a ridiculous 20-10-7 season and his trusty sidekick, Jamal Murray, is establishing himself as one of top young guards.
This team is stacked with solid veteran players like Will Barton and Paul Millsap with playoff experience and can make a push in Orlando. The Nuggets are one of the most complete teams in the league.
5. Toronto Raptors
Never count out the champs, right? Even after losing a top-five player in Kawhi Leonard, the Raptors are in a position to potentially repeat. This team is elite defensively and has kept up on the offensive side with Pascal Siakam’s emergence as a number one option.
Couple that with efficient playmaking from Kyle Lowery and top-tier defense from OG Anunoby, and you’ve got yourself a team that can win a title without a bonafide superstar on the roster.
4. Boston Celtics
Jason Tatum was absolutely blazing hot when the NBA went on hiatus in March. In his last 15 games, the 22-year old averaged 30 points while shooting 48% from the field and 46% from three, along with eight rebounds.
As Crazy as it might sound, at 22 he already has the potential to be the best player on a championship team. Add that to Kemba Walker and an improved Jaylen Brown, and you’ve got yourself a team with the firepower to take down the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference.
Check out the final page to see the top three teams.