Top Predictions for the NBA Playoffs 2023
The most exciting time to be a basketball fan is here, with the NBA playoffs starting later this month. Eight teams from each conference will make the playoffs, with two teams advancing to the Finals for the chance to win the 2023 NBA Championship. To stand a chance of making the playoffs, teams need to have a higher winning record compared to the other teams in their conference, but there’s also the opportunity to enter through the play-in tournament.
The next few weeks are the last chance remaining for the teams to clinch their spot and compete in this year’s finals. It’s when the competition starts to get really exciting, and there’s more pressure than ever on each player to be at the top of their game. You can find the NBA playoff odds online, and in this article, we’ll be making some predictions on which teams will be in the running.
Which Teams Have Made the Playoffs Already
Multiple teams have already had their place in this year’s playoffs confirmed. Even if they were to lose all of their upcoming games, they would still have a place in the playoffs guaranteed. These are the:
- Boston Celtics
- Milwaukee Bucks
- Denver Nuggets
- Philadelphia 76ers
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- Memphis Grizzlies
- Sacramento Kings
Meanwhile, several teams have also been confirmed as out of the playoffs, with the Charlotte Hornets, Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets, and San Antonio Spurs all missing out on the playoff contention for this year.
The Western Conference
The Western Conference is currently the most interesting to watch if you’re an NBA fan because of how close the top teams are. There are a lot of teams that all have a chance of making the playoffs, but only eight can achieve this. Right now, there are just six games separating the no 4 seed, the Suns, and the no 12 seed, the Jazz.
Because of how close the teams are, anything can happen in these last few weeks, and it’s going to be intriguing to watch. The Suns are the most likely option to join the other Western Conference teams in the playoffs, and their current four-game winning streak will certainly help. However, it’s still all the play for, with teams like the Lakers, Warriors, Mavericks, and Clippers all having a good shot at making it.
The Lakers have been unfortunate with injuries this season, and that may hold them back, with LeBron James only just coming back after issues with his foot. In addition, Kawhi Leonard has sat out a lot of games, and this could see them miss out on the playoffs once more.
The Warriors have struggled this season, with Steph Curry unable to paper over the cracks in the roster. While they’re winning at home, games on the road have been difficult for them, though things could improve if Andrew Wiggins returns to the lineup.
Which Teams Can Reach the Finals
The Boston Celtics are currently one of the favorites to win the NBA Championship this season, and they’re already confirmed as making the playoffs. They have the best point-scoring record in the league and recently demolished the Milwaukee Bucks, another strong contender, 140-99. Jayson Tatum has been incredible for them, and it’s hard to bet against them reaching the finals.
The Denver Nuggets are another team with a great chance of at least making the finals, and most sportsbooks have them as the third or fourth favorites to win the Championship. The Nuggets are looking far more well-balanced this season, with Nikola Jokic still in fine form but also supported by four players all scoring an average of 15 points per game.
While the Bucks recently suffered a bad blowout loss to the Celtics, they shouldn’t be counted out. They’re still in the lead for the Championship odds at some sportsbooks, and it’s easy to see why when looking at their defense. Aside from the Celtics game, they’ve looked strong in all areas and have allowed one of the fewest points in the league.