NBA Playoff Characterize 2024: Updated Standings, Predictions After Lakers’ Take care of vs. Wolves

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 10: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers dribbles the ball during the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on March 10, 2024 at Crypto.Com Arena in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2024 NBAE (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)

Adam Pantozzi/NBAE by Getty Photos

The Los Angeles Lakers additional solidified their unusual internet site in the Western Conference play-in occasion and took a step toward the playoffs with a 120-109 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves in Sunday’s matchup.

Los Angeles tranquil has some work to design to attain the discontinue six seeds and reside away from the play-in occasion, alternatively it has momentum with two straight wins over potential championship contenders in the Milwaukee Bucks and Timberwolves.

Right here is a see at where the Lakers and all americans else stands in the playoff image after Sunday’s circulation:

Western Conference

  1. Oklahoma Metropolis Command, 45-19
  2. Denver Nuggets, 44-20 (1 GB)
  3. Minnesota Timberwolves, 44-21 (1.5 GB)
  4. Los Angeles Clippers, 41-22 (3.5 GB)
  5. Fresh Orleans Pelicans, 39-25 (6 GB)
  6. Phoenix Suns, 37-27 (8 GB)
  7. Sacramento Kings, 36-27 (8.5 GB)
  8. Dallas Mavericks, 36-28 (9 GB)
  9. Los Angeles Lakers, 36-30 (10 GB)
  10. Golden Notify Warriors, 33-30 (11.5 GB)

Eastern Conference

  1. Boston Celtics, 49-14
  2. Milwaukee Bucks, 42-23 (8 GB)
  3. Cleveland Cavaliers, 41-23 (8.5 GB)

  4. Fresh York Knicks, 37-27 (12.5 GB)
  5. Orlando Magic, 37-28 (13 GB)
  6. Philadelphia 76ers, 36-28 (13.5 GB)
  7. Indiana Pacers, 36-29 (14 GB)
  8. Miami Warmth, 35-29 (14.5 GB)
  9. Chicago Bulls, 31-33 (18.5 GB)
  10. Atlanta Hawks, 29-35 (20.5 GB)

Western Conference Prediction: Play-In Tournament Crew Wins First-Round Series

There is a long way too valuable critical person energy in the play-in occasion flee for any high crew in the Western Conference to respect going into the most valuable spherical.

The play-in occasion would possibly possibly also honest encompass the Lakers with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Golden Notify Warriors with Stephen Curry, the Dallas Mavericks with Luka Dončić, and the Phoenix Suns with Kevin Durant and Devin Booker.

That’s not fully a good deal of critical person energy, that would possibly possibly also very successfully be a ton of playoff journey and championship rings. What’s more, whichever two teams emerge from the play-in occasion can own the momentum generated from these wins against a high seed that can be going by some rust in the early going.

Whereas the Denver Nuggets are the reigning champions and must own diminutive anxiety in the outlet spherical if they clinch a high-two seed, the Oklahoma Metropolis Command and Timberwolves are a long way from playoff tested.

OKC hasn’t made it past the most valuable spherical since Durant and Russell Westbrook had been main the methodology for the duration of the 2015-16 campaign, while Minnesota closing evolved past the most valuable spherical in the 2003-04 season.

They’re each and each candidates to be teams which would possibly possibly possibly be a Three hundred and sixty five days or two away from making championship runs with young stars spearheading the anxiety in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Anthony Edwards, and one of the most valuable league’s high gamers will most certainly be ready to uncover that in the play-in occasion.

The result will most certainly be not decrease than one significant upset.

Eastern Conference Prediction: Celtics Earn Over the Scoot, Reach NBA Finals

The Boston Celtics had been to 5 of the closing seven Eastern Conference Finals but had been to the NBA Finals ethical as soon as in that span.

This would be twice after this Three hundred and sixty five days.

Boston has the splendid memoir in the NBA and can establish things on cruise administration the leisure of the methodology and tranquil without problems own home-court docket benefit at some stage in the Eastern Conference playoffs. That can allow head coach Joe Mazzulla the different to present his key contributors fewer minutes down the stretch of the season, which must own them brisker for the playoffs.

And the pause result will most certainly be a crew prepared for a future to the NBA Finals.

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are tranquil main the methodology, very like they did for many of these Eastern Conference Finals appearances. However they’ve better benefit this season with Jrue Vacation, Kristaps Porziņģis and a revamped Derrick White.

Vacation is one among the splendid perimeter defenders of his generation, that would possibly possibly also honest be excessive in potential postseason series against Damian Lillard, Donovan Mitchell, Jalen Brunson, Jimmy Butler, Tyrese Maxey or Tyrese Haliburton.

Porziņģis’ presence attracts opposing bigs away from the rim and opens up lanes for Tatum and Brown to assault, while White is an overqualified fifth option who has taken over video games every so often at some stage in the season.

Something else decrease than an NBA Finals look would possibly possibly be a disappointment, and the Celtics will get perfect thing about their No. 1 seed with a deep playoff urge.

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