With All-Star weekend in the rearview and just six weeks remaining in the NBA season, we turn our attention to the push for the playoffs. Let’s take a peek at the main storylines the rest of this season has to offer — we promise there’s nothing about James Harden and Ben Simmons because frankly, this author is #overit.
The defending champions sit in a three-way tie for third place in the Eastern Conference, just 2.5 games back of the top slot, yet The Trade I Will Not Talk About is dominating the conversation that Milwuakee (+330 to win the conference, bet $100 to win $330) should be leading.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is second in the league in points per game this season (29.4), seventh in rebounds (11.2), eleventh in blocks (1.4) and most importantly, second in overall efficiency. He can not be stopped, so, again, why are we talking about the Nets?
The Cavs were 28 games below .500 last year, but with All-Stars Darius Garland and fashionista Jarrett Allen they currently sit as the No. 3 seed in the East. Rookie of the Year favorite Evan Mobley has even caused LeBron to take notice of the Mistake by the Lake’s future stock. Their place in the postseason is all but a lock (-2500, bet $2,500 to win $100), but can they make noise when it counts?
In 2021, the young Grizzlies were a feisty play-in team with a promising future. Now, with the walking highlight reel Ja Morant leading the charge, they are vying for home court advantage in the playoffs. The organization’s top brass deserves some credit, not just for finding the face of the franchise, but because all five of the top scorers in Memphis were drafted there.
The sky’s the limit for Morant and the Grizz but do they have enough to take down a healthy Warriors team or Chris Paul’s Suns to win a championship (+2500, bet $100 to win $2,500)?
When the Lakers made offseason acquisitions reminiscent of a teenager playing NBA 2K12, questions arose about Russell Westbrook’s fit within the team. The answers came quickly… and they weren’t promising.
He’s averaging his lowest point total since 2009, his lowest rebound total since ‘14 and his second lowest assist total since ‘13, all while shooting a repugnant 43.7% from the field and 29.9% from the three-point line. The Lakers sit as the No. 9 seed in the West and their 42 million dollar man being a poor fit next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis is a HUGE reason why.
This disappointing Lake Show has brought another, more dire, question. Are they even going to make the playoffs (+100, bet $100 to win $100)?