NBA Leaders Down The Stretch

With the 2018-19 NBA playoffs quickly approaching these are the teams in position to make a splash.

Eastern Conference:

Milwaukee Bucks:

Best record tops in offensive and defensive efficiency.  Why don’t I believe in them? In the playoffs teams will sink down on defense and dare the Bucks to make out side shots.

Toronto Raptors:

Realistic threat to come out of the east.  Team president Masai Ujiri made the right gamble in bringing Kahwi Leonard in presumably for one season.  Forward Pascal SiakamTeam has developed into the player most thought he could turn into. The Raptors are deep and experienced. Look out !

Philadelphia 76ers:

The Sixer’s can lose in the 1st round or win the Title,  will they come together in time?  Success or failure will fall on the broad shoulders of Joel Embiid

 

Indiana Pacers:

Coach Nate McMillan has done an incredible job keeping this team in the hunt during the absence of their best player Victor Oladipo.  This teams success is validation of the importance of making the right personnel decisions. Incredible team chemistry.

Boston Celtics:

The Celtics can gain needed momentum in the playoffs if they draw Indiana in the 1st round.  Solid defensive team but still small in the middle.

 

Western Conference:

Golden State Warriors:

Clear favorites to win the title this year will have to shore up defensive problems in their screen roll coverage (particularly with Boogie Cousins) and a thin bench.  Also, color Kevin Durant gone after this season.

Denver Nuggets:

Well coached team of the future lacks the experience at this point to seriously challenge in the west.

Houston Rockets:

Biggest challenge to Golden State will have to stay healthy in hopes of bringing glory back to Clutch City.  G.M. Daryl Morey should be a lock for executive of the year given the transactions he made to keep this team afloat. (Bringing in Kenneth Faried was an excellent move).

Portland Trailblazers:

Enes Canter and Rodney Hood were excellent pickups for this team that has major upset potential. Jusuf Nurkic is coming into his own and the Blazers were smart to keep this core together.  Another team with great team chemistry.

Oklahoma City Thunder:

Russell Westbrook continues to re write the record books (with his triple doubles) but it’s his effort in allowing Paul George to thrive that could propel this team to the conference finals.  A sustained effort on defense for a team that’s known for the same could help.

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