NBA Playoff Picture: Who Is a Lock, What Could Change in Final Weeks

It is safe to say that the 2019-2020 NBA season has been one unlike any other.

While people expected the Bucks and Celtics to be near the top of the East, and the Lake Show and Lob City near the top of the West, there are several teams who have come as surprises.

Start in the East. Miami made a splash in free agency when they acquired Jimmy Butler from the Philadelphia 76ers and Meyers Leonard from the Portland Trail Blazers. Along with Butler’s play this season (20.6 ppg, 6.8 jpg, 6.2 apg), Bam Adebayo has emerged as a budding star, rookies Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn play like seasoned NBA vets, and Miami made midseason acquisitions for Andre Igoudala and Jae Crowder. Miami currently sits fourth in the East, a half-game ahead of Philly and 4.5 games behind Boston.

Toronto is sitting in second place of the East, playing some of their best basketball after the departure of Kawhi Leonard to the City of Angels. Pascal Siakam has emerged as a star, Kyle Lowry continues to be one of the league’s best point guards, and Fred VanVleet continues to emerge as a star.

A Kyrie and Durant-less Brooklyn Nets team sits at eighth place in the East, with a five-game lead over the Washington Wizards, who have MVP candidate Bradley Beal.

In the West, Denver is the second seed, although they come off a blowout loss to the LA Clippers. Houston is currently the four-seed with the combo of Harden and Westbrook, OKC is the six-seed with the leadership of Chris Paul, and Ja Morant brings Memphis to the eight-seed, although the Pelicans sit two games behind the Grizz.

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