2014-15 NBA Handicapping
The 2014-15 NBA season is 21 weeks old, and the playoffs are creeping up on us. The Western Conference is clearly superior to its counterpart out East, but the competition in both conferences is worth keeping an eye on as the regular season comes to a close.
1. Golden State Warriors (57-13)
Here are a few statistics when it comes to the Golden State Warriors: Golden State is 37-0 when holding its opponents to double digits (aka — under 100 points). The ‘Dubs are also 32-2 at homes this season, which is phenomenal — especially considering this group will have home-court advantage through most of the playoffs (if not all of it).
Golden State is also beating opponents by better than 15 points per game. This is hands down the best team in basketball, and it’s proving that fact on both sides of the court with the playoffs right around the corner.
2. Memphis Grizzlies (50-21)
The Memphis Grizzlies couldn’t be further from the Warriors when it comes to style. This group is a defensive juggernaut, while the Warriors are known for their offense — while also thriving on the other end of the floor.
Memphis has some impressive wins lately, but it will need to score points in the playoffs. Can it do that this season?
That has yet to be seen. This battle is one of the most anticipated in the Western Conference Playoffs.
The question is: Will we see it early? Late? At all?
3. Cleveland Cavaliers (44-24)
I don’t care what anybody says: The Cleveland Cavaliers are your favorites out East. This team is hot with LeBron James in the lineup, and while it could use some continuity when it comes to Kevin Love, it is also a step ahead of anyone located in the Association’s weaker conference.
4. San Antonio Spurs (44-25)
The San Antonio Spurs are playing the role of spoiler. This group hasn’t made a huge impression all season, yet it’s making headlines with the year coming to a closer.
Although nobody should be surprised, the Spurs are peaking at the same time. This team is sixth out West at this point in the process, but it could very well climb up the rankings with everyone else fluctuation at this juncture.
5. Atlanta Hawks (55-17)
The Atlanta Hawks are the second-best team in the NBA, according to record. That, however, has more to do with the lack of parity out East, compared to the conference’s counterpart out West.
At this juncture, Atlanta is riding the success that it felt early. Unfortunately, the group is hitting a lull at the wrong time of the year.
The Hawks are slowing down, and that means it’s time for the stars to kick in.
Unfortunately, this group doesn’t have stars, which is a problem with the postseason right around the corner.
6. Houston Rockets (47-23)
The James Harden-led Houston Rockets are making a killing right now with Dwight Howard sidelines. The question is: Do you believe Howard’s postseason return will be what this team needs to get it over the hump? Or will it disrupt chemistry?
7. Los Angeles Clippers (46-25)
The Los Angeles Clippers have won four in a row. Blake Griffin is back, and this team is hoping it won’t collapse under the pressure with the playoffs around the corner.
8. Oklahoma City Thunder (40-30)
Russell Westbrook is on an absolute tear. He’s setting NBA records for most triple-doubles in a short span, and he’s taking down opponents along the way.
The Thunder are fighting for their playoff lives, but they’re also very much in the hunt. This No. 8 seed is coming down to the wire, and it’s going to be dependent upon how well OKC can play with the year on the line.
9. Chicago Bulls (43-29)
The Chicago Bulls, without Derrick Rose, are surprisingly getting healthy at the right time. Their former MVP is looking to play once the postseason begins, and Jimmy Butler is also looking at an eventual return.
Luckily for this team, Pau Gasol is also healthy. So long as there are no significant injuries once the playoffs arrive, this is going to be a team to be reckoned with.
10. Phoenix Suns (38-33)
The Phoenix Suns aren’t going to be a Playoffs team. They aren’t going to beat out the Thunder or the New Orleans Hornets, but they have been one of the 10 hottest teams over the past week.
In their past four games, Phoenix is 4-0. The Suns are also 7-3 in their last 10, which is enough to put this group of near-playoff hopefuls in the top third when it comes to teams with the postseason around the corner.
- 11. Portland Trail Blazers (44-24)
- 12. Dallas (44-27)
- 13. Toronto (44-28)
- 14. Utah Jazz (31-38)
- 15. Washington Wizards (40-30)
- 16. Miami Heat (32-37)
- 17. New Orleans Pelicans (37-33)
- 18. Indiana Pacers (30-39)
- 19. Boston Celtics (30-39)
- 20. Brooklyn Nets (29-39)
- 21. Milwaukee Bucks (34-36)
- 22. Charlotte Hornets (30-38)
- 23. Detroit Pistons (236-44)
- 24. Sacramento Kings (24-45)
- 25. Denver Nuggets (27-44)
- 26. Orlando Magic (22-50)
- 27. Philadelphia 76ers (17-53)
- 28. Los Angeles Lakers (18-50)
- 29. New York Knicks (14-56)
- 30. Minnesota Timberwolves (15-54)
Check out our Updated NBA Betting Odds.