In recent years, there was no question about the teams that would play in the NBA Finals. For a while, it was whatever team LeBron James played for and the Golden State Warriors. Now, that looks a lot different.
Taking a look at the three top teams in the east
When the 2020 playoffs start, multiple teams have a fighting chance to make it to the finals. One team that teams need to look out for is the reigning champs, the Toronto Raptors. Just because they lost Kawhi Leonard does not mean that they’re not a title-contending team. The Raptors are one of the best teams in the league and returned a lot of players who were on that championship team.
The Milwaukee Bucks have had the best record the most of the 2019-20 season. Reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo has continued to dominate, and he’s in the running to win another MVP award. The Bucks lost to the Raptors in the Eastern Conference Finals last season, and they want to force a different outcome this year and get to the finals. Khris Middleton has stepped up into a leadership role alongside Antetokounmpo, and the Bucks have a deep lineup too. The Bucks have a good chance of being the No. 1 seed in the east again this year.
The third team to keep an eye out for in the east is the Boston Celtics. The Celtics have some of the best young talents in the league. Jayson Tatum and Jalen Brown continue to get better each season. Tatum leads the team in scoring while Brown is second on the team. The Celtics have a talented veteran point guard in Kemba Walker and another veteran in Gordon Hayward. This Boston team can make some noise in the playoffs, and they could be a team that can come out of the east.
Looking at the top three teams in the Western Conference
The NBA already knows who the No. 1 seed will be in the west, and that is the LA Lakers. The Lakers arguably have the best duo in the NBA in LeBron James and Anthony Davis. They have shown why they are the top team in the west. This is the year that the Lakers can make it to the finals for the first time since 2010. One thing that the Lakers will need to do going into the playoffs is to bring full effort because it’s not going to be an easy road getting out of the west. Look for James and Davis to play on a different level when the playoffs start.
Another top team in the west just so happens to be the other team from LA, the Clippers. The Clippers have one of the deepest teams in the league led by Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. The Clippers added some key veterans to the team in Reggie Jackson, Marcus Morris, and Joakim Noah. There’s no question that the Clippers believe they can play for an NBA title, and it’s going to be an exciting playoff.
One team that has constantly been at the top in the west is the Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets have a mix of young players and veterans on the team. Nikola Jokic is one of the best big men in the game, and he can do it all on the court. At the point guard position, Jamal Murray has handled things very well for the Nuggets. Paul Millsap adds that veteran experience and leadership to the team. The Nuggets are battling with the Clippers for that No. 2 spot in the west, which can come down to the final game of the NBA restart.
Kevin Durant thinks that the Clippers and Bucks will play in the NBA Finals
Even though he’s not playing, Kevin Durant is still following the NBA. In a recent podcast, the two-time NBA champion was asked who he thinks will win this year’s NBA title. “If I had to choose — and I hate doing that s— because you never know what could happen, you seen that with us last year — but if I had to choose, I’ll go with Clippers and Bucks for the championship,” Durant said on the ‘Play For Keeps,’ podcast. “And I’ll go with the Clippers.”
The Clippers have the endorsement from one of the NBA’s top players. Like Durant said in the podcast, anything can happen this year, and multiple teams have a good chance to play for that title. The question is, which two teams are going to play the best basketball at the time and make it to the NBA Finals? The 2020 playoffs will be very entertaining.