75% of the NBA 22-23 regular season has already gone by, and with it, we are starting to get an idea of which teams can clinch top seeds for the postseason. However, this end-of-season race is one of the most competitive of all time, which makes it difficult to predict how the final position in each conference will play out, as many teams are almost tied with their winning record. Who can the first four seeds be? Here are our predictions.
4. New York Knicks.
Current Record: 36-27
One of the youngest teams in the NBA pleasantly surprised us throughout the season. Not only have they maintained consistency this year, but they also showed gradual improvement as the season went by, especially after the All-Star break. Clinching a top 4 seed will allow them to play with home-court advantage in the playoffs’ first round. An aspect they will benefit from the most.
Final Record Prediction: 49-33
3. Philadelphia 76ers.
Current record: 39-21
Being another excellent team, the Sixers have shown tremendous advancement in their play style. Each player increasingly understands their role on the court, which has allowed the team to win more consistently on the road and at home. Provided their stars stay healthy, the number three seed in the Eastern Conference will be for them.
Final Record Prediction: 54-28
2. Boston Celtics.
Current record: 44-18
The best-performing team in the NBA, for the better part of the season, is bound to sustain their top-notch basketball toward the end. Their excellent depth can lead them to clinch a top-seeded position for the playoffs, which will result in them matching up against a play-in tournament team. Very few teams can stop the peak-performance Celtics.
Final Record Prediction: 59-23
1. Milwaukee Bucks.
Current record: 44-17
The Bucks are yet another incredible group with a high chance of getting to the late stages of the postseason. When healthy, they become an almost unstoppable team, especially when facing the same conference opponents. Their current win streak of FIFTEEN games will boost the team’s confidence in these upcoming matchups, allowing them to clinch the number one spot in the East. Will they be able to return to NBA Finals this year?
Final Record Prediction: 60-22
4. Memphis Grizzlies.
Current record: 37-23
In an ever-competed Western Conference, the Memphis Grizzlies have responded well to their matchups up to this point. Having learned from their previous mistakes during the season, this young yet talent-packed team is not to be underappreciated, as they have already beaten “better teams” on paper over the course of the season in both conferences.
Final Record Prediction: 50-32
3. Phoenix Suns.
Current record: 33-29
Perhaps the most changed team due to the recent trade deadline, the Phoenix Suns are planning to win as soon as possible. With Kevin Durant returning on March 1st from an MCL injury that sidelined him for almost two months, the valley team’s future is looking brighter ahead of the start of the postseason, especially on the offensive side. This improvement will allow them to climb up in the Western Conference race.
Final Record Prediction: 50-32
2. Sacramento Kings.
Current record: 36-25
The Kings are arguably the most underrated, surprising team in the NBA thus far. Not only do they have solid team chemistry, but they also let each player take the spotlight, especially when it comes to closing games. This monumental performance has allowed them to stay at the higher end of their conference, therefore having the upper hand in the playoffs.
Final Record Prediction: 52-30
1. Denver Nuggets.
Current record: 44-19
The best team in the West can maintain the first seed for the remainder of the season. Currently 5.5 Games ahead of the conference’s second place, the number one seed is practically clinched by them. With spectacular basketball by Nikola Jokic and the rest of the team, Denver is currently one of the most solid, versatile groups. Can they finally recover from those underwhelming playoff performances of the past few years? Only time will tell.
Final Record Prediction: 58-24
Each of these eight teams has incredible momentum to close the NBA season. However, it is safe to say the Western Conference has tighter competition, as the gap between the third and thirteenth seeds is ONLY SIX GAMES. Almost all Western teams can still clinch that sought-after 4th seed with a winning streak before the end of the regular season. Exciting times are ahead of us.
Text Sources: nba.com, statmuse.com, basketball-reference.com
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