After the first quarter of the NBA season, there are many different factors to consider when trying to predict what will happen in April. To begin with, there are three new teams in the playoff picture, and there has been a significant movement among the teams still in the hunt.
Today’s piece will analyze how recent injuries and the quality of the remaining schedule have affected clubs’ records and outlooks.
Miami Heat v Philadelphia 76ers
Considering the number of injuries this team has endured in the first half of the season, it is astonishing that Philadelphia is currently fourth in the Eastern Conference. The Sixers should solidify into a top-three slot in the conference before the playoffs begin. Assuming they can avoid injury, Philadelphia is on the upswing and might face Miami in a first-round revenge series.
Speaking of squads that should improve just by being healthier in the second half, every night the Heat’s injury report reads like an All-Star squad’s. Many NBA betting Singapore fans think that the Heat might be able to escape the play-in round if they can maintain good health down the stretch; but, the sixth seed seems to be the absolute limit for this team in its current form.
New York Knicks v Boston Celtics
The Celtics had been the top seed in the Eastern Conference for the better part of the season, have Robert Williams III back from knee surgery, and among any team currently in the Eastern playoff have the second-most manageable schedule remaining. There’s absolutely no reason to think this club won’t end up as the best in the league come postseason time.
No matter the locale or arena, a first-round series between the Knicks and the Celtics would generate a fantastic basketball environment and represent a positive turn for a New York club. The Knocks have proven they are worthy of a return trip to the playoffs, even if it means going through the play-in round to get there.
Los Angeles Clippers v New Orleans Pelicans
If the Pelicans were a weaker team, missing Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram for an extended period of time would likely be fatal to their hopes of finishing as the conference’s top seed. However, this group is deep and talented enough to make up for the loss of their two leading scorers.
In addition to playing the third-easiest remaining schedule of any Western Conference club, the Pelicans should not be expected to rapidly slide down the standings. Every NBA betting expert knows that if they come to the playoffs fully stocked, New Orleans will be a nightmare to face.
The Clippers’ net rating is plus-8.7 when Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are both on the court this season, despite Los Angeles’ recent struggles and current ranking of only 28th in offense overall this season. The fact that Leonard is back to his former self is reason enough to think the Clippers can make the playoffs and avoid the play-in round.
Dallas Mavericks v Golden State Warriors
While the regular season has been a living hell for the defending champions thus far, the team’s 3-16 road record must turn around at some time. The Warriors’ starting five with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, and Kevon Looney is one of the best in the NBA and only becomes better now that Draymond Green is well.
The Warriors have fallen too far behind to secure a top-three Western seed, but they are still more than capable of turning on a dime and securing home-court advantage for the first round.
If the Western Conference Finals from last season between Luka Doncic and Stephen Curry were to be replayed, it would once again be riveting viewing. Doncic’s performance this year has been outstanding; his plus-10.9 swing rating is a significant improvement over his minus-0.9 mark from last year.
Josh Green, Maxi Kleber, and Dorian Finney-Smith will all be back for the Mavs, and with their favorable remaining schedule, they have a good shot at maintaining their push for home-court advantage. For more NBA betting Singapore predictions, tips, and recommendations, check TopbettingsiteSG!