With a few more games left in the regular season, the playoff picture is becoming clearer by the day. While 16 teams from both conferences will make the playoffs, only a handful have a realistic shot at making the NBA Finals and taking the much coveted Larry O’Brien trophy. Here are the top 5 teams and one of these teams will definitely bring home the title:
1) Golden State Warriors–The Warriors have won 9 straight games and they’ve won two convincing games recently against their closest rivals (San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets) in the Western Conference. They have a four-game lead over the Spurs with 7 games to go and they look like a lock for the best record in the NBA. This means they will have home court advantage all throughout the playoffs. The Warriors are reminding everyone that the path to the championship still has to go through them. By the way, Kevin Durant is expected to be back soon after a one month hiatus from injury.
2) San Antonio Spurs – Probably the most successful franchise in professional sports history, the Spurs just keep on winning and winning. This team hasn’t missed the playoffs since the 1997-98 season and this is the 20th straight time they will make the cut. Out West, only the Spurs have the manpower and brain thrust to beat the Warriors in a 7-game series. Barring major injuries, the Spurs are in a head-on collision with Curry and Co.
3) Cleveland Cavaliers–The Cavs are barely hanging on to the top position in the East with a one game lead over the Boston Celtics and they are officially in a slump with just a few games to go. They have lost 4 of their last 6 games and have been struggling against top tier teams. The Cavs seem to think that they can just turn it on and off come playoff time. Still, they have the world’s best player in LeBron James and two other superstars in their prime. The defending champions are still the team to beat.
4) Boston Celtics – The Celtics have one of the deepest and versatile rosters in the NBA and their rebuild is nearing completion. They only lack one more superstar to take them to the Promised Land but they will be tough to beat in any series. They are currently on a hot streak winning the last 14 of their 15 games at home. They have an easier schedule than the Cavs and may just come away with the No.1 seed in the East.
5) Houston Rockets – The No. 3 seed in the West and the dark horse to win it all. The Rockets boast of the leading MVP candidate in James Harden who is having the best season in his career. He is the first player in NBA history to score 2,000+ points while assisting to produce another 2,000+ points. More importantly, he has all the complemen-tary players around him.