With just over four weeks left in the 2020-21 NBA regular season, things are starting to heat up in the playoff races in both the Eastern and Western Conferences. As things stand right now, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Utah Jazz hold the top spots in the East and West respectively, but there is still a lot of basketball yet to be played and anything can happen.
From the Brooklyn Nets dealing with injuries to their key talents, to Jamal Murray now being out for the season with a torn ACL, to the Phoenix Suns being the hottest team in the league right now, there are major storylines all across the league that will have major implications on how the rest of the season plays out.
This year, with the new playoff format, both the 9-seed and the 10-seed from both conferences will have a chance to fight for a playoff spot. The 7-seed and 8-seed in each conference will square off in a one-game contest, where the winner of that game will be the 7-seed and the losing team will play the winner of the 9-seed versus 10-seed game in a one-game, winner takes the 8-seed showdown.
There have been some criticisms as of late with the NBA’s new format due to all of the injuries occurring around the league, but this is how the playoffs are going to work this year and for fans of the game, these play-in games will make for some really exciting and competitive basketball.
So what is going to happen down the stretch-run of the season? Your guess is as good as mine, but let’s take a look at four bold predictions for the remainder of the season.