iUP students’ opinions on which teams will make it through to the NBA playoffs.

Danny Hall, Staff Writer

For the entire length of the NBA season, there is always a battle to reach the top of the mountain. What makes this league so special is that anyone could possibly complete the climb, whether they’re a dominant team with a star duo or a scrappy underdog ready to disturb the status quo. A little over 20 games into the season, we already know the teams that want their slot in the playoffs and the others that just don’t feel like they can make it through.


A Tightly Packed Eastern Conference

In recent years, the Eastern Conference was usually the “bad conference” that would have multiple teams with losing records make it into the playoffs. This year, it is a totally different story because of many stars like Kevin Durant and Giannis Antentokounmpo playing in the Eastern Conference. Because of this star power, the 10th seed Knicks are only 4.5 games behind the 1 seed Nets along with the fact only 4 Eastern Conference teams have losing records.


Although there are a bunch of good teams in the East, one might ask which teams are the best out of the East? That would be the Nets and the Bulls. The 2 top-seeded Eastern teams are where they are for a reason, dominating their opponents and not letting anyone get in the way. The Nets of course have 2 superstars in Kevin Durant and James Harden, but the Bulls have a talented roster as well, with Zach LaVine, who’s been playing for the Bulls since 2017, and offseason acquisitions Lonzo Ball and DeMar DeRozan. Of course, there are teams such as the Hawks, Bucks, and Heat ready to knock them both off of their leading pedestal.


2 Teams, One Western Conference

The Western Conference this season summed up is pretty much a battle of which team is better, the Phoenix Suns, who made it to the NBA Finals last year and lost, and the Golden State Warriors, who have gone back to their winning ways. The Suns went on the longest winning streak in the history of their team, and the Warriors have barely lost either and are highly favored by iUP to make the postseason even though they’re without one of their best players in all-pro player Klay Thompson.


Of course, like in the Eastern Conference, the West has a fair number of teams in the pursuit of the top 2. The Jazz and the Mavericks have kept in their winning ways, while the Grizzlies have done quite a few things this season including blowing out the Thunder by a record 73 points without their best player Ja Morant. Both LA teams, the Clippers, and the Lakers haven’t been on par with some of the other teams in their conference, but they both still remain in the playoff picture.


iUP’s Playoff Predictions

iUniversity Prep answered on who they thought would make the playoffs, and the results had a lot of variety in them. Higher seeded teams such as the Warriors and Nets had nearly everyone choose them to make it to the postseason while there were some teams currently out of the playoff picture such as the Rockets, Pelicans, and Pistons making the cut.


Even though we are only a quarter of the way into the NBA season, things are still going to keep heating up. Whether a team dominates their way into the playoffs or sneaks their way through, this season should be a very fun one for the books.