Now that the all-star break in Atlanta is in the past, the second half of the season is among us. The trade deadline is approaching and the playoffs are getting closer.
Teams are starting to solidify their spots in the rankings, but there’s other teams that are still on the come-up. TGH is taking a look into some teams that are poised to make a late season run.
This pick could be a hot take, mainly because the Wizards’ first half of the season was so bad. They dug themselves a hole and find themselves several spots out from the eight seed, but here’s why they are poised to make a late-season push.
First off, they have Russell Westbrook and NBA leading scorer Bradley Beal. If anyone has watched the league over the last few years, then you know that Westbrook is a Swiss army knife. He can do it all, as he’s averaging a near triple double.
As for Beal, he can’t seem to be stopped on the offensive side of the ball, averaging 33 points per game, including a season high and career high 60 points in January.
Second, is the hot streak Washington had before the all-star break. Mid-way through February, the Wizards went on a five-game win streak, beating the Celtics, Trail Blazers, Nuggets and Lakers in that stretch.
Then, in the final game before the break, the beat the Clippers. These wins prove that Washington is capable of beating good teams, and they can make a late season push for the playoffs.
The Bulls are one of the dark horse teams in the Eastern Conference this season. Overlooked by the powerhouse teams like the Sixers, Bucks and Nets, the Bulls have built themselves a squad that works well.
Lead by first time All-Star Zach LaVine, Chicago has been in the playoff race in a lackluster Eastern Conference this year. They currently stand in the ninth spot but have been as high as the five and six seeds earlier this year.
Surrounding LaVine, they’ve developed a solid supporting cast including rookie Patrick Williams, veteran Thad Young and more.
The Bulls one problem is they haven’t beaten top tier teams. That’s losses to the Bucks, Lakers, Clippers and 76ers. If they find it within themselves of making a deep run late in the season for the playoffs, they’ll have to find a way to beat the good squads.
Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors have been a surprising team this season, in large part due to the play of Steph Curry. The reason they’re the last team on this list is because of how difficult their last-minute push would have to be.
Every team in the top eight in the West has a record above .500, something only half the top eight teams in the East have.
But the Warriors have something that other teams don’t have: Stephen Curry. Curry has been in his MVP form and nearly unstoppable this year.
When the news about Klay Thompson broke, everyone wrote the Warriors off, but they’ve been able to stay solid. That’s why they have a chance to make a late season surge, they’re doubted, and no one expects anything from them.
Second, is the experience they have experience. Steph Curry and Draymond Green lead the squad that has players that have experienced playoff basketball. When they’ll be competing with Dallas, San Antonio and Memphis for the last two seeds, that experience will come in handy.
‘From our Haus to yours’