A look at the NBA playoff picture if the postseason started today

Giannis Antetokounmpo Bucks vs Celtics
Photo of Ricky Dimon

Ricky Dimon

NBA· 2 years ago

Show Bio

Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

Who knows if there will be playoffs, an NBA Finals, and a champion this season? Because of the coronavirus crisis, there might not be. The league is on an indefinite hiatus—just like basically every other sport—and it is impossible to forecast if the 2019-20 campaign will ever restart.

Even in a best-case scenario, however, it is hard to see how or even why the regular season will be played out. Every team has played at least 63 games; that is without question a large enough sample size to determine who should or shouldn’t be in the playoffs.

The playoffs most definitely do not begin today, nor tomorrow, nor the next day. But there is still some chance they happen, and if they do it is likely the current standings will be used for seeding. So let’s take a look at the current picture and the matchups it would produce.

Eastern Conference

(1) Milwaukee Bucks vs. (8) Orlando Magic

It is unlikely that anyone in the East can challenge Giannis Antetokounmpo and company (they are -175 favorites). If someone does, it won’t be the eighth-seeded Magic (30-35).

(4) Miami Heat vs. (5) Indiana Pacers

These are two of the most overachieving teams in the entire NBA. Jimmy Butler has helped Miami overcome injuries, while the Pacers produced even before Victor Oladipo returned.

(3) Boston Celtics vs. (6) Philadelphia 76ers

Speaking of injuries, the 76ers have hardly been recognizable. If one team could benefit from the postponement, it’s them. But they would still be underdogs against Boston.

(2) Toronto Raptors vs. (7) Brooklyn Nets

Kevin Durant probably isn’t playing this season regardless of how long things get pushed back. If that is the case, Toronto would roll in this matchup.

Conference semifinals and finals

If the seeds hold to form, in the next round Milwaukee would go up against Miami and Toronto would face Boston. Then a potential Eastern Conference Finals would feature Milwaukee and Toronto. The Bucks led 2-0 in the same matchup last year only to lose four consecutive games and watch the Raptors win the East—and eventually the NBA title.

Western Conference

(1) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (8) Memphis Grizzlies

Sure, for a brief moment it would be fun seeing Ja Morant go up against the Lakers. But Memphis (32-33) would be by the worst team in the Western Conference playoffs.

(4) Utah Jazz vs. (5) Oklahoma City Thunder

No team in the NBA has surprised people more than Oklahoma City. Chris Paul has been outstanding, and his squad would not be totally overmatched by Utah in the talent department.

(3) Denver Nuggets vs. (6) Houston Rockets

The Nuggets probably did not envision that a reward for getting the No. 3 seed would be a first-round date with the Rockets. Houston has underwhelmed but is always dangerous.

(2) Los Angeles Clippers vs. (7) Dallas Mavericks

The star power in this matchup (mainly Kawhi Leonard and Luka Doncic) would make for must-see TV. How long would Doncic be able to keep things competitive?

Conference semifinals and finals

If the seed hold to form, it would be Lakers vs. Jazz and Clippers vs. Nuggets in the conference semifinals. Thereafter, a mouthwatering all-L.A. showdown would take center stage. It couldn’t get any better than that! So let’s hope and pray that the coronavirus spares us the worst-case scenario and allows us to have what we deserve. The Lakers are +225 co-favorites with Milwaukee to win the NBA title.

Virginia Bonuses

See All
FanDuel Sportsbook

$150

Bet $5, Win $150 on either NYY or CWS to win the Sunday Night Baseball matchup (30-1 Odds)!

Sign up for a new account with FanDuel Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Place a $5 bet on the Yankees or White Sox to win the Sunday Night Baseball matchup

If your teams, get 30-1 odds and win $150!

Must be 21 years or over to participate. Reward paid in site credit. Offer valid for new players only. Full terms available at FanDuel Sportsbook.

PointsBet

$500

Get 5x $100 Risk-Free Bets!

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Make a bet of up to $100 and receive a refund if you lose

Get this offer once a day for the first 5 days you sign up

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

DraftKings

$200

Bet $5 on Any MLB Game, Get $200 if Your Team Wins!

Sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5 on any MLB team to win their next game

Win $200 in free bets + any cash winnings from your original wager

Offer valid for new players only. Must be 21 years or older to play. Reward paid in site credit. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

BetMGM

$200

Win $200 If ANY NBA Team Makes a 3-Pointer!

Sign up for a new account with BetMGM, and make a deposit of $10+.

Place a $10 moneyline bet on any upcoming NBA game.

Win $200 if either team in your selected game makes a 3-pointer

21+ and new players only. Full terms available at BetMGM Sportsbook.

DraftKings

$150

Bet $5 on any NBA team, Get $150 in Free Bets if they win!

Sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5 on any team to win an NBA playoff game

Win $150 in free bets if your team wins

Offer valid for new players only. Must be 21 years or older to play. Reward paid in site credit. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

BetMGM

$200

Win $200 If A Goal Is Scored In ANY NHL Game!

Sign up for a new account with BetMGM, and make a deposit of $10+.

Place a $10 moneyline bet on any upcoming NHL game.

Win $200 if either team in your selected game scores a goal

21+ and new players only. Full terms available at BetMGM Sportsbook.

PointsBet

$2,000

Get $2,000 in Risk-Free Bets!

Register for a new PointsBet account & deposit

Receive a free bet refund up to $500 if your first fixed odds bet loses

& a free bet refund up to $1,500 if your first two PointsBetting Wager loses

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

Caesars Sportsbook

$1,100

Get up to $1,100 in First Bet Insurance!

Sign up for a new Caesars Sportsbook account

Make your first deposit of $50+

If your first bet is not a winner, get it all back as a free bet (up to $1,100) if you lose!

21+. Terms and conditions apply.

BetRivers

$250

Get a $250 Deposit Bonus!

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make a deposit & get it doubled up to $250 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $100

Must be 21+. Play in IA Only. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF

Unibet

$500

Get a $500 Risk-Free Bet!

Register for a new Unibet account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $500 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $500

New players only. Terms & conditions apply. 21+. VA only.

BetMGM

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new BetMGM & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

FanDuel Sportsbook

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

DraftKings

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account & deposit

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim 100% Instant Deposit Match up to $100!

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

Yahoo DFS

$25

Get $25 in Site Credit With Yahoo DFS When You Deposit $5!

Register for a new account with Yahoo DFS and deposit $5+

Enter a $5 DFS contest

Upon entry, you will receive a bonus $25 in credit into your account!

21+ and new players only. Full terms available from Yahoo DFS.

TVG

$300

Get a $300 Risk-Free Bet with TVG Racebook!

Register for a new TVG account and make a deposit

Place your first single horse win-type bet up to $300

If your horse doesn't win you'll get a refund up to $300

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

TwinSpires

$200

Get a $200 Sign-Up Bonus with Twinspires Racebook!

Open your TwinSpires.com account using offer code BET200

$200 bonus cash will be credited in increments of $100 for every $400 wagered

To earn the full $200 bonus players must wager $800 within 30 days

21+. Terms and conditions apply.