Which Teams Will Benefit (and Which Teams Won't) From the NBA's Hiatus

Pascal Siakam of the Toronto Raptors talks with head coach Nick Nurse.

It’s now our ninth day without the NBA, but we recently learned that the league is still focused on completing the season. Commissioner Adam Silver told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols that while there could be some major changes following a return, the NBA world is still motivated to complete their campaign following this NBA Hiatus.

“I’m optimistic by nature, and I want to believe that we’re going to be able to salvage at least some portions of this season,” Silver said (via ESPN’s Tim Bontemps). “I would say we have done new and creative things in the past. We experimented with this year’s All-Star Game with a unique ending. We’ve talked about play-in tournaments for going into the playoffs. There may be other things we can do with the format.”

At some point, we’ll surely learn more about how the NBA could reshape their calendar, including both the regular season and the playoffs. At the very least, it seems like we’ll be able to see our favorite teams compete in some iteration of the 2019-20 postseason.

Therefore, it’d be silly to ignore the implications that this hiatus could end up having on the NBA landscape. Like it or not, this months-long interruption will have both a positive and negative impact on some of our favorite squads. We explored those individual teams below.

Benefit: Toronto Raptors

Assuming the NBA is off for at least eight weeks, every team will have a golden opportunity to get healthy.

However, those teams outside of the playoff picture surely won’t benefit. While it’ll be a nice silver lining for the bona fide contenders (Lakers, Bucks, Clippers), they also won’t see a major incentive.

Instead, the teams that will benefit the most are the squads that are sniffing that upper echelon of the NBA. In that case, the defending champs have a major opportunity to benefit from a health perspective.

The Raptors have seemingly been snake bitten by injuries all season long. Practically every major member of their team (including Pascal Siakam, Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka, Fred VanVleet, and Serge Ibaka) has missed at least 10+ games, and the squad was limping at the time of the NBA’s suspension. As @ManGamesLostNBA points out on Twitter, the Raptors had 11.31 “wins lost” thanks to injuries, the highest mark in the league.

Despite that, the Raptors still sit with one of the best records in the NBA. With a hobbled, limping team, it would have taken a miracle for Toronto to get past the favored Bucks. However, at full strength, there might not be another team in the conference that has a better shot of beating Milwaukee.

Detriment: Utah Jazz

With all due respect to the Jazz, one of the major reasons they found themselves sitting fourth in the Western Conference was a lack of injuries. While Utah had generally been a disappointment throughout the campaign, they were guided to 41 wins thanks to the fact that they had the third-fewest “games missed by injured players” in the entire league (per @ManGamesLostNBA).

So why will this prove to be a detriment? While the Jazz have some nice depth, their health is the only reason to explain their current standing. Utah has been one of the most disappointing teams in the NBA this season, as they’ve struggled to fit prized acquisition Mike Conley into the lineup.

If this whole NBA suspension had never happened, Utah would have been a popular pick to be upset in the first round of the playoffs (assuming they held on to the four seed). With other teams getting healthy, Utah’s lone advantage will disappear.

Benefit: Boston Celtics

Players will surely be working out throughout the league suspension, but playing in an NBA game is a whole different animal. Considering the (at least) eight-week hiatus, it wouldn’t be shocking to see some of the told teams take a bit to regain their footing.

On the flip side, the younger squads shouldn’t have an issue diving back into things, and the means the Boston Celtics will have a great opportunity to take advantage. The Celtics have the eighth-youngest roster in the entire NBA, with six of the other seven squads out of the playoff picture (the Grizzlies are the lone exception).

Further, the Celtics are reliant on their young players, with Jayson Tatum taking a major leap in the weeks before the hiatus. With Kemba Walker getting some extra time to recover, the Celtics’ fresh legs could lead them on a playoff run.

Detriment: Houston Rockets

Unsurprisingly, the three “oldest” squads in the NBA are all pushing for a playoff run. While the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks have the transcendent talent to overcome an obstacle thrown their way, the Houston Rockets aren’t as lucky.

The team is already heavily reliant on James Harden and Russell Westbrook, but we’re not even worried about that duo. Rather, its the likes of P.J. Tucker and Eric Gordon who could struggle following the commencement of the season. Midseason additions like DeMarre Carroll and Jeff Green are also up there in age. The Rockets will be relying on these players to make a playoff run, but considering the grouping’s collective age, that doesn’t seem likely (especially following a lengthy break).

Players like Tucker and Gordon will surely need some games to regain their footing. At that point, it might be too late for them to make a playoff run.

Virginia Bonuses

See All


Get a $100 Risk-Free Bet!

Register for a new Unibet account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $100 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $100

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

FanDuel Sportsbook


Get a $1,000 No Sweat First Bet

Sign up for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account and make your first deposit of $10+

Place your first bet up to $1,000!

Get refunded if you lose up to $1,000

Must be 21+. First online real money wager only. $10 first deposit required. Bonus issued as non-withdrawable free bets that expire 14 days after receipt. See full terms at fanduel.com/sportsbook.



Get a $500 Risk-Free Bet

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make your first deposit & get up to $500 in free bets

To get $500 in free bets, wager $500

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



Bet $10, Win $200 if Any NBA Team Hits a Three Pointer!

Sign up for a new betting account with BetMGM

Place a pre-game moneyline wager of at least $10 on a NBA game

Win $200 in free bets if any team hits a three pointer

21+. Terms & conditions apply.



Bet $5 & Win $150 If Your First Moneyline Bet Wins!

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

Bet $5+ on the pre-game Moneyline in any sport

Win $200 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.



Get 4x $200 In Free Bets

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Bet up to $200 and If you lose, you get a refund

You will receive Free Bet(s) in the amount of the losing wager(s), up to $200 each for four days.

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

Caesars Sportsbook


Get a $1,250 risk-free bet

Sign up for a new Caesars Sportsbook account

Place your first bet of $10 or more

If your first bet loses, you’ll receive a refund up to $1,250 from Caesars in free bets

21+. Terms and conditions apply.



Bet $10, Get $200 if Any NHL Team Scores A Goal

Sign up for a new betting account with BetMGM

Place a pre-game moneyline wager of at least $10 on a NHL game

Win $200 in free bets if any teams scores a goal

21+. Terms & conditions apply.



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.



Get 5x $100 in 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.



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.



Get $2,000 in 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.

Monkey Knife Fight


Claim Instant Deposit Match up to $100 + Free $5 game

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.



Get Your First Single-Horse Win Wager Back Up to $200 if you don't win

Register for a new TVG account and make a deposit

Place your first single horse win-type bet up to $200

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

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



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.

Underdog Fantasy


First deposit is 100% matched up to $100 with Underdog Fantasy

Sign up for a new account with Underdog Fantasy

Make your first deposit

Every dollar (up to $100) will be matched! Deposit $25, get $50; deposit $100, get $200, etc

Must be 21+ to play. Terms & conditions apply