The NBA doesn’t resume until Thursday, but All-Star festivities are over and teams are set to lock back in on the second half of the season.
While the Western Conference seems set at the top, Chris Paul’s hand injury completely changes the dynamic of the conference. In the East, the No. 1 seed and No. 5 seed are separated by 2.5 games. There are a lot of teams set for a big run at the end of the season, but let’s dive into the three teams most likely to reel off some wins.
Denver Nuggets (+1500 to win Western Conference)
Today on ‘Bet & Breakfast’, Peter Dewey made his case for Nikola Jokic to win MVP, and also for the Nuggets to be set up to make some noise in the last part of the season.
The Nuggets have the eighth-easiest remaining schedule in the NBA. There is a possibility that Jamal Murray comes back this season, which would be huge for Jokic. Denver is currently the No. 6 seed in the West. Making a run may be more of a necessity for the Nuggets rather than an option. Any team going into the play-in is at risk of being knocked out of the playoffs before they officially start.
Denver has the path and the talented leader to take them there.
Memphis Grizzlies (+1000 to win Western Conference)
It’s weird to think about a team at the top of the conference “making a run”, but the Grizzlies could do even more in the second half of the season. While they are 8.0 games behind the Suns, they are only 1.5 games behind the Warriors for the No. 2 seed in the West.
The Grizzlies have the third-easiest remaining schedule and that is a perfect scenario for them. Memphis is fifth in the league in net rating and offensive rating. The Grizz are also top 10 in defensive rating. This is a complete team that is hungry and has the tools to get the job done.
Brooklyn Nets (+275 to win Eastern Conference)
The Nets are 2-8 in their last 10 games and have looked like a shell of themselves for over a month now. However, Ben Simmons is set to make his debut and Kevin Durant is on his way back. This is just an unhealthy team right now.
On top of that, Kyrie Irving will still be in the Nets’ back pocket as a secret weapon. If the Nets can just get everyone on the court, they will be just fine. Brooklyn’s remaining schedule is around the middle of the league. With an influx of stars on its way, the Nets are the most dangerous team in the Eastern Conference.