This NBA season may only be ten games in, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been wild.
With so many different storylines this year, it’s given the league a surplus of surprises and drama. Some teams that had high hopes aren’t doing as well as expected, some teams that started with little expectation are shocking the world, and seemingly guaranteed pre-season predictions have looked anything but inevitable.
But, as is usually the case with the NBA season, things usually pan out mostly like they’re supposed to in the end.
In other words, the NBA will look much different by February than it does right now.
the current state of affairs, however, got us thinking: what if the NBA playoffs started tomorrow? What if postseason time struck the league NOW, at a time where most squads are still trying to learn to play together?
Piecing together that interesting scenario isn’t easy, but we’re going to give it our best shot.
If the playoffs started tomorrow…
(1) Warriors vs (8) Nuggets
(2) Rockets vs (7) Pelicans
(3) Timberwolves vs (6) Trailblazers
(4) Grizzlies vs (5) Spurs
By far, the most interesting team missing from this list is the Oklahoma City Thunder. If the season started tomorrow, OKC would be on the outside looking in, as their 4-6 record is only good enough for 12th in the West.
Everything else doesn’t seem too outrageous. In the first round, all the higher seeds would win, with exception to the Grizzlies, who probably would not be able to beat a (Kawhi-less) Spurs team in a beat of 7.
(1) Warriors vs (5) Spurs
(2) Rockets vs (3) Timberwolves
How awesome would these matchups be? Obviously the Spurs without Kawhi would lose to the Dubs, but Pop’s brilliance alone could keep the games interesting, at least. As for the Rockets and Timberwolves, we’ll give the edge to Minnesota here, especially with Chris Paul being out.
(1) Warriors vs (3) Timberwolves
The TWolves making the Conference Finals would be a monumental success for a team with a history of missing out on the post-season. This season, they’re proving to be capable of making it far.
Even still, the overwhelming power of the Warriors is just too strong.
(1) Celtics vs (8) Heat
(2) Pistons vs (7) Wizards
(3) Magic vs (6) Knicks
(4) Raptors vs (5) Sixers
Now this is where the real fun begins. Without the Cavs, the Eastern Conference playoffs would be wide open.
And with teams like the Magic, Pistons, and Sixers gettting relatively high seeds, the probability of an upset is pretty high.
(1) Celtics vs (4) Raptors
(7) Wizards vs (6) Knicks
Thr Wizards and Knicks making it to the second round would be pretty nice for both fan bases. But only one can win, and the power of Porzingis will make sure that his team is the one to do it.
(1) Celtics vs (6) Knicks
Welp, this is a no-brained. The Celtics are obviously King’s of the East right now, and no other team would really have a shot… even without Gordon Hayward.
For The Knicks though, they’d be thrilled to just make it this far in the first place.
Boston Celtics vs Golden State Warriors
Although this matchup would be different than the Cavs/Dubs series we’re so accustomed to seeing. Still, the end result would be the same. The Warriors would be crowned Chanpions of the basketball world… yes, even if the season started today. ESPECIALLY if the season started today.