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10 Biggest Questions For The Final 2 Weeks Of The NBA Regular Season

10 Biggest Questions For The Final 2 Weeks Of The NBA Regular Season

We are getting down to the final two weeks of the NBA regular season. Despite most of the league having about seven games left to play, there is still a ton of uncertainty about the future. With the regular season set to end soon, only three teams have qualified for the playoffs, which means there is plenty of drama that could end the season.

There is a lot on the line for some teams such as the Nets and Lakers, who were both pegged as the preseason favorites to win the NBA championship. LeBron James is playing like a 25-year old version of himself at the age of 37. Who is going to win the MVP Award? We answer those questions now.

These are 10 questions that come to mind for the final two weeks of the regular season.


Can Celtics Win The No. 1 Seed?

The Celtics accomplished history by becoming the first team to take a No. 1 seed after 75 games played into a season without being atop the standings before. Marcus Smart and Robert Williams have been a huge reason for the transformation. The Celtics lead the NBA in defensive rating, but losing Williams for the final stretch of the season is going to be costly. At one point, this Celtics team was 25-25 and the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference. We were talking about potential new head coach replacements, but now this team is on a roll with the perfect balance of offensive flair from Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, as well as defensive efforts as well.

This Celtics team could take the No. 1 seed. Their schedule allows them to do so. The Celtics play the Heat, Pacers, Wizards, Bulls, Bucks, and Grizzlies in the final six games of the year. The game against the Heat is at home, but the team closes the year with a three-game road trip against the Bulls, Bucks, and Grizzlies. Going 4-2 this final stretch is hard enough. Clinching the one seed would mean the team needs to go 5-1. That seems unlikely. The Celtics are probably going to finish as a three or four seed.


Will The Lakers Miss The Playoffs?

Right now, the Lakers are the No. 10 seed and are just a half-game up on the San Antonio Spurs for their shot to play in the play-in tournament. The Lakers close the season with the Mavericks, Jazz, Pelicans, Nuggets, Suns, Warriors, Thunder, and Nuggets. To sum it all up, the Lakers play five playoff teams in six of their last eight games, while the Pelicans are one of the hottest teams in the league.

The Lakers also play on the road five times, where they own an 11-25 record away from the Staples Center. The Lakers could squeak into the play-in tournament and make a last-ditch run into qualifying for the playoffs. With that said, LeBron James is still a human being. It’s going to take Superman to get the Lakers into the playoffs at this point.


Which Teams Will Rank 4th-7th In The Western Conference?

The middle of the Western Conference is a huge puzzle right now. The Mavericks, Jazz, Nuggets, and Timberwolves are all within two to three games within each other. The Mavericks could fall to the play-in game, while the Timberwolves could make a late run to the four seed. Either way, it’s going to come down to the final games of the season.

The Mavericks have the best chance of winning the four seed given they own a lead. The team also plays the Lakers, Wizards, Pistons, Trail Blazers, and Spurs in part of their final games. The Jazz will have a tougher time having to play the Suns, Grizzlies, Warriors, and Clippers in the final stretch. The Nugget could end the Lakers’ chances as they play them twice, as well as the Spurs and Pacers. Meanwhile, the Timberwolves have a very favorable schedule by ending the season against the Raptors, Nuggets, Rockets, Wizards, Spurs, and Bulls.


Will The Bulls, Raptors, Or Cavaliers Compete In The Play-In?

When the Bulls are in sync, they look like the No. 1 team in the East. With that said, the chances that Lonzo Ball will not be back will diminish the team’s true chances of competing with a top-tier team in the East. The Bulls have proven they cannot stop a dominant center like Giannis Antetokounmpo or Joel Embiid. The team is also winless against the Heat this year, which is one of their final games. The Bulls hold a two-game lead on the Cavaliers for the five seed but could finish the year 4-4 despite a loss at the Knicks.

The Raptors hold a one-game lead on the Cavaliers for the sixth seed and picked up a big win over the Celtics. The team closes out against the Timberwolves, Heat, Hawks, and 76ers. Toronto could finish the year 4-4 as well. That means Cleveland would need to finish the year 5-3 and that could happen. Cleveland just beat the Magic and plays the Mavericks, Hawks, Knicks, 76ers, Magic, Nets, and Bucks. Cleveland will need to steal a game at home against the 76ers or Bucks. It’s a tall task, but one that could happen.


Can The Nets Make One Last Run?

Despite sitting with a 36-33 record, the Brooklyn Nets have an outside chance to avoid the play-in tournament. For the reasons previously mentioned, the five and six seeds in the East are vulnerable. Meanwhile, the Nets have one of the most favorable schedules that could see the team finish the year 7-1, which is even more of a possibility that Kyrie Irving is back full time.

The Nets close the year with the Pistons and Bucks at home, a road game at the Hawks, back at home with the Rockets, a “road” game at the Knicks, and then a two-game home series with the Cavaliers and Pacers. Every single game from here on out is winnable. If the Nets made the play-in tournament, they would have the best team overall, but avoiding the tournament, in general, would be a nice upgrade.


Where Will Heat, Bucks, And 76ers Finish?

The top four spots in the Eastern Conference are so wide open that it is anyone’s game. As mentioned, the Celtics have a tough bout to clinch the one seed, so who has the best chance? Let’s start with the Heat, who just beat the Kings. The team has some tough competition coming up with the Celtics, Bulls, Raptors, Hornets, Hawks, and Magic. This record screams 5-2 to close out the year, which would mean the Heat would claim the No. 1 seed given they are tied with the Celtics for wins.

Next, we have the Bucks, who must play the 76ers and Nets on the road. That is followed by the Clippers, Mavericks, Bulls, Celtics, Pistons, and Cavaliers. Splitting on the road is possible, but the Bulls, Clippers, and Cavaliers are desperate, so the team could go 5-3, but 4-4 seems more likely. As for the 76ers, the team plays the Pistons and Pacers in four of their last eight games. If the team can sneak a win against the Bucks at home and a road game at Cleveland or Toronto, the team could finish 6-3 and finish as high as the two or one seed.


Can LeBron Finish The Season Averaging 30.0 PPG?

The last time LeBron James won a scoring title was in 2008. It’s been 14 years since he has done it, which was also the last time he averaged 30.0 points per game. Today, his 30.1 points per game lead the league. In the last eight games, he has scored 42, 41, 36, 45, 37, 40, 30, and 36 points. Didn’t we mention he is 37 years old already?

The Lakers have one of the toughest schedules to end the season and making the play-in tournament is on the line. The play-in tournament is the team’s only shot of making the playoffs at this point. LeBron also recently turned his ankle, so now it will be even more difficult. If LeBron finishes the year averaging 30.0 points with a turned ankle and the upcoming opposition ahead, it will be one of the greatest finishes we have ever seen from him in his career.


Who Is The Defensive Player Of The Year?

Midway through the year, Draymond Green seemed to have this award locked up. Given his injury status this year, playing only 40 games, it will not be the 2017 winner. Instead, it leaves the door open for Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz to make history. As it stands, Gobert is leading the league in total rebounds (14.6), second in defensive rebounds, and third in blocks per game.

Robert Williams should receive some votes for his hand in helping the Celtics transform into a defensive specialty. Williams leads the league in defensive rating, just one point ahead of Gobert, as well as is second in blocks. With that said, Gobert is on pace to likely win his fourth award, which would tie him with Ben Wallace and Dikembe Mutombo for the most selections of all time.


Is LeBron Worthy Of MVP Talk?

Take the player’s name off the back of the jersey and read the stat line. LeBron is averaging 30.1 points, 8.2 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.1 blocks. He is shooting 52.3% from the field, which includes 35.9% from three-point range. He is averaging 37.2 minutes of action, which is his highest quantity of minutes as a Laker in four years, as well as his highest time on the court since the 2016-2017 season. If you take James off the back of the jersey, there are plenty of fans who would take that as MVP-caliber numbers.

The problem that LeBron faces is what Kobe Bryant faced in the 2005-2006 season when he averaged 35.4 points per game. While Bryant’s numbers were superb, the Lakers finished with the No. 7 seed. At the time, Bryant finished fourth in the MVP voting. For some, LeBron finishing in the top-5 of the MVP voting would not be ridiculous thought. If the Lakers do not make the play-in tournament, it would be a very clear no.


Who Is The Title Favorite?

Is there a clear frontrunner in the Eastern Conference right now? Even with James Harden in Philly, the team doesn’t look like the clear favorite. The team will still have to find a way to defeat the Bucks, while the Nets are one of the most dangerous bottom seeds. While the Nets do not have the most traction, they have the chance to have the most momentum, as do the 76ers and the Heat. If we had to pick a winner out of the East, the 76ers have the best duo, as well as a potential player in Tobias Harris that could help get them over the top against Brooklyn or Milwaukee.

As for the West, it will depend on the health of Chris Paul and Steph Curry. Paul has returned and looks ready to lead the Suns, but can Phoenix break the curse? The NBA’s winner for wins in the regular season doesn’t make a trip to the NBA Finals as evidenced in recent years. As for Curry, his return is set for April 7, so he will get three days to get back into the swing of things. You can’t sleep on the Grizzlies either, who proved they belong at the top of the standings. For now, the Suns look like they are firing on all cylinders, so don’t be surprised about the 2022 NBA Finals between the 76ers and Suns. 

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