The playoffs is when everything really counts, and we can all just forget about the 82 regular season matchups as they only serve as preparation for this ultimate stage, a fight to the death to win the Championship.
Year in and year out, we can always count on the very same teams to become a threat, like the Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs and obviously the Golden State Warriors.
Nonetheless, this season has been full of surprises and we just can’t count anybody out anymore, and we’re in for a treat when the regular season comes to an end and we get to watch the best 16 teams on the year.
Today, we’re going to let you know 5 dark horse teams that might as well surprise everybody during the postseason.
5. Utah Jazz
The Utah Jazz are on a roll right now and are winners of 10 straight games, and they’re a lock to reach the playoffs at least as the eighth-seeded squad, a team really suited to make a lot of trouble for title contenders.
Rudy Gobert’s comeback has once again locked the paint in the defensive end of the floor, while Donovan Mitchell continues his stellar play as one of the Rookies of the Year leading candidates, so keep an eye on this team that even though not going to make the Finals, can upset a team or two.
4. Milwaukee Bucks
The Milwaukee Bucks are 9 and 2 since Jason Kidd’s firing, and the team has looked quite solid in both ends of the hardwood ever since, especially in defense, where they’ve become one of the league’s top units at home.
Also, with Jabari Parker making their comeback, the Boston Celtics kind of slumping and Cleveland still finding shape following their roster overhaul, they could even reach the Eastern Conference finals.
3. Denver Nuggets
You can never count out the Denver Nuggets at home, as Colorado’s heights really take a toll on the opponent’s tired legs after a full and rough season with a very tight schedule, and they’re a lock to end their postseason drought this year.
Also, Paul Millsap is set to return for the playoffs, and with this squad already playing very solid ball and finally improving their horrid defense, Millsap’s addition can be a key factor for coach Malone’s team.
2. Miami Heat
Quietly, the Miami Heat have become contenders in the Eastern Conference despite not having the amount of talent other teams like Boston, Milwaukee or Washington have, proving once again that Erik Spoelstra’s a basketball mastermind.
Now, with Dwyane Wade coming back home, the Miami Heat finally found a guy that can lead the way in the second unit, while standout rookie Bam Adebayo has looked great in both ends of the hardwood.
1. Toronto Raptors
This may finally be Toronto’s year, and even though we all instantly count them out, they quietly climbed the way to the 1st seed in the Eastern Conference, being one of the best teams at home in the whole NBA.
CJ Miles presence has finally given them another scorer and deadly threat from distance, while DeRozan has finally developed a three-point shot and Serge Ibaka’s back to his old dominant self in the defensive end of the floor.