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Ranking The Best NBA Teams In Orlando By Tiers

Fadeaway World

Fadeaway World

What we're about to witness in the Orlando bubble has no precedent in sports history. All players will be focused 110% on basketball, no distractions allowed, nothing else in sight that the Larry O'Brien trophy. Literally anything can happen.

The league has been on hold for 3+ months. That means all teams are fully rested, healthy, and have had plenty of time to watch film. Thus, the Orlando bubble is likely going to be as unpredictable as the first weeks of the regular season.

But even considering that there could be plenty of surprises just around the corner, it's still pretty clear that there are teams with more chances of making it to the Finals than others. That's why today we're about to break down the bubble in tiers:

Tier 4 - Sacramento Kings, Brooklyn Nets, Phoenix Suns, Washington Wizards, Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans, Orlando Magic

Tier 4 features teams that will attend the bubble but don't stand a chance at winning the Championship. In fact, just the Nets, Magic, and Grizzlies have a legit shot at even making the playoffs.

The rest of the teams are most likely in for the playoff experience, development of young players, and team chemistry. The Pelicans, however, could end up being a dark horse to, at least, upset a couple of contenders if they end up clinching that playoff berth.

For the rest of the teams, there are plenty of veterans that aren't even sure about attending the bubble at all, so we'll have to wait and see how this situation unfolds.

Tier 3 - Oklahoma City Thunder, Indiana Pacers, Dallas Mavericks, Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz

Tier 3 is pretty interesting, to say the least. None of these teams are actual contenders but it wouldn't be a surprise to see them even make the Conference Finals. At the end of the day, they all have strong arguments to put together a nice run.

The Thunder have Chris Paul and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Also, they've already proved their doubters wrong throughout the season, so there's no reason to think they won't be extra motivated.

The Pacers have proven to be a tough rival throughout the entire season. They lack a superstar and Victor Oladipo won't suit up but they're a strong, streaky team that could wreak havoc any given night.

The Mavericks have Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis plus one of the best coaches in the league. That's plenty of reason to think they have a shot at, at least, making it past the 1st round.

The Trail Blazers have enough talent on their squad to make the playoffs, even despite the loss of Trevor Ariza. However, they'll have to beat almost every team on their schedule if they want that 8th seed.

The Spurs are in the same situation as the Blazers but they won't have LaMarcus Aldridge suiting up. But hey, you can never count out a team with Gregg Popovich in command.

And last, but not least, we find a Utah Jazz team that can get hot as quickly as they get cold. They'll miss Bojan Bogdanovic and there are reportedly some chemistry issues between Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell but the talent is clearly there.

Tier 2 - Houston Rockets, Denver Nuggets, Philadelphia 76ers, Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat

Tier 2 features the teams that are poised to take a step forward this season and make it to the NBA Finals once and for all. They're not the favorites but they're huge dark horses with a shot at the ring.

Russell Westbrook and James Harden have a lot in the line here. They must prove that they can succeed in the playoffs and lead the Rockets back to the Finals for the first time in over two decades.

The Denver Nuggets always dominate in the regular season and then underperform in the playoffs. They won't have their homecourt advantage in Orlando and that's a huge factor to take into consideration. Hopefully, Nikola Jokic will finally step up as a superstar.

Tobias Harris admitted that the Philadelphia 76ers have had plenty of chemistry issues throughout the year. They must leave all that behind and perform at their highest level in Orlando if they don't want 'The Process' to break up. They're incredibly talented.

The Toronto Raptors must do everything they can to defend their crown. People are sleeping on him despite Pascal Siakam's presence and their 2nd seed in the Eastern Conference so they need to prove all their doubters wrong.

Brad Stevens and the Boston Celtics have a long history of falling short in the playoffs. There's no more time for excuses now. They're finally back at full strength and have the talent and depth to make a run for their money in the postseason.

The Miami Heat wasn't supposed to be that good this fast but hey, that's the Jimmy Butler effect. Erik Spoelstra has plenty of playoffs experience so you should never count his team out. They've built strong chemistry and are one of the most fun teams to watch in the league.

Tier 1 - Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks

Tier 1 has just three teams but it'll be Championship or bust for them. Anything short of a trip to the NBA Finals will be a huge failure. Hell, anything short of the Larry O'Brien trophy could put an end to their current squads.

The Los Angeles Clippers have the best team in the league, at least in the paper. Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Montrezl Harrell, Lou Williams; they have enough depth to put together two starting fives and one of the greatest coaches of all time.

LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers have vowed to go the distance this year. They've made it back to the playoffs after seven long seasons and the King knows his legacy is once again on the line this season. He's had almost 4 months to fully heal and he's ready to unleash the Kraken in Orlando.

The Milwaukee Bucks fell short of the Finals last year and God knows that didn't sit well for Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Greek Freak is likely going to win the MVP and DPOY this season but none of that will matter unless he puts a ring on that finger. Should he miss, he could even leave the Bucks for good in the summer.


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