The NBA is officially returning this month which means the heat has been turned up.
Each NBA team will be playing eight games in Orlando to finish up the season to finalize seedings. Some of the best teams in the league like the Bucks, Lakers, Raptors, and Clippers have already clinched top spots.
Among those top NBA teams, there are at least four of them that are feeling the pressure of bringing home the title. Check out the list of teams that can’t come back from Orlando empty-handed.
Top NBA Team Feeling the Heat: Los Angeles Lakers
Every season that the Los Angeles Lakers are good, the pressure is on to win the NBA title. Especially when the team decided to go all out and get Anthony Davis to join Lebron James.
The loss of Avery Bradley hurts the team, but the guard position is already deep enough that they should be able to manage. J.R. Smith has officially signed with the team that should serve as a good replacement for Bradley.
Barring a disastrous end to the regular season, the Lakers should go into the playoffs with the number one seed. Los Angeles is a top ten offense while being top five in the NBA in steals. The team is poised for a title run. Since the All-Star break, they have gone 8-2 during that span.
Restarting a season is never easy, but with the talent they have, the Lakers should be in the finals. Leaving Orlando without the trophy is not an option for a team on a mission.
It has been an NBA season filled with its up and downs for the Philadelphia 76ers.
Head coach Brett Brown was reportedly on the hot seat after the 76ers were looking sluggish on the road this season. There have been lingering questions between the chemistry of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Injuries have been a concern for Simmons as well, but starting to look good for the restart season.
With that being said, it’s going to be a tough task for Philadelphia to rebound. They had a 10-24 record on the road and the rest of their games are away technically. The offense has not looked good only ranking 21st in points per game.
If the 76ers want to salvage this season, they will need to finish strong and make a decent run in the playoffs. An early playoff exit could result in changes being made to the franchise.
Houston brings their second ranked offense to Orlando led by James Harden and Russell Westbrook. While their defense doesn’t to be as strong, the team does have seven players averaging ten or more points per game. A weakness in the offense is the lack of assists as Harden and Westbrook are the only players on the team averaging more than two assists per game.
Since the All-Star break, the team has recorded a record of 6-4 and have had stretches of winning and losing consecutive games. March was rough for the team going 1-4 before COVID-19 suspended the NBA season.
The break might have been what the team needed to reload and start over from scratch. Houston has the offensive power to go against any team, but can they win consistently down the stretch?
Coach Mike D’Antoni has been surrounded by a lot of talent around him in his four years. The team has not been able to perform well in the playoffs. Houston has to at least make the conference finals for the season to be not another disappointment.
Boston is young, talented, and overdue for an NBA title. The addition of Kamba Walker has clearly made the chemistry of the team better than with Kyrie Irving. Even though Walker doesn’t have the numbers Irving had, his passing skills and the balance in the offense has looked smoother than last year.
Jayson Tatum has proven to be the number one guy in Boston and somebody the franchise should build around. His dynamic play on offense and defense has slowly made him one of the most complete players in the NBA. Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, and Marcus Smart are key factors in the team’s success.
Boston was a 5-5 team after the All-Star break so another example of a good team needing time off to recover. They got off to a fast start this season which they will have to do again. Boston should be contenders, but the Bucks and Raptors seem to be the teams to beat in the East.
The Celtics are consistently good and always in the running, but it’s been a long time since they had their big three. It’s time to Boston to get back on top.