I am so excited to share that my favorite sports, NBA basketball is getting near to its 2020 playoffs! Recently the NBA returned last July 22 to its abrupt 2019-20 season due to the pandemic in March. Although there have been changes in the setup which is quite weird particularly having a venue that has no physical fans, but only a few watching in the sidelines plus a few fans watching via digital screens – so players would somehow can still see fans in the side digitally.

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What’s the current standings and playoff picture?

Standings

Eastern Conference
1. Milwaukee Bucks (54-14) *
2. Toronto Raptors (49-18) *
3. Boston Celtics (45-23) *
4. Miami Heat (43-25) *
5. Indiana Pacers (42-26) *
6. Philadelphia 76ers (41-27) *
7. Brooklyn Nets (32-36)
8. Orlando Magic (32-37)
9. Washington Wizards (24-44)
                  
Western Conference
1. Los Angeles Lakers (51-16) *
2. Los Angeles Clippers (45-22) *
3. Denver Nuggets (45-23) *
4. Utah Jazz (43-25) *
5. Oklahoma City Thunder (42-25) *
6. Houston Rockets (42-25) *
7. Dallas Mavericks (41-29) *
8. Memphis Grizzlies (32-37)
9. Portland Trail Blazers (31-38)
10. San Antonio Spurs (29-38)
11. New Orleans Pelicans (29-38)
12. Phoenix Suns (29-39)
13. Sacramento Kings (28-39)

All teams with (*) clinched the playoffs 
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In the East, Nets (32-36) and Magic (32-37) are the teams who have not yet clinch the playoffs officially but they will eventually as the Wizards (24-44) are too far off from them.

Meanwhile in the West, the Grizzlies (32-37) are holding off the 8th spot but it is still up for grabs for the Blazers (31-38), Spurs (29-39), Pelicans (29-38), Suns (29-39) and Kings (28-39).

Playoff Picture if held today

Eastern Conference
(1) Milwaukee Bucks vs. (8) Orlando Magic
(4) Miami Heat vs. (5) Indiana Pacers
(3) Boston Celtics vs. (6) Philadelphia 76ers
(2) Toronto Raptors vs. (7) Brooklyn Nets
               
Western Conference
(1) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (8) Memphis Grizzlies
(4) Utah Jazz vs. (5) Oklahoma City Thunder
(3) Denver Nuggets vs. (6) Houston Rockets
(2) Los Angeles Clippers vs. (7) Dallas Mavericks
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My personal predictions

From the East, I think it’s going to be the Milwaukee Bucks, basically because Giannis is a monster on the floor and he’s proving that he is one of the elites or the MVP perhaps this season. He’s also continuously improving his game which is very scary for the other teams.

However, I am really rooting for the defending champs, the Toronto Raptors. Although they are the defending, they’ve become an underdog team after Kawhi left the team to go to the Clippers. But given this, they are still proving they are the Champs with the help of the underrated star like Kyle Lowry, the up rising star Pascal Siakam and the role player Fred VanVleet.

I also cannot eliminate the dark horse from the east, Miami Heat as they have a team depth and a bunch of role players who also can play like a star. Leading the team is Jimmy “buckets” Butler.

Looking from the Wester Conference, I still can’t decide from this 2 L.A teams, the L.A Lakers and Clippers as they are equally loaded with stars and role players. With Lebron James leading the Lakers together with Anthony Davis, I think has a very slight edge towards the Clippers lead by Kawhi Leonard with Paul George as his co-star. It will be such an action pack matchup when they meet hopefully in the conference finals.

Post parting words

As a fan, I am really thankful that despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the NBA decided to continue its season and it is really a blessing for us, fans as we can again experience the enjoyment and fun that the sport gives. I really hoped and prayed that other sports can also go back soon. But, ultimately our priority should always be the safety of the player, people behind the sports and the fans. Let’s hope the pandemic will end soon once the vaccine arrives in the very near future…

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