As the exciting 2020 All-Star Break came to the end, here comes the end of the season and the playoffs. Some teams have already declared themselves as top powers and some still have to find their identity as the season is about to end. Today I will be discussing and ranking all 30 teams and their positioning at this moment.
#30. Golden State Warriors
Oh my. The Warriors came to this season from a devastating loss in the 2019 finals to the Toronto Raptors, but no one expected them to be this bad. They sit as the worst team in the league with a 12-43 record. During the postseason they signed All Star guard D'Angelo Russell. The deal odd due the fact that they still had Steph and Klay. Russell had his time to shine as Steph Curry got injured very early in the season. This little project of the Warriors did not go well as during the trade deadline they traded Russell for Andrew Wiggins of the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Warriors still had a gem this season; Eric Paschal who is a second round pick who is in the top of the rookie of the year race. The Warriors will also have a top pick in this draft class. The Warrior Dynasty may seem to be over, but next year with their new additions and returning All Star cast they will be back to dominance.
#29. Cleveland Cavaliers
Funny that the two teams that faced off 4 teams last decade ended up on the bottom of this list. The Cavaliers have been in a slump since LeBron left his second stint in Cleveland. The rumors of the trade of Kevin Love have haunted this team since last year, but during this trade deadline the Cavs didn't make that trade. They made a very odd trade. Andre Drummond. The All Star center was trading for nothing, but it still wasn't a very smart decision as he might leave during free agency. The Cavs have a very confusing future due to it being held by their two young guards, Colin Sexton and Darius Garland.
#28. Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks may seem to be in a bad spot right now, but no need to worry this young core is going to have a very bright future. Sophomore Trae Young is having an amazing season averaging 29.7 PPG and even starting in the All Star game. The team may have a better seed if John Collins did not have that 25 game suspension. The team has many great young pieces such as lottery picks De'Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish. The latest and most surprising addition to the team is star big man Clint Capela from the Houston Rockets who will be a pivotal pierce to this teams future.
#27. New York Knicks
There's not much to say about the Knicks. They are again as always a very bad team and Mitchell Robinson and R.J Barrett are looking like they are the only bright spots about this team.
#26. Minnesota Timberwolves
The Timberwolves started this season very hot and were the best team in the west for a couple of days. Andrew Wiggins was playing amazingly and was looking like that star he was projected to be when he came to the league. It all went down hill from there. The Timberwolves had a horrible losing streak. Their star player Karl-Anthony Towns was dealing with nagging injuries and they could not win a game to save their lives. The Timberwolves pulled the trigger and they traded Andrew Wiggins in the blockbuster D'Angelo Russell trade. Partnering Kat and D'lo will hopefully be a good sign for this team as they are close friend and potentially they can trade for Devin Booker in the off season as they are all such good friends.
The Pistons in my opinion are gonna have the most disappointing future out of every team in the league due to their lack of young talent except Luke Kennard and Sekou Doumbouya who is struggling at the moment. They traded their star in Andre Drummond. And Blake Griffin is having a horrible season compared to last season which was arguably his best. The only positive is Derrick Rose who is have an amazing season, but he most likely will want out of Detroit.
I came into this season thinking the Hornets will be the worst team in the league. The Hornets have actually been a surprising team and they have plenty of good young talent. PJ Washington has been good so far. Miles Bridges is having a good sophomore season and showed us his skills as he won MVP of the Rising Stars game. And of course Devonte Graham who surprised us all and is in the top of the Most Improved Player race. The Hornets have a nice developing young core and will have a bright future in this league
#23. Chicago Bulls
As a Bulls fan it hurts to put the Bulls this low. But, they have been very disappointing and Zach Lavine has been the one bright spot. He's averaging 25.3 PPG and wasn't even an All Star, but that's not what we are discussing. Injuries plague this team as Wendell Carter Jr. and Lauri Markkanen are dealing with season injuries. Coby White has been a nice scoring option. And Otto Porter Jr. has literally not done anything.
#22. Washington Wizards
The Wizards are in a sticky situation. It feels like John Wall hasn't been playing in years and his contract sits at one of the hugest in NBA history. Bradley Beal is pretty much putting up MVP numbers and was snubbed from the All Star game. And with the Wizards insisting on not trading Wall and Beal, they will be stuck at the mediocre stage for a long time.
#21. Sacramento Kings
The Kings were expected to be a playoff team after finishing 9th last year, but they have had a rough start. Fox hasn't played like we all thought that he would after being in the Most Improved Player race last year. The rumors of the Bogdonovic trade left a bad taste in the teams mouth and Buddy Hield who was their star player has been on and off. The Kings have a promising young core and if Bagley develops like his fellow comrades in his draft class they are bound to be a team to watch.
#20. Phoenix Suns
Phoenix has been at this stage of mediocrity for years and why would it stop now. At the break they are at a 22-33 record and are in that fighting for that 8 seed spot with the other above/below average west teams. Devin Booker was finally an all star this year
(Damian Lillard's replacement). Deandre Ayton had a 25 game suspension which set them back a lot. Ricky Rubio came in and has been the best point guard in the Devin Booker era. Kelly Oubre has been amazing as always. The Suns can really step up and be a top force in this league if this young trio sticks together.
#19. New Orleans Pelicans
We have a lot to unpack here. After the Anthony Davis drama last year the Pelicans needed a refresh and that is what they got. They traded Anthony Davis for picks, Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart. Additionally Julius Randle left and Jrue Holiday was left with these new pieces from the Lakers trade. And also they got the number one pick and got Zion Williamson. The Pelicans were waiting for Zion's coveted arrival, but he was injured until January. So everyone else stepped up including Brandon Ingram who will most likely win Most Improved Player and is a first time All Star. If this young core in New Orleans develop I see them becoming a power house team in the west.
#18.San Antonio Spurs
It's sad to see the Spurs be this mediocre. DeRozan is having an All-Star season, but no one is seeing due to how average they are. Aldridge is on the downhill of his career. And sooner than later Popovich will retire and this team will be a lottery team. There is not much to say about the Spurs, but hopefully they can find their next Tim Duncan or Kawhi Leonard.
The Magic are the first playoff team to appear on this list and they also happen to be the most boring. Vucevic isn't having the season he did last year. Jonathan Isaac is injured, but was playing at a Defensive Play of the Year level. And their brightest spot is the development of Markelle Fultz who they pretty much robbed from Philly. If their young trio of Fultz, Gordon and Jon Isaac develop together with Vucevic I could see them being a nice first round exit to the number one seed.
If you told me in 2015 that Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan were going to be on a team, I would've thought they were an instant Championship squad. But in 2020 not necessary. Kevin Durant won't debut until the 2020-21 season, Kyrie is dealing with injuries and DeAndre is washed up. But, their core is so good. Spencer Dinwiddie is a border line all star. Jarrett Allen is one of the best big men in the east and everyone else plays their role perfectly. Next season once everyone is healthy, the east is gonna have another problem.
#15. Portland Trailblazers
The Trailblazers are sitting as the 9 seed in the west and are the only below .500 team left on my list, but they are on a roll. Damian Lillard is having a monster season and is leading this team from the depths of hell to a playoff push. Carmelo Anthony shocked the world by how he is performing so far this season and so is Hassan Whiteside who is having his best season yet. The Trailblazers are missing key pieces in Nurkic and Collins, but due them having a top 5 easiest schedule so far I can see them taking that 8 seed.
#14. Memphis Grizzlies
Speaking of 8 seeds, the Grizzlies are the most surprising team yet. Ja Morant is having an amazing rookie champagne and is most likely gonna win Rookie of the Year. Brandon Clarke is also having a really good rookie season and Jaren Jackson Jr. is having a really good sophomore year. With the addition of Justice Winslow I have some early Thunder vibes from this team and in the future I see many all stars from this squad and Ja Morant becoming a superstar point guard.
The Pacers as always are gonna be a playoff team and they have been very surprisingly good this year beating the Bucks, Lakers and Sixers. Brogdon is having and amazing year after leaving Milwaukee. Sabonis was a first time all star. And now that Victor Oladipo has returned I see the Pacers as a threat in the playoffs. If the season were to end today they would have a rematch with the Boston Celtics which would be a good series, but will most likely favor Boston.
#12. Dallas Mavericks
Luka Doncic is a wizard. He is having a MVP season at age 20 and his leading the Mavericks to a playoff push next to newly acquired teammate Porzingis who plays better with Luka. The Mavericks are good don't get it twisted, but in my opinion they will most likely get bounced in the first round. The Mavericks are gonna be a championship contender in the next couple of years. This team is scary.
#11. Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder are tied with the Mavericks with a 33-22 record. However, I see the Thunder as a superior team. Chris Paul is revitalizing his career and made his first All Star game since 2016. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is having a greet sophomore season and has had monster performances such as that 20 point 20 rebound 10 assist triple double. Gallinari is playing well as always and Steven Adams can actually get rebounds now that Russ is gone. The Thunder came into the season as a supposed lottery team and now they may be a second round team in the playoffs.
Oh boy. This team screams drama. James Harden as always is putting up video game numbers averaging 35 points a game and at one point was averaging near 40. But, now he has Russell Westbrook on his team. I can say that I thought Russ was going to have a bad year, but he's surprised us all. In the 2020 calendar year he has been outplaying James Harden and he is looking like the best player on the team. After trading their center in Clint Capela, the Rockets are running this small ball lineup with their new pieces in Robert Covington, Demarre Carroll and Jeff Green. The Rockets are my wildcard team in the league because you never know what you get with this squad. If they don't shoot well and their role players don't hit their threes, this team will be in danger.
#9. Philadelphia 76ers
As the Sixers are my favorite team I have a lot to discuss here. Don't get it twisted Joel is the best center in the league and even though he has not been performing as much lately he has the pure talent to show everyone he is more than just talk. Ben Simmons game has expanded so much. Granted he has only hit two threes this year, he is evolving and slowly becoming the best player on this team. He is also my candidate for DPOY. Our number one struggle is our shooting which has improved with the addtions of Alec Burks and Glenn Robison 3. Al Horford has been very disappointing as the team though we would get the same Al from Boston. Moving him to the bench worked perfectly as the team beat the Clippers before the All Star break. Bench players like Mattise and Furkan have been performing on the offensive and defensive end. We need our shooters to shoot and players like Tobias to be that leader on the court.
#8. Utah Jazz
The Utah Jazz as always start the season slow and then go crazy mid season runs. Rudy Gobert and Donavan Mitchell are now all stars and performing to standards no one expected out of them. Bojan Bogdanovic has been a pleasant surprise for them as he has contributed with shooting and hitting two insane game winnings shots on the road. The struggle of Mike Conley so far hasn't affected them by that much, but maybe during the playoffs he will be their X-factor. Additionally the trade to get Jordan Clarkson to come off the bench was great for the team and he gave them a spark plug scorer.
The surprise team of the league. No one came into the league looking at Miami as title contenders. But, here they are led by Jimmy Butler who is benefiting of that Miami culture and getting these young guys to work. Bam Adebayo is a first time all star and is looking like a top center in this league. Rookies like Tyler Herro and of course rookie of the year candidate Kendrick Nunn. Role players like Duncan Robinson, Derrick Jones Jr., Kelly Olynyk and Meyers Leonard have all done their part to be great players to this team. And additionally Goran Dragic has accepted has role to move on to the bench and be and amazing bench point guard. And I almost forgot their newest additions. Andre Iguodala and Jae Crowder came from Memphis to become great bench defenders and will them in the heated race for the championship.
#6. Denver Nuggets
Denver came off from a surprising #2 seed last year and Jokic being an all NBA first team player. Everyone knew that they were gonna come with that same energy this year. They haven't been as fun or good but they are at the moment the number 2 seed in the west led by Jokic who is having another amazing season. A key "new" piece for this team was the arrival of Michael Porter Jr. He has been performing and has been a key piece in their championship run along side Jamal Murray and Jokic. Trading Malik Beasley was a bit confusing in my opinion, but I know they will make it work and be a powerhouse in the west.
Boston is deep. I like this team and it all starts from the top. Bringing in Kemba Walker instead of Kyrie Irving has brightened the energy in this team and Boston is looking like the first true title contender on this list(I still think Philadelphia will make it to the Eastern Conference over them). Jayson Tatum is a first time all star and we are seeing his offensive skills increase and he is becoming a star in this league. Jaylen Brown is also a border line all-star and is looking like a true star for this team. Gordon Hayward is having another breakout year and is becoming the player he was in Utah before he got injured. Boston is a problem for the rest of the league due to their offensive fire power, but their lack of size and rebounding may be their problem in the long run.
#4. Toronto Raptors
The Raptors are sitting at a 40-15 record which no one expected. After Kawhi left last summer everyone though that the Raptors were gonna be over. That didn't happen. Siakam took that next leap and became a first time All Star and even started on team Giannis. Kyle Lowry as always is performing and was an all star. And their role players like Fred Van Vleet, Og and others are all doing their role to letting them be the second seed in the east and potentially a finals contender.
#3.Los Angeles Clippers
We all knew that these three teams were gonna be up here, but we didn't know what number. The Clippers revamped their team with the addition of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to accompany Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell. It is quite crazy to say they are a disappointment at a 37-18 record. But, due to Paul George not performing close to what he was like last year, the team has struggled. Kawhi is top 3 in the MVP race as he has been playing out of his mind. The Clippers were always supposed to be a postseason team rather than a regular season team so keep in mind that even though they might not be as good right now they will be later. But the question in everyone's mind is "Are they the best team in L.A?" With new additions like Marcus Morris Sr. and today the buyout of Reggie Jackson this team just got deeper than it all ready was.
#2. Los Angeles Lakers
We all knew a team with LeBron James and Anthony Davis was bound to be good. People had low expectations for this team due to the hype of the Clippers. But this team has been good. Either than the embarrassing losses to the Clippers, Sixers, Bucks, Celtics, Pacers and Raptors, this team has been destroying every other team in the league and has not lost a single game to a below .500 team. The Lakers can't play in full strength at the moment due to injuries in their lineup, but when everyone is healthy the postseason is gonna be all about them. But can they beat the #1 team in the finals.
#1. Milwuakee Bucks
My oh my this team is a problem. They are on pace to become the third 70 win team of all time. At the moment they are sitting at a 46-8 record which is pretty impressive. The reigning and most likely this year MVP in Giannis Antetokounmpo is playing out of his mind and is putting up Wilt Chamberlain numbers and is looking to be the next superstar off this league. Kris Middleton is an all star for the second consecutive season. The rest of the team does it's job and works and follows their leader. The Bucks are looking to make it too and win the finals after the disappointing lose last year.
Feel free to comment your opinions on my list and tell me if I was wrong or write.