The NBA Playoffs Have officially begun, and many fans have been glued to their TVs to watch some already amazing series. Whether it is the overtime thriller that was Game 1 of Bucks/Heat or the last-second dagger from Trae Young in Hawks/Knicks, the 2021 Playoffs have been fun to watch. There are obvious favorites to win it all such as the Nets, 76ers, and Jazz, but which bottom 4 team has the best chance to win it all?
Los Angeles Lakers
After an embarrassing loss in Game 1, Lebron and company bounced back to steal game two from the Suns in Phoenix. Although the Lakers are the defending champs, they are entered the postseason as the 7th seed in the West and therefore still need to be included as a bottom-four seed.
With Lebron James and Anthony Davis on your team, there is not much there to slow you down. In Game 1 against Phoenix, the Lakers seemingly self-imploded. AD struggled mightily and Lebron still seemed to be feeling things out. The Lakers were able to turn things around in Game 2 and have a great shot at taking a 3-1 lead if they take care of business at home these next 2 games. If the Lakers make it out of round one, their odds of repeating as champs seem to grow exponentially.
Memphis has seemed to be a surprise team of sorts since the start of the Play-In Tournament. Many fans expected their spot to be overtaken by the Warriors, but here we are and Golden State is nowhere to be seen. Memphis stole Game 1 in Utah by taking advantage of Donovan Mitchell’s absence. In Spida’s return in Game 2, however, the Jazz evened the series and are preparing for a road trip in Memphis for the next two games.
Ja Morant has been playing out of his mind in the playoffs, but his team would need to step up more if they want any chance of moving on. If the Grizzlies are able to pull off a huge upset against Utah, they will have a difficult road ahead to the Finals. If Ja continues playing at such an exceptional level, though, the Grizzlies could ride the hot hand to victory.
The Eastern Conference is significantly more top-heavy than the West, and the 7th-seeded Celtics have found themselves playing the championship-favorited Brooklyn Nets in Round 1. Currently, the Celtics find themselves down 2-0 in the series, but they face some upside as they are about to enter their home part of the series.
If the Celtics take care of business at home and tie the series at 2-2, I see a real possibility that Jayson Tatum can lead his team to an upset game in Brooklyn to take the series. Even if that does happen, though, it is not seeming likely that Boston will have what it takes to make a deep run this year with one of their best players still sitting on the sidelines.
The true definition of a Cinderella story, Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook have led their team to the final playoff seed in the East. Despite their impressive run, the Wizards now find themselves down 2-0 against a strong Philadelphia team. Westbrook exited Game 2 early after tweaking an already-injured ankle, but the controversy was started as he was heading to the locker room. A 76ers fan threw popcorn at Westbrook as he was exiting the arena, and one thing you do not want to do is make Westbrook angry.
While a scenario where Washington wins seems unlikely, a fired-up Westbrook could lead his team to an upset. Even if they defeat Philly, I do not think this is the year where Washington wins it all.
No matter what happens, fans from across the country will continue to tune in to what has already been an impressive playoffs. With each series ramping up and most entering Game 3s, things could be set to heat up even more.