With the course of the NBA season heating up and the All-Star break quickly approaching, it’s time to look at how every division in the league will shape out and who has the best chance to earn the top seed in both the Eastern and Western Conferences. Many teams have played very good basketball up until this point; there are teams on the rise, such as the Washington Wizards, who could very well win their respective divisions. The Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors have somewhat locked up the top seed in their respective conferences before even hitting the All-Star break.
So with that, let’s take a look at how each division in the NBA will shape out leading up to the playoffs.
Predicting Every NBA Division Winner
In the Atlantic Division, the Toronto Raptors are clearly the forefront of that division currently and haven’t looked back all season. Currently, the Celtics have a one-game lead on the Raptors in the division. Though the Boston Celtics have been emerging as of late, the Raptors have this division unless they begin to slump in the second half of the season, which is highly unlikely considering the quality basketball they have been playing throughout the season.
The forefront of this division is certainly the Cavaliers. The Cavs really have no competition in their division this season. The Chicago Bulls have been a bust as a team, and the Pacers and Bucks and Pistons have no chance of winning the division. Cleveland will take home yet again another division title for 2016-17. They could also lock up the one seed in the Eastern Conference by having a better record than Toronto, which is already in place.
This division is probably the hardest division to pick a winner at this point. Both the Washington Wizards and the Atlanta Hawks are playing consistent basketball, though the Wizards have been surging since early December. The Southeast will come down to the final game of the regular season. With that in mind, Washington will wind up winning this division and clinching the four seed in the playoffs. Atlanta will get a five seed and play the Wizards in the first round.
In this division, the league has a big surprise. The Utah Jazz are in first place! Yeah, that’s right, the Jazz. That team has come a long way as far as rebuilding goes, and everyone expects them to just get better. They currently lead the division over the Oklahoma City Thunder, who have been slumping lately. Prediction: The Jazz win the division and clinch a three seed in the playoffs.
The obvious choice in this division is the Golden State Warriors. Fire power all around in Oakland, and they aren’t holding back. The Dubs have been crushing opponents all season, and no one can stop them. No other team in the division stands a chance this season. The Warriors will clinch the division and the one seed in the Western Conference.
Just with the Southeast, this division will come down to the final game. Currently, the San Antonio Spurs have a three game lead on the Houston Rockets, but things could get turned around really quick. If the Rockets can begin winning games, they can dethrone the Spurs of a division title and a higher playoff seed. Prediction: The Rockets surge late in the season and clinch the division.
WASHINGTON, USA – DECEMBER 9: Washington Wizards John Wall (2) dribbles past Houston Rockets Patrick Beverley (2) at the Verizon Center in Washington, USA on December 9, 2015. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)