The 2022/23 NBA regular season has provided fans with plenty of highlight plays and enticing encounters featuring the very best talent in the league today, which has already sent the NBA world into bedlam surrounding the potential matchups that could soon emerge in the upcoming NBA playoffs.
There has been a palpable amount of excitement surrounding the conclusion of the 2022/23 regular NBA season as it will feature all of the league’s most established and well-respected teams, as well as their top star athletes, competing against each other for a chance to lift the Larry O’Brien Championship trophy.
Ahead of the NBA postseason, there is already expected to be a considerable sum of fixtures that are sure to draw in fans from all across the world, including those who may be interested in catching up on all the latest nba final odds featured on the BetUS sportsbook.
To gain a greater understanding as to which teams from the East and West are expected to contend for a spot in the postseason this year, this is a full breakdown of how the NBA playoff bracket is shaping up across both rivaling conferences:
1. Eastern Conference
The top four seeds of this year’s Eastern Conference (Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics Philadelphia 76ers, and Cleveland Cavaliers) have already booked their spot in the postseason and will thereby host their opening two games of the playoffs.
The race for the final two guaranteed playoff seeds is now likely to come down to the New York Knicks, Miami Heat, and Brooklyn Nets, with the Knicks being one of this season’s most surprising additions to the NBA playoff race.
The Heat was able to finish just one game shy of returning to the NBA Finals after losing a tight seven-game conference finals series to the Boston Celtics last season, while the Nets were amongst the most heavily favorited teams to reach the finals this season but have since traded away their franchise star names in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, meaning that they may have to settle with either a lower seeded playoff spot or a play-in selection.
The Eastern conference play-in race is also very tight as the Atlanta Hawks, Toronto Raptors, and Chicago Bulls all currently occupy this spot, alongside the aforementioned Nets, with the Indiana Pacers, Washington Wizards, and Orlando Magic still keeping their faint playoff hopes in check.
2. Western Conference
Much like the Eastern conference, the West is still being hotly contested amongst different teams that are still raring to earn a valuable spot in the postseason, with the final few guaranteed playoff seeds and play-in qualification spots being one of the most exciting races heading into the final few games of the season.
The Denver Nuggets, Memphis Grizzlies, and the resurging Sacramento Kings have all seemingly locked up their top three seeds and will be heading into the postseason with a tremendous amount of hype.
From the fourth seed, all the way down to the twelfth seed, there are still plenty of teams that are wagering their chances of earning a viable spot in the postseason or a respected finish in the play-in.
These teams include the LA Clippers, Phoenix Suns, Golden State Warriors, Minnesota Timberwolves, LA Lakers, New Orleans Pelicans, Oklahoma City Thunder, Dallas Mavericks, and finally the Utah Jazz, as well as the Portland Trail Blazers also hoping for a return to the postseason despite their chances waning fast.
The closing few days of the current NBA regular season are likely going to be one of the more memorable in recent memory as it remains very unclear as to which teams will earn a place in the playoffs and which teams will miss out, meaning that you don’t want to miss a minute of any NBA action featuring the Western Conference.
Which players and teams are expected to shine in the playoffs?
The Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics have already been labeled as the top two teams from the East and are likely to clash in the conference finals as Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jayson Tatum are expected to push their team toward NBA title contention.
Alongside the Bucks and Celtics, the 76ers are also led by an MVP candidate in Joel Embiid who is now leading the race to claim the prestigious award, with the Cavs also featuring their own depth of talent in the likes of Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland in the backcourt.
Heading over to the West, the Denver Nuggets now bolster the conference’s best record and are led by two-time reigning MVP Nikola Jokic who is still hoping to become one of the rare players to three-peat the award at the end of this season.
The Memphis Grizzlies also bolster a very young yet immensely talented roster featuring the high-flying point guard Ja Morant, with the revitalized Sacramento Kings soaring back into the playoffs for the first time in nearly two decades thanks to their All-Star duo of Domantas Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox.
Finals Predictions and Matchup Analysis
Looking ahead to the NBA Finals in 2023, there are several intriguing matchups that could materialize, each with its own unique storylines and subplots. The most likely scenario is a showdown between the Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Lakers, two of the most star-studded teams in the league. Both teams boast a wealth of talent, with the Nets featuring Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving, while the Lakers boast LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook. Another potential matchup could see the Milwaukee Bucks defending their title against the upstart Golden State Warriors, led by Stephen Curry and Draymond Green. Regardless of the matchup, the 2023 NBA Finals promise to be a thrilling and high-stakes affair, with plenty of drama and excitement in store for fans around the world.