The NBA has been underway for about a week and a half now and it's been a ton of fun. We've seen a lot of surprises, disappointments, and more! Coming into the restart, I had many doubts about whether this bubble would work out with the coronavirus. Sure enough there have been no positive tests among the players for the past 2 weeks which is great news!
One of the teams we did not expect to be this good is the Phoenix Suns. The Suns moved to 4-0 with a win against the Pacers on Thursday and remain one of the two unbeaten teams in the restart. The Suns currently sit in 10th place, only 2 games back of the 8th place Grizzlies who have had a horrible restart. The Suns remaining schedule is the Heat tomorrow, the Thunder on 8/10, the 76ers on 8/11, and the Mavericks on 8/13. In my opinion, the Suns could win all of these games. The only games I would think they have trouble with is the Thunder and potentially the Heat. Let's see what the Suns can do the rest of this restart and potentially sneak into the 8th seed to make the playoffs.
One of the teams that needs to do well but has not whatsoever is the New Orleans Pelicans. They have gone 1-3 in the bubble. 2 of these games were very winnable for the Pelicans yet they still lost. They lost to the Kings yesterday, and the Jazz on opening night. They lost to the Jazz by only 2 points in which they could have won and got absolutely outplayed by the Kings, losing 140 - 125. Coming into the restart, they knew they had work to do. Losing those games are not going to help them. They currently sit in 13th place, 2.5 games back of the 8th place Grizzlies.
Here is how the standings are looking currently in the NBA. ( Z clinched conference, x clinched playoff berth, e eliminated.)
In the east: 1. Bucks z 55-14, 2. Raptors x 49-18 , 3. Celtics x 45-23, 4. Heat x 43-26, 5. Pacers x 42-27, 6. 76ers x 41-27, 7. Nets 32-36, 8. Magic 32-37, 9. Hornets 23-42 7 games back of 8th place, 10. Wizards 24-44 7.5 games back of 8th place.
In the west: 1. Lakers z 51-17, 2. Clippers x 46-22, 3. Nuggets x 45-24, 4. Rockets x 43-25, 5. Jazz x 43-25, 6. Thunder x 42-25, 7. Mavericks x 41-30, 8. Grizzlies 32-37, 9. Trailblazers 32-38 .5 game back of 8th place, 10. Suns 30-39 2 games back of 8th, 11. Spurs 29-38 2 games back of 8th, 12. Kings 29-39 2.5 games back of 8th, and lastly, 13. Pelicans 2.5 games back of 8th.
It has been a lot of fun so far in the NBA restart, and for some teams the playoffs are truly going to come down to the wire. The NBA wraps up the rest of the regular season next Friday and many things can change in a week so let's see what it can bring!