NBA: Taking an updated look at playoff projections

NBA Los Angeles Lakers LeBron James and LA Clippers Kawhi Leonard (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
NBA Los Angeles Lakers LeBron James and LA Clippers Kawhi Leonard (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

 With roughly 20 games remaining in the regular season, we take an updated look at the NBA playoff projections

Measuring the size of this portrait would take hours. It has a multitude of teams, records, and statistics. But it’s not a Kodak moment.

It’s the lottery. Not the Powerball, Pick 5, Pick 3, or any others you’ve played at your local gas station. This lottery is about playoff chances. But the winning numbers in terms of teams making the playoffs are different than your normal Powerball ticket.

Eight-two games. That’s the length of a full NBA schedule for all teams. So, who’s in the playoff picture?

More from Sir Charles In Charge

According to ESPN’s Basketball Power Index, there are 15 teams who have a 99 percent chance to make it in. That percentage was calculated from the first half of the season as we approach the regular season’s ending with approximately 20 games remaining.

Problem-solving is solved through the process of questions and answers. But what’s the biggest problem? The problem for many NBA experts is instantiating who will get the final spot in the Western Conference.

That problem is being ascertained through a series of calculations by both ESPN’s Basketball Power Index, and FiveThirtyEight has a full in-depth list of current player and team ratings. According to their statistics, 14 teams have a 99 percent chance to make the playoffs. Of course, the Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, and Toronto Raptors have already exceeded that 99 percent. But there are 11 other teams scavenging for top seeds.

Without naming all 11; the Clippers, Rockets, 76ers, Celtics, Raptors, and the Nuggets all have legitimate chances to earn a top seed. Why? All of the teams above have exceeded 50-plus wins this season. With an estimated 20 games remaining before playoffs; most of these teams will be neck in neck for top seeds. The Bucks have had an incredible season thus far. But the Lakers can’t be alleviated in regards to seasonal glory. LeBron and Anthony Davis are two of the NBA’s biggest threats.

There’s been a bountiful supply of scoring from both James and Davis. The solicitude that LeBron and AD have for the other players on the Lakers roster, should help them when the playoffs start. Incidentally, the Rockets’ and Celtics’ could make noise as well. Houston, who currently sits at 39-23 on the season, should be in the conversation for a top seed with the likes of James Harden and Russell Westbrook. Boston currently sits at 42-20. It’ll be up to Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart, Gordon Hayward, among others in order for the Celtics’ to make a deep playoff run.

Again, it’s not the lottery you were thinking of. It’s not the Pick 5, Pick 3, or Powerball. It’s the lottery for playoff chances.

Next. NBA: 5 x-factors heading into the final 20 games of the regular season. dark

It’s not a Kodak moment. But that portrait of teams with playoff chances is still too big.

Let’s save the final measurement after the regular season.