Predicting the final NBA Playoff bracket based on All-Star Break standings

Predicting what the final NBA Playoff bracket will look like after the post All-Star Break run.

Sacramento Kings v Oklahoma City Thunder
Sacramento Kings v Oklahoma City Thunder / Joshua Gateley/GettyImages
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5. Philadelphia 76ers

Heading into the final stretch of the season, there may not be a team in the Eastern Conference that is facing more questions than the Philadelphia 76ers. Joel Embiid may or may not come back before the end of the regular season and if he doesn't, we don't know how much Tyrese Maxey, Buddy Hield, and the rest of this supporting cast will be able to hold up. For what it's worth, Hield has looked really good through the first few games he's played in a Sixers uniform.

Whether or not he'll be able to sustain this level of play remains to be seen but the Sixers should absolutely be encouraged. As a safe prediction, the Sixers will enter the playoffs as the 5th seed. I can't imagine there's going to be a huge collapse down the stretch, even without Embiid, but I can't see them keeping pace with the likes of the Milwaukee Bucks or New York Knicks.

Finishing as the 5th seed wouldn't be all that bad for the Sixers. Especially if they do so with the idea that Embiid is going to return either in the final couple of weeks before the playoffs or during the postseason.