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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The Western Conference Play-In Teams

7. Sacramento Kings*
8. Los Angeles Lakers*
9. Golden State Warriors
10. New Orleans Pelicans
(*winners of Play-In Tournament)

Looking at the landscape of the Western Conference, it's going to be increasingly difficult to select eight teams that are going to make the playoffs. No matter how things shake out by the end of the year, there's going to be two teams, at least, that are going to miss out on a postseason spot that, by the end of the season, may deserve one.

In this case, I predict the Sacramento Kings will win the 7th seed and the Los Angeles Lakers will sneak in as the 8th seed. The Golden State Warriors have begun to play better of late but I can't imagine they'll be able to erase a horrific first half of the season with a strong two months. I don't believe that's something the basketball gods will reward. As for the New Orleans Pelicans, I simply believe the Lakers and Kings are going to be playing better down the stretch. The unfortunate part of it is that not every above-average team will make the playoffs.

The Kings and Lakers are going to find their rhythm at some point over the final two months of the season and cement their spots in the playoffs by winning in the Play-In Tournament.