An Early Look At This Year’s Playoff Teams

By Patrick Park, Staff Writer

As the NFL season comes to an end, the NBA has taken off with a few teams looking to make the playoffs. Last season’s champions were the Los Angeles Lakers, whose last championship was in 2010. The Lakers have a star-studded roster with Lebron James and Anthony Davis leading the way. However, it seems the Lakers are on a small decline in 2021. 


Yesterday, the Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Utah Jazz 89 – 114. This is surprising considering the Lakers were champions just a few months prior. Now, the Utah Jazz seems like the team to make the championship this year. However, this is not surprising as the Jazz has slowly solidified itself as one of the best teams in the NBA. Last year the Utah Jazz made the Western Conference finals, where they lost. However, their current roster (Star guard Donavan Mitchell, Rudy Godert, Mike Conely Jr., and Bogan Bogdanovic) have all contributed greatly to this amazing season.


The Brooklyn Nets are also a favorite to make the playoffs in the NBA right now. With star players such as James Harden, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant, it will be amazing if they do not make the playoffs. Another team that has not received enough attention is the Philadelphia 76ers. Considering they have both Ben Simmons, an elite defender, and Joel Embiid, an MVP forerunner, it’s not surprising to see their record. The 76ers are first in the Eastern Conference with the Brooklyn Nets trailing slightly behind with 22-12. Finally, we have to discuss the Los Angeles teams. 


The Lakers and the Clippers were the most discussed teams prior to the 2020 season. The Clippers had acquired both Kawahi Leonard and Paul George, both elite at their position. The Clippers had a very strong start. However, it ended as they finally reached the playoffs with a lot of criticism going to Paul George for his lack of performance. Now that the Clippers are back, it will be interesting to see if they can make the playoffs. Although, it does seem like there is an improvement from last year. The Clippers are currently 23 – 11 and are on their way to the playoffs. The Los Angeles Lakers are the defending champions, winning their first title in 10 years. Will they be able to have the same amazing season? 


On paper, the answer is yes. The Lakers signed Anthony Davis, one of their best players, to a 5-year extension worth up to $190 million while Lebron James is at a 2-year extension worth up to $85 million. These two players alone make the Lakers a force to be reckoned with. In addition to Davis and James, the Lakers signed Dennis Schroder, a player that many fans are excited to see. The Lakers are currently third in the Western Conference, behind the aforementioned Clippers and Jazz, but anything could change in the next few weeks. Make sure to keep an eye out for these teams!