NBA playoff standings for 2017 will become even more important following the All-Star break. The 30 teams are all back in action, with the 16 spots in the 2017 NBA Playoffs up for grabs. This is when teams start making deals to improve for the second half, with the New Orleans Pelicans already making a huge splash by acquiring DeMarcus Cousins from the Sacramento Kings. However, is a combination of Cousins and Anthony Davis good enough for the Pelicans to beat the Golden State Warriors in a first-round series?
In the updated NBA standings, the New Orleans Pelicans aren’t even one of the top eight teams in the Western Conference. They aren’t even ninth or tenth place. Currently, the Pelicans are the No. 11 team in the West with a 23-34 record. This will make it difficult for the Pelicans to move up the NBA playoff standings, with no realistic shot of moving higher than the No. 8 seed. The No. 7 seeded Oklahoma City Thunder are at 32-25, putting the team nine games ahead of the Pelicans so far. OKC could also move up with a key acquisition at the NBA trade deadline.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the Portland Trail Blazers have begun breaking down the roster this season, possibly indicating that the team could slide down the Western Conference standings. The Denver Nuggets are also entertaining offers for key players and the Sacramento Kings just traded away the best player on their roster (DeMarcus Cousins). This might all make it easier for the Pelicans to move up and into that No. 8 seed. It would then give the team a first-round playoff series against the two-time defending Western Conference champions.
2017 NBA Playoff Standings – Western Conference
1. Golden State Warriors (47-9)
2. San Antonio Spurs (43-13)
3. Houston Rockets (40-18)
4. Los Angeles Clippers (35-21)
5. Utah Jazz (35-22)
6. Memphis Grizzlies (34-24)
7. Oklahoma City Thunder (32-25)
8. Denver Nuggets (25-31)
9. Sacramento Kings (24-33)
10. Portland Trail Blazers (23-33)
11. New Orleans Pelicans (23-34)
Over in the Eastern Conference, the Cleveland Cavaliers are still running the show. Even with All-Star power forward Kevin Love out with another injury, the Cavs hold a three-game lead over the Boston Celtics. That could change if the Celtics can acquire a player like Jimmy Butler before the NBA trade deadline, especially since team general manager Danny Ainge has the assets to pull off a deal like that. Would the Chicago Bulls really give up on a shot to make it into the postseason? Currently, the Bulls are the No. 7 seed in the latest NBA playoff standings for the East.
A team that has really been slumping lately is the Indiana Pacers. The team was sitting at 29-22 just two weeks ago but has now gone on a six-game losing streak. Now the Pacers are only three games ahead of the ninth-place Milwaukee Bucks. While it would be very difficult for the Bucks to catch up, it might give the front office in Indiana a hint that the current roster isn’t as good as previously advertised. Could that help lead to more Paul George trade rumors and the possibility that the franchise decides to go into a full rebuild?
There is no denying that the Cleveland Cavaliers are still the team to beat in the Eastern Conference. With LeBron James and Kyrie Irving as the core of the roster, the team should be able to hold off the other contenders. That hasn’t stopped Cavs trade rumors from linking the team to star players like Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks. Adding Anthony, while retaining James, Love, and Irving would certainly be a roster that could compete with the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals again.
2017 NBA Playoff Standings – Eastern Conference
- Cleveland Cavaliers (39-16)
- Boston Celtics (37-20)
- Washington Wizards (34-21)
- Toronto Raptors (33-24)
- Atlanta Hawks (32-24)
- Indiana Pacers (29-28)
- Chicago Bulls (28-29)
- Detroit Pistons (27-30)
- Milwaukee Bucks (25-30)
- Miami Heat (25-32)
[Featured Image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]