NBA Playoffs 2017: Blazers, Bulls, And Thunder Create Interesting Match Up

NBA playoff standings for 2017 have some interesting teams battling for the final playoff slots. The Portland Trail Blazers, Chicago Bulls, and Oklahoma City Thunder could certainly provide some exciting first-round matchups if they can all qualify for the postseason. It would definitely give the top teams in each conference something to worry about in the final playoff brackets. That’s exactly what the postseason needs, as well, with the past few seasons presenting some very predictable matchups.

The updated NBA standings have the Chicago Bulls as the No. 7 seed in the East. While the team has dealt with injuries to players like Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler this season, the Bulls have still managed to remain competitive. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the Bulls are also having a lot of success against the top teams in the conference. So far, the Bulls are 2-0 against the Cleveland Cavaliers and 1-1 against the Boston Celtics. Continuing that success against the best teams in the East might just make the Bulls an underdog pick by analysts.

Dwyane Wade With Chicago Bulls

The Cavs still lead the way in the East, even though the team has stumbled a bit since January 1. Those struggles continued on Thursday night, Feb. 9, when the Cavs lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder. There had been a number of NBA rumors about the Cavs resting star players like LeBron James, Kevin Love, and Kyrie Irving, but they all ended up playing in this nationally televised game. Maybe they should have taken the night off after all because OKC started running away with the game during the second half.

At the bottom of the NBA playoff standings in the East, the Charlotte Hornets are trying to move up to the No. 8 slot. Currently, the Detroit Pistons have the final playoff spot in the conference, but there is still a lot of basketball left to be played in the second half of the season.

2017 Eastern Conference Playoff Standings

1. Cleveland Cavaliers (36-16)
2. Boston Celtics (34-19)
3. Washington Wizards (31-21)
4. Toronto Raptors (32-22)
5. Atlanta Hawks (31-22)
6. Indiana Pacers (29-23)
7. Chicago Bulls (26-27)
8. Detroit Pistons (25-28)
9. Charlotte Hornets (24-29)

LeBron James With Cavs

The Golden State Warriors are running away with the West again this season, racing out to a 44-8 record after signing Kevin Durant as a free agent. While the San Antonio Spurs (40-12) are also putting together a really nice season, the Spurs may have to settle for the No. 2 seed. Both teams are way ahead of the pack, meaning it won’t be too long until they are clinching the top two seeds in the Western Conference playoff standings. The Houston Rockets and L.A. Clippers are also looking to clinch homecourt advantage in a first-round series.

Toward the bottom of the list of teams trying to qualify for the postseason, the Oklahoma City Thunder have a strong hold on the No. 7 seed at 31-23. OKC could still move up, but doesn’t appear in any danger of losing a playoff spot. The No. 8-seeded Denver Nuggets are seven games behind them at 23-29, making it possible to sneak into the postseason. The Nuggets have to hold off several teams, though, including a Portland Trail Blazers roster that could make life difficult for any playoff opponent.

Damian Lillard With Blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers are at 23-31 so far, putting them just one game behind the Nuggets in the NBA playoff standings. The team has struggled with consistency but has two of the top-scoring guards in the entire NBA. Heading into Friday night, Feb. 10, Damian Lillard is averaging 26.1 points per game, with C.J. McColum scoring another 23.5 per night. That’s nearly 50 points per game from the guard tandem, making it a very difficult task for any opposing defenses to slow them down. Sneaking into the postseason would create a very intriguing matchup.

2017 Western Conference Playoff Standings

1. Golden State Warriors (44-8)
2. San Antonio Spurs (40-12)
3. Houston Rockets (39-17)
4. Utah Jazz (34-20)
5. L.A. Clippers (32-21)
6. Memphis Grizzlies (33-22)
7. Oklahoma City Thunder (31-23)
8. Denver Nuggets (23-29)
9. Portland Trail Blazers (23-31)

[Featured Image by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images]