One thing is for certain in the NBA, there aren’t many Cinderella stories. For the most part, picking the eight teams for each conference to make the playoffs isn’t difficult. However, teams look to improve every offseason and with players signing with new teams and players becoming better players each year, some teams may surprise us this season by sneaking into the 2015-2016 NBA playoffs.
The Miami Heat and not making the playoffs don’t seem to go together. Their historical franchise almost always seem like a given when it comes playoff time. However, due to injuries, they missed the playoffs and landed in 10th place. Healthy again, the Heat will look to regain supremacy in the Eastern Conference. Their resigning of Goran Dragic and Dwayne Wade, getting a healthy Chris Bosh back in the lineup, and adding depth such as Amare Stoudemire and rookie Justice Winslow will give them the punch they searched for last season.
The Indiana Pacers are another team, especially as of recent, that always seems to be there for the playoffs. Oddly enough, the Heat and Pacers played each other in the conference finals a few times. Although they lost their front court in Roy Hibbert and David West (which, honestly, wasn’t the most productive) they regained Paul George, added dynamic scorer Monta Ellis and drafted high potential center, Myles Turner. While they may search for answers in the post, small ball is the new trend in the NBA and the Pacers could possibly pull it off.
Each and every season, the Suns are trying to edge their way into the playoffs for the last spot but it never happens. This year, they could be one of the teams set in stone. The one thing the Suns were always missing was defense particularly rim protection. This offseason, they acquired one of the league’s best rim protectors and rebounders in Tyson Chandler. While their defensive standpoint will stand anew to many, they will try to continue their fast pace scoring by playing two point guards in Eric Bledsoe and Brandan Knight.
So many questionable things happened with the Kings this summer. The one thing standing out is the relationship between their head coach, George Karl and their best player, DeMarcus Cousins. While there have been mixed reviews on their association, the Kings also went out and signed guard, Rajon Rondo. Even though all of the noise about the Kings doesn’t sound good, there is no doubt that they are talented. The Kings finally got a point guard who knows how to run a team and will get Cousins and Gay the ball more than they usually would request. This could turn out to be a good scenario and the Kings could squeeze into the playoffs for their first appearance in a while.