The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

Several NBA Teams Surge As Regular Season Nears a Close


The NBA playoffs are a month and a half away, and so far the Boston Celtics are the runaway favorite to win the Eastern Conference and looking like the biggest contender for the NBA Conference Finals. However, in the Western Conference, there are four teams battling for the top spot: the Minnesota Timberwolves, Oklahoma City Thunder, Denver Nuggets, and Los Angeles Clippers.

Starting off in the East, which is viewed by most analysts as the less competitive conference, the Boston Celtics are seen to be in a tier of their own. They currently stand 50-14 with a winning percentage of 78.7%, the highest in the entire NBA this year. Leading the team is star small forward Jason Tatum, who is averaging 27.1 points per game. This team has been consistent all season, but has been excelling even more as of late with an 11 game winning streak. 

One of the Celtics most impressive wins came recently as they defeated the Golden State Warriors (9th in the Western Conference) by 52 points on Mar. 3. The Golden State Warriors are a team who have massively stepped up their game, winning all but two games since the All Star Break and also making a run towards the playoffs. 

Freshman Logan Tran when looking ahead at the Playoffs said, “I love Tatum, but his Celtics always underperform in the Playoffs, and therefore I have the Nuggets repeating this year and winning the Eastern Conference.”

The Milwaukee Bucks are another big contender, winning seven of their last ten games. The pairing of Giannis Antetokuompo and Damian Lilliard or “Dame Time” has been crucial to their major success. Antetokounmpo, nicknamed the “Greek Freak,” has been excelling this year, averaging just under 31 points with 11 rebounds and 6 assists.

The Bucks won’t have too many problems scoring points moving forward, especially in the fourth quarter where they are known to expand their lead and closeout games successfully. 

Sophomore Jaxon Thompson said, “I have been disappointed in the Bucks despite loving Giannis and Dame as a duo.” 

Currently leading the Western Conference are the Minnesota Timberwolves with a record of 43-19. This is the team that has given the Denver Nuggets (the defending champions) their biggest competition. In their meeting earlier this year, the Timberwolves handed the Nuggets a loss of 110-89, in favor of the Timberwolves.

Another major threat in the West is Oklahoma City, led by star point and shooting guard Shai Gilgeous Alexander, who is averaging over 31 points per game and is one of the best guards in the league right now. The Thunder have built their momentum off taking a different approach to the game. They have great playmaking, size, and high IQ, all of which are good attributes to have going into the playoffs.

Next up, looking at the defending champs in the Denver Nuggets, currently sitting in 3rd with a record of 42-19. They have had an incredible recent stretch of games since the All-Star break, positioning themselves to make another run at the title. Nikola Jokic is the best player on their team and is a walking triple double (double figure points, rebounds, and assists). Jamal Murray is another incredible shooter who also helps boost the team’s record.

Junior James Harrington said, “I fully expect the Nuggets to repeat. They’ve got the best player in the lead in Jokic and the size to win the whole thing.”

The final team has a smaller chance of winning the West, but an opportunity nonetheless, and that is the LA Clippers. As of late, health hasn’t been on their side, having multiple players out for different health reasons. However, when James Harden, Paul George, and Kawhi Leonard share the court they are almost unbeatable and their record of 40-21 proves just that. If they continue to trend upwards, they definitely are a serious contender moving forward amongst all these great teams. 

With only about six weeks left until the end of the regular season, NBA fans will remain excited as they root on their favorites and wait to see how the Playoffs will shape out.


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