April NBA Power Rankings: Playoff Seeding Predictions

April NBA Power Rankings: Playoff Seeding Predictions

by April 2, 2021 2 comments

It’s time for the April NBA Power Ranking! This month we will predict the playoff seedings from both conferences. Keep in mind, there will be play-in games between the teams ranked 7-10 in their respective conferences, which will determine the seventh and eighth seeds for the playoffs.

  1. Brooklyn Nets

Record: 33-15

Previous: 2

Despite only playing seven games with their top three players (Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden), the Nets hold the top record in the Eastern Conference. With Durant returning soon from injury, the Nets should only get better and will easily get the top seed come playoff time.

Playoff Seed: First (East)

  1. Utah Jazz

Record: 35-11

Previous: 1

Utah continues to hold the top record in the league and show no signs of slowing down. The Lakers injury issues will help lock in the Jazz as the top seed in the West during playoffs.

Playoff Seed: First (West)

  1. Philadelphia 76ers

Record: 32-15

Previous: 3

With Joel Embiid set to return to action this week from a knee injury, the Sixers should be a great shape to stay near the top of the East. However, they won’t be able to beat out the Nets for the top seed.

Playoff Seed: Second (East)

  1. Phoenix Suns

Record: 33-14

Previous: 7

Devin Booker and Chris Paul have led the Suns to the second-best record in the West. The further we get into the season, the more Phoenix looks like an actual contender. They’ll control the third seed in the West come playoff time.

Playoff Seed: Third (West)

  1. Milwaukee Bucks

Record: 30-17

Previous: 5

In the month of March, Giannis Antetokounmpo was on a tear, posting three straight triple doubles and averaging 26 points per game. There’s no question the Bucks will get a high seed in the East, though they’ll have to break their track record of losing early in the playoffs.

Playoff Seed: Third (East)

  1. Los Angeles Clippers

Record: 32-17

Previous: 4

The Clippers have been consistently good this season and currently hold the third best record in the West. By the end of the season, they should be able to pass the Suns due to simply having more talent.

Playoff Seed: Second (West)

  1. Denver Nuggets

Record: 29-18

Previous: 11

Denver has continued to ride their MVP candidate Nikola Jokic to the fifth seed in the West. With the Lakers star players banged up, the Nuggets should pass them before the playoffs to take over the fourth seed.

Playoff Seed: Fourth (West)

  1. Los Angeles Lakers

Record: 30-18

Previous: 6

With Anthony Davis and LeBron James out with lower body injuries, the Lakers haven’t looked the same. They are now 5-5 in their last 10 games and show signs they could drop as low as the sixth seed. The Lakers desperately need to get healthy.

Playoff Seed: Fifth (West)

  1. Portland Trailblazers

Record: 29-18

Previous: 12

Now that CJ McCollum has returned from injury, the Trail Blazers have started to take form as a contender in the Western Conference. Damian Lillard has put up MVP numbers this season, averaging 30 points and eight assists per game.

Playoff Seed: Sixth (West)

  1. Charlotte Hornets

Record: 24-22

Previous: 19

The Hornets received devastating news that LaMelo Ball (the favorite to win Rookie of the Year) will miss the rest of the season with a broken wrist. Charlotte is still good enough to make the playoffs, but they will likely drop down a few spots.

Playoff Seed: Seventh (East)

  1. Dallas Mavericks

Record: 25-21

Previous: 14

Dallas is currently in the playoff picture, however, teams are looking to get into the top six to avoid playing in the play-in round. Unfortunately, the Mavericks will remain in the seventh seed at the end of the season.

Playoff Seed: Seventh (West)

  1. New York Knicks

    Record: 24-23

Previous: 17

The Knicks have been one of the biggest surprises this season, and will likely make the playoffs for the first time since 2013. Julius Randle has been exceptional, averaging 23 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists per game.

Playoff Seed: Fifth (East)

  1. Miami Heat

Record: 24-24

Previous: 9

After being under .500 for most of the season, the Heat have bounced back and currently hold the fifth seed in the East. The addition of Victor Oladipo should give the Heat a great chance to repeat as Eastern Conference champions this season.

Playoff Seed: Fourth (East)

  1. Boston Celtics

Record: 23-25

Previous: 10

The Celtics made several moves at the trade deadline, acquiring Evan Fournier, Moritz Wagner, and Luke Kornet. Still, there seems to be something off with the team this season, so Boston should expect a lower seed for the playoffs.

Playoff Seed: Sixth (East)

  1. Atlanta Hawks

Record: 23-24

Previous: 22

The Hawks put together an eight game win streak in March to jump into the playoff picture in the East. With John Collins set to miss time with an ankle injury, Atlanta may drop in the seeding before the season ends.

Playoff Seed: Ninth (East)

  1. Golden State Warriors

Record: 23-24

Previous: 13

Before Stephen Curry returned from injury, the Warriors lost several games in a row and fell to the ninth spot in the West. If they can stay healthy, Golden State should remain where they are by the end of the season.

Playoff Seed: Ninth (West)

  1. San Antonio Spurs

Record: 24-22

Previous: 15

Aside from buying out LaMarcus Aldridge, the Spurs were quiet at the trade deadline. The strong backcourt with DeMar DeRozan and Dejounte Murray will get the Spurs into the playoffs, although they may not make it out of the play-in game.

Playoff Seed: Eighth (West)

  1. Indiana Pacers

Record: 21-25

Previous: 16

Both the Pacers and Domantas Sabonis cooled off in the month of March. Indiana, who currently sits ninth in the East, will definitely make the playoffs but should expect an early exit. 

Playoff Seed: Eighth (East)

  1. Memphis Grizzlies

Record: 22-22

Previous: 18

The Grizzlies have yet to get back their center Jaren Jackson Jr, who got injured at the end of last season. They have enough talent to get a low seed, however a loaded Western Conference will result in the Grizzlies missing the playoffs once again.

Playoff Seed: N/A

  1. New Orleans Pelicans

Record: 21-25

Previous: 20

New Orleans has won four of their last five games thanks to Zion Williamson, who has scored upwards of 25 points in the last seven games for the Pelicans. If they continue to play this well, they could pull off an upset or two in the playoffs.

Playoff Seed: Tenth (West)

  1. Toronto Raptors

Record: 18-29

Previous: 8

Toronto has continued to disappoint this season and are currently 11 games under .500. Regardless, the Raptors are talented enough to secure the tenth seed in the East, though they will likely not make it past the play-in round.

Playoff Seed: Tenth (East)

  1. Chicago Bulls

Record: 19-27

Previous: 21

Chicago made a splash at the trade deadline, acquiring All-Star center Nikola Vucevic from the Magic. Between Zach LaVine and Vucevic, the Bulls look to have a solid future ahead of them, but not in 2021.

Playoff Seed: N/A

  1. Sacramento Kings

Record: 22-25

Previous: 26

De’Aaron Fox was recently awarded with Player of the Week, after three consecutive games with scoring totals of 37, 44, and 36 points. The Kings won’t make the playoffs this season but they do have a promising future.

Playoff Seed: N/A

  1. Oklahoma City Thunder

Record: 19-27

Previous: 23

Oklahoma City now has 34 draft picks over the next seven seasons after trading away George Hill at the deadline. The Thunder’s front office will have a lot of work to do over the next several years as the franchise heads into a rebuild.

Playoff Seed: N/A

  1. Washington Wizards

Record: 17-29

Previous: 25

The other day, Russell Westbrook became the first player in NBA history to record a triple double with 35+ points and 20+ assists. Other than Westbrook and Bradley Beal’s occasionally big games, Wizards’ fans haven’t had much fun this season.

Playoff Seed: N/A

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers

Record: 17-30

Previous: 27

Cleveland officially moved on from Andre Drummond and seem to be heading towards a rebuild. Hopes of a playoff appearance seem to be years away.

Playoff Seed: N/A

  1. Minnesota Timberwolves

Record: 11-36

Previous: 30

Minnesota still has the worst record in the league, however they have won several impressive games over the last two weeks. They won’t make the playoffs this season, but the Timberwolves have enough talent to push for them next year.

Playoff Seed: N/A

  1. Houston Rockets

Record: 13-34

Previous: 28

Houston ended their double digit losing streak but still have the second worst record in the NBA. On the bright side, trading away Oladipo at the trade deadline was the right move, even if they got little compensation in return.

Playoff Seed: N/A

  1. Orlando Magic

Record: 16-31

Previous: 24

Orlando cleared significant cap space and acquired several draft picks at the trade deadline by trading away Evan Fournier, Nikola Vucevic, and Aaron Gordon. As a result, the Magic are in a great spot to start a rebuild.

Playoff Seed: N/A

  1. Detroit Pistons

Record: 13-34

Previous: 29

Detroit elected to keep their players at the trade deadline and will continue to rebuild with the hopes of making the playoffs in the future.

Playoff Seed: N/A

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