The 2021-22 NBA season is all set to begin on October 19. The upcoming season will see the league return to the 82-game format after conducting only 72 games during the 2020-21 season. After the regular season, the playoffs will commence on April 16, 2022.
NBA teams likely to miss the playoffs from the Eastern Conference
After the trades and drafts, teams' rosters are beginning to take shape ahead of the new NBA season. On that note, here's a look at the five NBA teams from the Eastern Conference that are most likely to miss the playoffs.
The teams have been ranked based on their roster strength and previous performances. Without further ado, let's get started:
#5 Washington Wizards
The Washington Wizards were the eighth NBA Eastern Conference seed in the 2020-21 season. Their star players Bradley Beal and the now LA Lakers point guard Russell Westbrook carried the team to the first round of the playoffs. However, they were ousted by the Joel Embiid led Philadelphia 76ers.
After losing three straight games, the Wizards won the fourth game, but their comeback was cut short in the next. The team suffered a brutal thrashing despite having exceptional scorer Bradley Beal and Mr Triple Double on their roster.
Now that Westbrook has moved to the NBA's Western Conference to join the Lakers, it will be tough for the Wizards to reach the playoffs.
There are many reasons for predicting the same. First, Brodie was the main ball feeder and rebounder as well as the second-best scorer in the team. His ability to run on-court plays will now have to be executed by Beal and Thomas Bryant, the prime feeders on the roster now.
Even with the addition of Spencer Dinwiddie and Aaron Holiday as the team's point guards, their low numbers on both stats and points could bring no respite to the vacuum left by Russ' exit.
With Kyle Kuzma's addition, the team now has a reliable perimeter shooter and a decent rebounder. However, Kuzma's history of unreliable performances under pressure could possibly become another hindrance in the Wizards' NBA playoffs aspirations.
#4 Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cleveland Cavaliers have not played in a single playoff game since their NBA Finals loss at the hands of the Golden State Warriors. With LeBron James moving to the West in the 2018-19 season, the Cavs have maintained their position at the bottom of the seedings for three consecutive seasons.
In fact, their 2020-21 13th seeding was their best performance in the last three seasons. Despite bringing Ricky Rubio onboard as a playmaker, the Cavs could improve their win-loss percentage. But it is unlikely to confirm their berth in the 2021-22 NBA playoffs.
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