The Best NBA Teams Heading into the Playoffs

The Warriors’ historic season has dominated media coverage and rightfully so. Nearly every expert is picking them as the favorite to win the NBA, but things aren’t quite that simple. When the playoffs come around, anything can happen. Here are the top five teams that are most likely to win the NBA Finals.


  • Golden State Warriors

The Warriors have proven to be not only the best team in the NBA, but also the best team in NBA history. Barring an injury to one of their big three, the Warriors will be the toughest team to beat in the playoffs. The Warriors will have Stephan Currt, the best player on the court throughout the entirety of the Western Conference Playoffs, and arguably the best player in the whole league.


  • San Antonio Spurs

The Spurs figure to be the team most likely to dethrone the Golden State Warriors on their quest to back-to-back championships. This possibly being their last year with the trio of Duncan, Manu, and Parker, the Spurs put together one of the best under-the-radar seasons ever. Winning more than 80% of their games, the Spurs look to find an answer to the question: “What wins more games: a few great players, or a lot of good players?”Cavs

  • Cleveland Cavaliers

Even with the Warriors’ historic season, the Cavaliers’ odds of making it to the finals are better than anyone’s. This doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best team in the league, but, in the weak Eastern Conference, LeBron and company don’t figure to run into too much trouble. If the Cavs are able to stay healthy, they are going to be able to compete with any team in the NBA, including the Warriors, whom they fought for six games last season without the help of Kyrie Irving or Kevin Love.




  • Oklahoma City Thunder

The Thunder has the best duo of players in the league today: Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. Westbrook and Durant are both top-five players who take over any game they play in. If either of the two gets hot, they could beat any team in the NBA. If they’re both hot, they are just about unstoppable. Like the Spurs, the Thunder has put up a very respectable season without garnering much attention. Whatever team is forced to play the Thunder should beware, because anything can happen with players like Westbrook and Durant.


  • Toronto Raptors

The Raptors true chances of making an NBA finals run are very slim, but apart from the four other teams on this list, there isn’t much competition. The Raptors make the list by default. They are an extremely talented team that could win on any given night, but their only hope is that LeBron and the Cavs fall on their faces and that they can squeak by to the NBA Finals. The Raptors cannot beat a fully healthy Warrior or Spurs team, so if they do get by the Cavs, the Raptors’ hopes will rely heavily on an opposing team injury.

photos via @NBA, @Spurs, @OKCThunder, @Warriors, @Raptors

–Michael Hersey