Unlike the NFL, the NBA doesn’t have many worst-to-first turnarounds. Even after acquiring superstar-level talent in the draft or free agency, the road to playoff success and contention can be long and winding.
But with the playoff field for 2014-15 set, those left out of the party must dare to dream. Not all teams that missed the playoffs are created equal – some are laughingstocks years away from relevance, others were decimated by major injuries, and serious transactions loom in the distance for at least one team looking for a shot in the arm. Playing fortune teller as it relates to the trajectory of an NBA franchise takes understanding of context first and foremost.
With months to go before the offseason gets going, all we’re equipped with are signs of what’s to come. For one franchise, maybe that’s as simple as guessing that they’ll make up a one or two-game difference that kept them out this season. For another, maybe that means focusing on their play following the All-Star break, as chemistry and momentum look to be tilting in their direction. Or maybe it’s as simple as one of college basketball’s exciting talents providing a big boost.
Whatever the case is, you shouldn’t be caught off guard when changes happen. Teams that seem like locks for the playoffs now will fall off due to injury, discontent or other unplannable factors, opening the door for surprise teams to rise out of the lottery muck. Who will it be? We’re betting these are the 5 Lottery Teams That Will Actually Make the Playoffs Next Year.
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