We’re in the stretch run of the 2019-2020 NBA season and the playoffs are just around the corner. The Milwaukee Bucks became the fastest team to clinch a berth in the playoffs ever, securing their spot Sunday night. With the first domino falling, it’s only a matter of time before more teams start to lock up their spot in the playoffs.
Here we’ll be updating you on each team that has clinched heading into the final two months of the regular season. We’ll also take a look at some preseason playoff odds on DraftKings Sportsbook and see how the team performed up to this point in the season. Below is each team that has secured their spot.
Date of berth: Tuesday, March 10
How they clinched: Win over Indiana Pacers
Preseason playoff odds: -1000
Record upon clinching: 43-21
Analysis: The Celtics picked up a win over the Pacers to seal up their berth in the postseason. It’s been an impressive season for Boston considering all the injuries the team has dealt with in Kemba Walker’s first season. Couple in the fact that the Celts are a very undersized team. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are both All-Stars and Tatum is only 22 years old. The Celtics will be legit contenders in the postseason and have a shot at reaching the Finals.
Date of berth: Friday, March 6
How they clinched: Win over Milwaukee Bucks
Preseason playoff odds: -835
Record upon clinching: 48-13
Analysis: The Lake Show is back in the postseason. The Lakers defeated the Milwaukee Bucks at home on Friday to clinch their first playoff berth since 2013. It’s crazy to think the Lakers haven’t reached the playoffs in seven years. LeBron James showed up the MVP frontrunner at Staples Center en route to securing a spot. Los Angeles is the first team in the Western Conference to punch its ticket to the playoffs. With LeBron and Anthony Davis, this isn’t all that surprising. We could see both the Bucks and Lakers facing each other in the NBA Finals in June.
Date of berth: Thursday, March 5
How they clinched: Win over Golden State Warriors
Preseason playoff odds: -400
Record upon clinching: 44-18
Analysis: The Raptors have surprised pretty much everyone by being one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference despite losing Kawhi Leonard. Not only that, but Toronto has been one of the most injured teams in the NBA this season. The Raptors have lost almost all their significant players for an extended period of time at different points this season. Only OG Anunoby and Terence Davis have been healthy for more of the season. With a playoff spot secured, the Raptors can focus on getting healthy for their title defense starting in April.
Analysis: The Bucks have been on a warpath to the No. 1 overall seed since November. Giannis Antetokounmpo is on pace to win his second straight MVP award. The Bucks are just far and away the best team in the NBA and it’s hard to argue against that. The lack of competition at the bottom of the Eastern Conference is why the Bucks were the quickest team to clinch a spot, beating out the 2017 Warriors, who clinched on Feb. 25 a few years back.
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