2021 NBA Playoffs: Your Team's Chances of Winning the Championship

It’s NBA playoff time!

That portion of the US sports calendar where all eyes fixate on the hardwood and where players reputations are either forged or fizzle. 

This year’s edition will incorporate the first ever ‘Play In Tournament' which promises to wet the lips of what’s sure to be a six-week feast of basketball. 

As always, Stats Insider will have you covered from a day-to-day perspective, as well as providing it's patented futures projections. Speaking of which, let's survey the lay of the land ahead of the playoffs. 

RELATED: Check out all of Stat Insider's daily and full-season projections

LA Clippers

Stats Insider Championship Projection- 20.3%

The Clippers spectacularly blew a 3-1 Conference Semi Final lead last season to Denver, yet have regrouped and are Stats Insider’s favourites for the title as well as the betting favourites to represent the West in the NBA finals for the first time in franchise history.

KEY STAT- The Clippers shot the 3-ball at 41.4% this season which was both a league and franchise-best number, housing no less than 6 players that hit at least 100 threes.

Brooklyn Nets

Stats Insider Championship Projection- 18.5%

While Brooklyn enter the playoffs laden with the star power and are positioned as flip of the coin favourites to emerge from the East, there are plenty of questions about James Harden’s health status in addition to a defence that ranked just 23rd in the regular season. 

KEY STAT- Since joining Brooklyn, when James Harden has played at least 33 minutes, the Nets are 24-5 (82.7%). When he’s played less than 33 minutes or been absent altogether, the Nets are 16-13 (55.1%). 

Philadelphia 76ers

Stats Insider Championship Projection-13%

This is Philly’s best chance in some time to break a 38-year championship drought. Not only did their 48 wins set the standard in the Eastern Conference, but they’ll enter the playoffs with the conference’s best defence and one that amassed an NBA-best 647 steals throughout the regular season.

KEY STAT- There were only two players in the league to average at least 14 points, 1.5 steals, 5 assists and 6 rebounds per game this season: Kawhi Leonard and Ben Simmons. 

RELATED: Process This- The Philadelphia 76ers Are A Legitimate Championship Threat

Utah Jazz

Stats Insider Championship Projection- 12.7%

Utah’s 51 wins led the league this season as did their scorching 31-5 record at home, while they were the NBA’s only franchise to be ranked top-5 in both offence and defence. 

KEY STAT- Utah’s 48.7 rebounds per 100 possessions was the NBA’s best return, with Rudy Gobert averaging a double-double for a 5th-straight season. 

LA Lakers

Stats Insider Championship Projection- 11.3%

The reigning champs have endured a frustrating campaign with LeBron James and Anthony Davis combining for just 79 of a possible 142 games. Their absence resulted in a 41 win season which means their quest for an 18th NBA Championship will have to being in the Play In Tournament.

KEY STAT- Of the teams still in contention for the Larry O’Brien trophy, the Lakers are easily the worst at turning the ball over, doing so on 13.7% of their possessions this season. 

Milwaukee Bucks

Stats Insider Championship Projection- 8.4%

Playoffs for a 5th straight season for the Bucks, yet plenty of skepticism pertaining to their playoff bonafides, especially after being blown away by Miami 1-4 in last year’s Eastern Conference Semi Finals. 

KEY STAT- Incredibly, when the Bucks were ahead at half-time this season, they went 41-5. When they trailed at the half, they went 4-20, with the latter number being the 4th worst return in the Eastern Conference. 

RELATED: Inside Milwaukee's massive post-season meltdown

Phoenix Suns

Stats Insider Championship Projection- 4%

Phoenix’s 10-straight seasons of playoff absenteeism is over, with the Suns crashing this year’s party in spectacular fashion. Not only did they win the Pacific division for the first time in 14 years, but their 50total wins was a number better only by Utah. Their 27 wins again .500 or better opposition was the NBA’s best.

KEY STAT- The Suns went 24-12 on the road this season which was the best figure in the NBA. The last 13 teams to house the NBA’s best road record all, at minimum, advanced to a Conference Championship.

RELATED: Where Does Chris Paul Sit Within The Pantheon Of NBA Greatness?

Denver Nuggets

Stats Insider Championship Projection- 3.4%

While the Nuggets are short-price favourites for Nikola Jokic to collect the franchise’s first-ever MVP award, they remain not as fancied as the likes of the Clippers, Jazz, Lakers or Suns to advance out of the west, despite finishing the season on a 21-7 tear.

KEY STAT- For the third season in a row the Nuggets ranked top-5 from an assist-to-turnover perspective, with 7 players averaging at least 2 assists per game. 

Miami Heat

Stats Insider Championship Projection- 1.8%

Last season's Eastern Conference representative in the NBA Finals, the Heat, like their LA conquerors, struggled throughout the regular season, yet will take a seat at the playoff table. 

KEY STAT- Of all the teams still alive, Miami is the worst from a 4th quarter standpoint, producing a -0.9 point differential on the season, while losing 23 of their 27 games when behind at three quarter time in the regular season. 

Dallas Mavericks

Stats Insider Championship Projection- 1.2%

Playoffs for a second-straight season and a first Southwest division crown in 11 years, yet the Mavericks don’t enter the playoffs expected to make much noise with multiple losses to the Sacramento Kings as well as a final-day loss to the desperately struggling Timberwolves. 

KEY STAT- Last season, Dallas housed the NBA’s premier offence posting 116.7 points per 100 possessions. This season they rank just 9th, scoring 115.3 points per 100 possessions. 

Atlanta Hawks

Stats Insider Championship Projection- 1%

If the Phoenix Suns were the surprise of the West, then Atlanta certainly claimed that mantle in the East, exchanging 3 seasons without playoff basketball while going 75 games under .500, for an improbable division title. All accomplished by a making a mid-season coaching change form Lloyd Pierce to Nate McMillan. 

KEY STAT- Atlanta’s 115.6 points per 100 possessions was the Eastern Conference’s third-best return, while that number was the best in Atlanta franchise history. 

RELATED: The Atlanta Hawks Just Fast-Forwarded Their Rebuild

Portland Trailblazers

Stats Insider Championship Projection- 0.8%

Portland have qualified for their 8th straight post-season, avoiding the Play-In tournament courtesy of their 2-1 season record against the Lakers whom they finished equal with on 41 wins. 

KEY STAT- Only Utah were putting up more than Portland’s 40.8 3-point attempts per game this season, with the Trailblazers hitting at 38.5% which placed them 6th in the league. Only Buddy Hield and Steph Curry hit more than Damian Lillar’s 270 three-pointers this season.  

New York Knicks

Stats Insider Championship Projection- 0.7%

They’re back!!! The Knicks return the playoffs for the first time in 7 seasons off the back of a completely resuscitated defence which jumped from 23rd to 3rd from an efficiency perspective. Obviously Tom Thibodeau’s first season played a massive role, helped massively by a breakout campaign by Julius Randle whose 4.2 defensive win share number was bettered only by Rudy Gobert. 

KEY STAT- The Knick’s played at a snail’s pace this season mustering just 96 possessions per 48 minutes which was the league’s smallest number. 

Boston Celtics

Stats Insider Championship Projection- 0.7%

One of the league’s most disappointing campaigns will result in Boston heading to the NBA’s premier Play In Tournament where they’ll lock horns with the Washington Wizards. 

KEY STAT- Against the Eastern Conference's 5 teams who went .500 or better in the regular season (Philly, Brooklyn, Milwaukee, Atlanta and New York) the Celtics went just 4-11.

RELATED: How Worried Should We Be About The Boston Celtics?

Golden State Warriors

Stats Insider Championship Projection- 0.4%

It’s fair to say Steph Curry played a rather large role in the Warriors keeping their season alive and booking a place in the Play In Tournament. In fact, 34.5% of Golden State's offence ran through Curry’s very capable hands, with their 7-time All-Star rewarding them with 328 threes, achieved at a scintillating 42.1% clip. 

KEY STAT- Last season the Warriors ranked 26th in defensive efficiency, yet improved to a 6th place finish this season. 

Indiana Pacers

Stats Insider Championship Projection- 0.4%

Indiana’s first sub .500 season of basketball in 6 years won’t end just yet thanks to the NBA’s Play In Tournament. With that said, it’s prospects aren’t bright winning just 5 of its last 13 regular season games.

KEY STAT- The Pacer’s posted a less than convincing 1-8 record against the Eastern Conference’s three premier teams in Philly, Brooklyn and Milwaukee. 

Memphis Grizzlies

Stats Insider Championship Projection- 0.3%

A Play In Tournament spot is just reward for an enormously hard-working Grizzlies side whom enjoyed another season of mesmerising Ja Morant basketball, coupled with a defence that ranked 6th in the league. 

KEY STAT- There were only 7 teams with an average roster age of less than 25 years in the NBA this season. Memphis, the league’s 4th youngest team, is the only one still standing. 

Washington Wizards

Stats Insider Championship Projection- 0.3%

Just qualifying for the the Play In Tournament represents a massive leap for the Wizards who had life breathed into them courtesy of Russell Westbrook's first season in the capital. The former MVP winner easily led the league with 11.8 assists per night, while also overtaking Oscar Robinson in career triple doubles, having now registered 182

KEY STAT- .4- That’s how many points adrift Bradley Beal was from Steph Curry, falling agonisingly short of his first-ever scoring title. 

Charlotte Hornets

Stats Insider Championship Projection- 0.3%

The Hornets are 1 of 4 NBA teams still chugging along despite a sub .500 record thanks to the Play In Tournament. The next challenge will be advancing out of the mini extravaganza and perhaps advancing within the playoff themselves, a task the Hornets haven’t been able to do in 19 years. 

KEY STAT- Of the 20 teams who haven’t yet been sent home, Charlotte rank 2nd worst from an offensive perspective and 3rd worst from a defensive standpoint. 

San Antonio Spurs

Stats Insider Championship Projection- 0.2%

Six games below .500 and a 10th seed in the west, yet thanks to the Play In Tournament, San Antonio's season isn't over just yet. With that said, the Stats Insider futures model is giving them a 0.2% chance of winning it all, which, well, isn't very convincing. 

KEY STAT- The Spurs have had 54 seasons of professional basketball, helping themselves to 5 NBA Championships along the way. This season ranks 52nd from a defensive point of view. 

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James Rosewarne

James is a writer and Managing Editor at Stats Insider. He likes fiction and music. He is a stingray attack survivor. He lives in Wollongong.

Email- james@thehypometer.com for story ideas or opportunities.

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