NBA Bubble Sleeper Teams
With the season finally restarting after the COVID-19 hiatus, there is also speculation on who the champion will be. Some of the favorites coming in include the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers out of the West. The Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors are contenders in the East. With that in mind, there are some sleeper teams that have a chance to make a title run. Here are some of the sleeper teams in the NBA Bubble.
NBA Bubble Sleeper Teams
The Boston Celtics are entering the bubble with a young team of rising stars. Despite their youth, they have been shown to compete with the favorites. They’re also the only team in the NBA to have three players averaging 20 points per game. Led by Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, they have the veteran leadership of Kemba Walker to rely on as well. Since Boston doesn’t have a traditional superstar, they utilize a team-based mindset to win games. They also boast one of the best defenses in the NBA, led by All-Defense shoo-in Marcus Smart.
The Miami Heat have an excellent young core of guys coming in the bubble. One of the biggest attributes of this team is their excellent three-point shooting. Tyler Herro shoots 39.0% from deep and Duncan Robinson sits at fourth in the league with a 44.6% mark. The presence of Bam Adebayo, a defensive force in the paint and Most Improved Player candidate only helps matters. This talent also includes the veteran leadership of Jimmy Butler. Let’s also not forget about Erik Spoelstra, who has extensive Finals experience on his resumé.
One of the biggest keys for the Houston Rockets is the duo of Russell Westbrook and James Harden. Harden’s scoring and Westbrook’s athleticism will be big if they were to make a Finals run. One of the interesting things about the Rockets is their small-ball starting lineup. Their lack of size has led them to play more aggressively during games. This could be a year that Mike D’Antoni‘s fast-paced system could lead to a championship.
The Denver Nuggets come into the bubble with an interesting group of players. Of course, we know about Nikola Jokic as a top-two center in the league. His playmaking is key, along with the scoring of Jamal Murray and Gary Harris. During the preseason, we saw glimpses of rookie Bol Bol getting playing time for the Nuggets. They have a lot of bigs on their team that could compete with the bigs the Lakers have. As far as depth, the Nuggets have plenty of guys to go to – some big names include breakout bubble star Michael Porter Jr., Monte Morris, and Jerami Grant.
Portland Trail Blazers
This is the only team on this list that is currently outside the playoff picture. This team’s keys include their excellent shooting backcourt of superstar Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. With that, they also bring back Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins from injury. This is a big boost for Portland, giving them that inside presence they’ve been missing for most of this year. They would definitely make the series competitive if they were to play the Lakers in the first round.