Updated Playoff Odds for Every NBA Team at the Beginning of February

Josh Martin@@JoshMartinNBANBA Lead WriterFebruary 7, 2013

Updated Playoff Odds for Every NBA Team at the Beginning of February

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    The 2012-13 NBA season has turned into a flying circus of sorts. 

    As in, a few select squads (i.e. the Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs) have taken up air space above the fray. Since we last surveyed the landscape, the Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies and Brooklyn Nets have taken tumbles, while the Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers and Denver Nuggets have played their way into the mix.

    Which is to say nothing of all the teams toiling on the fringes of the playoff picture in their respective conferences. With the wacky way this season has unfolded to this point, it only figures that the layout of the basketball world will shift at least a handful of times before the absurdity of the 2013 All-Star Game takes center stage.

    Without further ado, here's the latest look at the postseason prospects of all 30 teams, with a helping hand from John Hollinger.

Pinin' for the Fjords

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    Charlotte Bobcats (11-37)

    Lost in the hubbub of LeBron James' 13-of-14 brilliance on Feb. 4: The Miami Heat needed every one of those points to outlast the lowly Bobcats, 99-94.

    At this point, any victory—real, moral or otherwise—is better than none for Charlotte, a team that's dropped 32 of its last 36 games.

    Playoff Chances: 0.0 Percent


    Washington Wizards (13-35)

    Think the Wizards care that their 98-90 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers was diminished by the absences of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin? A win's a win.

    Which is probably what Washington's opponents would've concluded during the Wizards' 35 losses this season. 

    Playoff Chances: 0.7 Percent


    Orlando Magic (14-35)

    What's worse than one 10-game losing streak? How about two?

    That's how many such slides the Magic have on their resume in 2012-13. Seven more defeats and Orlando will match Charlotte's 18-game slide, which currently stands as the longest of the season.

    Playoff Chances: 0.0 Percent


    Cleveland Cavaliers (15-34)

    Kyrie Irving is indeed hot in Cleveland.

    Except, of course, the All-Star guard doesn't need a change of scenery to feel appreciated. His 35-point performance in the Cavs' 115-110 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder practically guaranteed that Dr. K won't have to pay for even a single drink once he turns 21 in March.

    Playoff Chances: 0.7 Percent


    New Orleans Hornets (16-33)

    Eric Gordon's recent spate of back spasms limited him in some games, kept him out of others and ultimately left the Hornets struggling to score. As a result, New Orleans has dropped four out of its last five and has failed to crack the 100-point plateau in each of the last four.

    In a related story, only one of the Hornets' most recent opponents has had difficulty hitting triple digits on the scoreboard.

    Playoff Chances: 0.2 Percent


    Sacramento Kings (17-33)

    Speaking of losers that can't score, the Kings haven't topped 100 points since a 114-105 loss to the Hornets on Jan. 21. If not for the generosity of the Wizards, Bobcats and Cavs, Sacramento would be in the midst of a 17-game skid.

    Perhaps the Kings should look to the nearby San Francisco 49ers for their cues in coming up with a new team motto. My suggestion? Who's got it worse than us?! Soooomeboooody!  

    Playoff Chances: 0.0 Percent


    Phoenix Suns (17-33)

    You know what was most surprising about the Suns' 96-90 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Feb. 5? That it wasn't Phoenix's first victory at Memphis' expense this season. The Suns stunned the Grizzlies back on Dec. 12, 82-80.

    Of course, it was Goran Dragic who hit the winning bucket in that game. Dragic was the main culprit this time around as well. He scored 15 of his 17 points during a decisive 31-19 fourth quarter in the Music City.

    Playoff Chances: 0.0 Percent

Nobody Expects These Teams to Make the Playoffs!

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    Toronto Raptors (17-32)

    It's a small sample to be sure, but the Raptors look like something resembling a solid team with Rudy Gay. They demolished the Chris Paul-less Clippers, 98-73, a game in which Gay contributed 20 points off the bench.

    In his first start as a Raptor, Gay racked up a team-high 29 points in a 100-85 loss to the Miami Heat that was much closer than the final score would suggest. We'll find out soon enough whether the return of Andrea Bargnani is good or bad for this team's immediate fortunes. 

    Playoff Chances: 9.1 Percent


    Detroit Pistons (18-32)

    Lawrence Frank's handling of the Pistons' roster in the aftermath of what, to them, was the Tayshaun Prince trade may well determine how long his tenure in Detroit lasts. If he allows Jose Calderon to run the offense from up top—and combine with Andre Drummond on some spectacular pick-and-rolls and alley-oops—then the Pistons might have something solid around which to build.

    But if he insists on siphoning off potential Drummond minutes to Jason Maxiell and Charlie Villanueva and playing Brandon Knight at shooting guard, all of which he did during a 99-85 loss to the New York Knicks, then...well, best of luck to Lil' Larry.

    Playoff Chances: 8.4 Percent


    Minnesota Timberwolves (18-28)

    The T-Wolves came this close to erasing a 19-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Northwest Division-rival Blazers on Feb. 4. But big showings by Dante Cunningham (17 points in the fourth) and Ricky Rubio (10 assists in the final frame) weren't quite enough to put Minny ahead.

    Clearly, the T-Wolves have the guts and the grit to compete. They can only hope Kevin Love's eventual return will be enough to turn some of those agonizing losses into triumphant wins.

    Playoff Chances: 1.1 Percent


    Dallas Mavericks (21-28)

    It's not unusual for the Mavs to lose to the Thunder. Their 112-91 knockdown at the hands of the defending Western Conference champs was Dallas' ninth straight loss to OKC and 10th in the teams' last 11 meetings, including the 2012 postseason sweep.

    But this 21-point loss marked only the second time in that span that Big D has fallen short by a double-digit margin. I suppose that's to be expected, though, when Dirk Nowitzki digs up all of 10 points on 3-of-11 shooting. 

    Playoff Chances: 11.6 Percent

We Are Not Yet Dead

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    Philadelphia 76ers (21-27)

    Good news: Andrew Bynum's right knee feels great! And he thinks he'll be back before the end of February!

    Bad news: His left knee? Not so much. He told Jason Wolf of USA Today that recent injection of Synvisc into that knee didn't alleviate the pain.

    Good news: That hasn't stopped the Sixers from ripping off three wins in the last four, even if those victories came against the dregs of the NBA.

    Playoff Chances: 25.1 Percent


    Los Angeles Lakers (23-26)

    As long as we're doing the whole "good news, bad news" bit here, the Lakers are back within sniffing distance of the .500 mark after a thrilling 92-83 win over the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center.

    The only problem? Pau Gasol will be out at least six weeks with a partially torn plantar fascia in his right foot and Dwight Howard remains hesitant to test the torn labrum in his shoulder.

    That can mean only one thing...BRING ON SACRESANITY!

    Playoff Chances: 47.4 Percent


    Boston Celtics (25-23)

    The C's are thriving without Rajon Rondo, right? I mean, they've won five in a row since their All-Star point guard went down with a torn ACL. Clearly, they're better off with Jason Terry and Courtney Lee handling those duties...

    Or not.

    Playoff Chances: 74.6 Percent


    Portland Trail Blazers (25-24)

    It's a bit too easy to forget that LaMarcus Aldridge isn't just a worthy All-Star, but a two-time participant in the midseason showcase.

    He's done plenty to remind the masses of his importance of late. First, there were these two shots—a tying three and a tiebreaker at the buzzer—to complete a 20-point comeback against the Mavs.

    Fast-forward to Feb. 4, and you'll see LMA hitting the deciding jumper and blocking a potential game-tying shot by Ricky Rubio in a win over the T-Wolves. Let's give the guy some dap, shall we? 

    Playoff Chances: 22.0 Percent


    Utah Jazz (28-22)

    The Jazz have been the embodiment of "meh" in recent weeks. They're a steady 5-3 over their last eight games, but have done little to inspire confidence in their postseason hopes therein.

    Of much greater interest is Utah's trade-market potential. Chris Sheridan of SheridanHoops.com has the Jazz pegged for a deadline deal with the San Antonio Spurs, wherein Al Jefferson would wind up in the Alamo City.

    But it's tough to imagine the Jazz parting ways with such a quality pivot for a package of Tiago Splitter, Stephen Jackson and Patty Mills or Nando De Colo. Surely, Utah can do better than that, regardless of Big Al's impending free agency.

    Playoff Chances: 41.4 Percent

In the Playoffs, but Not All They're Cracked Up to Be

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    Milwaukee Bucks (25-23)

    Here's what we know about the Bucks: They blew a 16-point lead at the Denver Nuggets while wasting a career-best 35-point, 12-rebound explosion from Samuel Dalembert off the bench.

    How did Milwaukee manage that? A combined 11-of-36 shooting performance with nine turnovers between Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings—a performance that's hardly out of the ordinary for these two—would be a good start. 

    Playoff Chances: 94.2 Percent

    Houston Rockets (27-24)

    We knew the Rockets were a streaky-hot squad, but man, did they light up the scoreboard of late or what? Houston's 140-point, 23-three-pointer explosion against Golden State marked the sixth consecutive time that the Rockets had hit triple digits in the scoring column.

    And the third time in that span that the Rockets had won by 13 points or more.

    Playoff Chances: 90.8 Percent


    Atlanta Hawks (27-21)

    The Hawks are officially the Jazz of the Eastern Conference: a solid squad with some attractive trade chips and plenty of financial flexibility, without any clear desire to make a deal or any expectation of winning a postseason series.

    Which is about what you'd expect from the sixth seed in the East, especially after Lou Williams' season-ending ACL injury.

    Playoff Chances: 89.7 Percent


    Brooklyn Nets (29-20)

    It hasn't been the best of weeks in Brooklyn, to say the least. The span began with a 20-point thumping at the hands of the Heat, one egged on by Reggie Evans' flippant comments comparing LeBron James to Joe Johnson and Andray Blatche. It continued with a four-point win over a decidedly short-handed Chicago Bulls squad that took the floor without Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer or Kirk Hinrich.

    Most recently, the downturn of the P.J. Carlesimo regime saw the Nets fail to subdue the lost Lakers, who were limited by absences (Dwight Howard's shoulder, Metta World Peace's suspension), injuries (Pau Gasol's torn plantar fascia in the fourth quarter) and nagging pain (Kobe Bryant's sprained elbow).

    At least Brook Lopez can look forward to playing in his first All-Star Game later this month.

    Playoff Chances: 97.6 Percent


    Golden State Warriors (30-19)

    Hand down, man down, indeed. The Warriors probably could've used another hand up (or two) in their 140-109 loss in Houston, where the Rockets hit an NBA-record-tying 23 of their 40 three-point attempts.

    That loss snapped a four-game winning streak for Golden State, albeit one built on the backs of teams with sub-.500 records.

    Playoff Chances: 90.9 Percent


    Memphis Grizzlies (30-18)

    The post-Rudy Gay era has been a mixed bag in Memphis, to say the least. A 17-point shellacking at the hands of OKC was to be expected, considering that Tayshaun Prince, Ed Davis and Austin Daye had yet to arrive as reinforcements. A nine-point win over the woeful Wizards is nothing special for a Western Conference "contender," and would've been the least the Grizzlies could've asked for had the game come prior to the big trade.

    But a 96-90 loss to the Phoenix Suns, in which the Grizz were outscored, 31-19, in the fourth quarter, is none too promising for a team that once had title aspirations.

    Especially when its two most important players (Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph) are both non-factors in crunch time.

    Playoff Chances: 95.7 Percent

Silly-Walking into a Series Win (or 2)

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    Chicago Bulls (29-19)

    The Bulls are oh-so-close to realizing their full potential as a dark-horse contender in the Eastern Conference. Another couple of weeks and Derrick Rose should be back in the lineup, D-League stint or not. All Chicago needs to do is keep the rest of its core healthy and...voila! Watch out, Miami and New York!

    Trouble is, Joakim Noah, Kirk Hinrich and Carlos Boozer have all been in and out of the lineup of late. Noah and Luol Deng, both All-Stars, have played major minutes already this season.

    Tom Thibodeau has done a masterful job of squeezing lemonade out of scrap-heap filler, but can only bleed his biggest contributors so much before they run dry down the stretch of the season.

    Playoff Chances: 99.9 Percent


    Indiana Pacers (31-19)

    It's amazing how closely the Pacers' season has mirrored that of the Bulls. Like their Central Division rivals, the Pacers are anticipating the return of a pivotal player (in this case, Danny Granger), but have hardly waited around to put themselves on a roll.

    Both play stout defense, though Indy's is a smidgen stingier. Both are middling offensive squads, at best, but the Pacers have been fortunate enough to find an All-Star scorer in their midst, thanks to the emergence of Paul George.

    In other words, expect these two teams to duke it out for the division crown going forward, especially with their respective wounded due back soon.

    Playoff Chances: 100.0 Percent


    Denver Nuggets (31-18)

    Usually, it'd be easy to dismiss the Denver Nuggets. Sure, they're in sole ownership of the fourth seed in the West, but their recent climb through the standings has been almost entirely contingent on a recently home-heavy schedule.

    Not to mention that Denver's D is merely middling and that the Nuggets have often struggled to hit the broadside of a barn from three-point range.

    Still, there's no ignoring the resuscitation of Danilo Gallinari and Ty Lawson, the steady defensive improvement across the roster and the seven-game winning streak (Denver's longest in two years) that all of that has precipitated.

    So long as the wins keep coming and the Grizzlies and Clippers continue to crumble, the Nuggets should have an excellent shot at securing home court in the first round of the playoffs.

    Which is big, since the Nuggets own a 21-3 record in the thin air of the Pepsi Center.

    Playoff Chances: 98.9 Percent


    New York Knicks (31-16)

    Don't look now, but the Knicks have (somewhat) quietly snuck their way back into striking distance of the Heat atop the Eastern Conference. They've won eight of their last 11, six of them by double digits.

    And they've done it as a team. Carmelo Anthony is still scoring near a career-high clip, Amar'e Stoudemire is settling into his role as a productive bench player and Tyson Chandler had a recent span of three games in which he pulled down 20 rebounds in each. Chandler's the first Knickerbocker to do that since Willis Reed had a rebounding streak of his own back in December 1969.

    You may recall that the Knicks went on to win the title at the end of the 1969-70 season. Just sayin'...

    Playoff Chances: 100.0 Percent


    Los Angeles Clippers (35-16)

    First Chris Paul, then Blake Griffin and now Jamal Crawford. Injuries have sent the Clippers into a tailspin. They've lost seven of 10 since moving their record to an eye-popping 32-9 on Jan. 19.

    Looks like the Clipper Curse is as alive and well as ever.

    Playoff Chances: 100.0 Percent

And Now for Something Completely Championship-Worthy

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    Miami Heat (32-14)

    Miami's midseason malaise is officially underway. The Heat needed back-to-back spectacular efforts by LeBron James just to outlast the lowly Raptors and Bobcats and an inexperienced Rockets squad.

    Otherwise, yours truly would probably be scribbling on about "What's Wrong With the Heat?" in the wake of a four-game losing streak that began with a blowout loss to the Pacers.

    Playoff Chances: 100.0 Percent


    Oklahoma City Thunder (37-12)

    How does a team as talented as the Thunder follow up an embarrassing 115-110 loss to the Cavaliers? Why, with a 21-point pounding of the Mavs and another 21-point shellacking of the Warriors, of course!

    Not exactly groundbreaking stuff, considering that OKC has won nine in a row and 10-of-11 against Dallas, including last year's postseason sweep.

    Of greater interest: Kevin Durant picked up his ninth technical foul of the season, thereby putting him a tie for second behind DeMarcus Cousins. No more Mr. Nice Guy for KD, apparently.

    Playoff Chances: 100.0 Percent


    San Antonio Spurs (38-11)

    An 11-game winning streak would be satisfying to most ballclubs.

    Except the Spurs aren't most ballclubs. They win regular-season games like it's going out of style. After five straight seasons of postseason disappointment, another 60-win campaign simply won't suffice on its own.

    Surely, San Antonio would trade some of its recent success for a healthy Tim Duncan, who came down with knee and ankle injuries during a recent win over the Wizards.

    Playoff Chances: 100.0 Percent