If five new teams are going to make the playoffs, then that means five teams who made the playoffs this year will have to miss out next year. Unfortunately, it does not look good for the city of Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Lakers had a nightmarish season but still sneaked into the playoffs on the final day of the regular season.
Next year will probably be even worse. Kobe Bryant is out with a torn Achilles' heel, and his return has more questions than answers. Dwight Howard is a free agent and is likely on his way out, according to Ryan Rosenblatt of SB Nation. Also, the future of Pau Gasol remains unknown.
The other team that calls the Staples Center its home also has a future full of uncertainty. ESPN's Chris Broussard reported that Clippers guard Chris Paul is unhappy with the Clippers' organization. If Paul bolts L.A. for a new team, the Clippers will be left without their facilitator and will struggle mightily next season.
The Boston Celtics are yet another team with many decisions to make pertaining to their future. They have tried to squeeze out run after run from this core group of players, but this is finally the year they'll break it up and rebuild. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett could be on the move, and the Celts will build around Rondo, but it will be a couple years before they return to the postseason.
The Milwaukee Bucks did in fact make the playoffs this year, even though it was only a brief stint against the defending champions, Miami Heat. Monta Ellis is a free agent this summer and most likely will not be wearing green and red next season. The Bucks have some nice pieces but probably will not have enough firepower to make it to the playoffs, especially if Brandon Jennings wants out as well.
The Atlanta Hawks had a surprisingly good season after losing Joe Johnson to the Brooklyn Nets. This season, they could lose another superstar in Josh Smith. They will have plenty of cap space to sign multiple impact players; however, it is uncertain who they will land in free agency.
If they cannot obtain a top-notch star, they will likely miss out on the playoffs next year. With the hiring of Mike Budenholzer—longtime San Antonio Spurs assistant coach—as the new head coach, as reported by ESPN's Brian Windhorst, the Hawks shouldn't struggle for too long, but they might skip a beat or two.