How Every Projected 2016 NBA Playoff Team Can Exceed Expectations

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How Every Projected 2016 NBA Playoff Team Can Exceed Expectations
Ronald Cortes/Getty Images

NBA expectations are often in a state of evolution. 

Hot streaks, savvy acquisitions and internal improvements can all raise the bar that clubs are trying to reach. Conversely, injuries, backfiring transactions and frigid slumps can push reasonable hopes in the opposite direction.

Few teams are still chasing their preseason targets by this point. Who actually saw the Golden State Warriors pursuing 73 wins? Or the Houston Rockets having to claw for their playoff ticket? Or the Miami Heat playing their best basketball without Chris Bosh?

We've looked at all the evidence offered over the course of 2015-16 and dissected what it would take for the 16 projected playoff participants to outperform their current expectations. In doing so, we've also wagered on how the final postseason field will look. (Spoiler alert: We're terrified by the Dallas Mavericks' loss of Chandler Parsons, the Chicago Bulls' leaky defense and the hole the Washington Wizards dug for themselves.)

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