2011 NBA Draft Lottery: 5 Teams That Could Make the Playoffs with a Great Pick
It's known by many that this year's draft class is not the best, but if certain teams land a great pick, then they can find their way to the playoffs next season.
The NBA is turning into a fast pace game and that is why many of the young, athletic teams are flourishing in it including the Oklahoma City Thunder, Memphis Grizzlies, Atlanta Hawks and the Philadelphia 76ers.
The majority of teams on this list are young, on the rise and overlooked by many.
Now we're off to the five teams that can make a run for the playoffs if they land a great lottery pick.
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The Milwaukee Bucks are a very solid team that is always on the bubble to make the playoffs.
They sealed the deal last year and brought the Atlanta Hawks to a Game 7 and could have won the series. In my mind, they can make the playoffs again and possibly give a team a run for their money.
They have one of the best centers in the game right now being Andrew Bogut and an on the rise point guard in Brandon Jennings.
John Salmons has emerged as a solid go-to option and can play the two and the three.
If the Bucks land a great pick to play alongside Salmons or a legitimate big man to play next to Bogut, they can make a run for the playoffs.
Golden State Warriors
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If this team just decided to play a little bit of defense they would make the playoffs every year.
With a core three players of Monta Ellis, Stephen Curry and David Lee, how can you not make the playoffs?
Curry is already establishing himself as a top ten point guard, Ellis is a non-stop scorer and Lee is an established All-Star power forward in the league.
If the Warriors land a solid center in place of Andris Biedrins, then their lineup is set.
The talent is already there, but if they land a great player that is a good defender and the team starts incorporating defense, then I think the Warriors will make the playoffs without a doubt.
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For some reason the Washington Wizards are never talked about, but I see a lot of potential in them.
After receiving the first overall pick last year, they drafted super athletic point guard John Wall. Wall is a top point guard in the making and already proved he can find his way to the basket in the NBA.
Washington also has young talent in JaVale McGee and sharpshooter Nick Young.
The Wizards have a lot of young players and they will be a fast and athletic team entering next season. If the Wizards land a solid small forward in the draft that ends up living up to potential, then they have a good chance at making the playoffs.
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The Rockets just missed the playoffs by three games behind the Grizzlies and I believe if they land someone good to help them out, they can land a spot easily.
Houston already has two near superstars in Kevin Martin and Luis Scola. Plus, Kyle Lowry emerged toward the end of the season consistently, proving that he can be a solid everyday point guard for them.
They need a better than Chuck Hayes if they want to be a contender and Yao Ming is not coming back from the looks of it.
The Rockets will be searching for the scarce big men in the draft, but if they land a lottery pick and center then their chances at the playoffs are very high.
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The Utah Jazz just missed the playoffs this season after trading their superstar point guard, Deron Williams
But not to fear Utah, much help is coming your way.
The Jazz are a very young team and have two players from the lottery last year including Gordon Hayward (drafted) and third overall pick Derrick Favors (via Williams trade).
But wait...there's more. Utah has two lottery picks in this upcoming draft. Theoretically speaking, one is the sixth and the other is the 12th. However, we all know that picks never come out to what they are expected to be.
The Jazz already have solid players in Paul Millsap, who is just 24, Devin Harris, Al Jefferson and the two young players we mentioned above.
If Utah lands two solid players, or even just one, they will find their way to get over the hump into the playoffs.
Only If They Get a Superstar...
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Alright, I know they finished last in the Eastern Conference standings this season. However, the Cavs have a great coach at the helm and a lot of young talent.
Despite their record, they have a lot talented players that seem to be overlooked by fans including, J.J Hickson, Daniel Gibson, Antawn Jamison, Baron Davis and Anderson Varejao.
I understand none of them are superstars, nor can lead a team. But realize that these were the same players that were always in the top of the standings when there was a superstar on their team.
Notice how each of these players are great role players and would focus only on their individual role if they had a superstar. That's exactly what they did that when they had James on their team.
I will be the first to admit that this draft class is not that great, but if Cleveland gets lucky and their pick becomes a superstar, then they just may find themselves sneaking into the playoffs.
Bottom Line: The only way they do is if their team lands a superstar, which is banking on a lot.