NBA Playoffs 2019: Latest Postseason Odds and Standings

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistMarch 18, 2019

Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade, right, drives past Charlotte Hornets guard Jeremy Lamb during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, March 17, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

The checkered flag marking the end of the 2018-19 NBA season is within sight.

Most teams have roughly a dozen contests to go before 14 head off for early vacation and the other 16 enter the four-round fight to the ultimate finish line.

Let's take a closer look at the race by updating the standings, examining both championship odds (via Vegas Insider) and playoff probabilities (via FiveThirtyEight), then checking the stock report of three bubble teams.


Conference Standings

Eastern Conference

1. x-Milwaukee Bucks (52-18)

2. x-Toronto Raptors (49-21)

3. x-Philadelphia 76ers (45-25)

4. Indiana Pacers (44-26)

5. Boston Celtics (43-27)

6. Detroit Pistons (36-33)

7. Brooklyn Nets (36-36)

8. Miami Heat (33-36)

9. Orlando Magic (33-38)

10. Charlotte Horntes (31-38)

11. Washington Wizards (30-40)

12. Atlanta Hawks (24-47)

13. e-Chicago Bulls (19-52)

14. e-Cleveland Cavaliers (17-53)

15. e-New York Knicks (14-56)


Western Conference

1. x-Golden State Warriors (47-21)

2. Denver Nuggets (46-22)

3. Houston Rockets (44-26)

4. Portland Trail Blazers (42-27)

5. Oklahoma City Thunder (42-28)

6. San Antonio Spurs (41-29)

7. Utah Jazz (40-29)

8. Los Angeles Clippers (41-30)

9. Sacramento Kings (34-35)

10. Minnesota Timberwolves (32-38)

11. Los Angeles Lakers (31-39)

12. New Orleans Pelicans (30-42)

13. Dallas Mavericks (28-41)

14. Memphis Grizzlies (28-42)

15. e-Phoenix Suns (17-54)

*x-clinched playoff spot; e-eliminated


Championship Odds (And Playoff Probabilities)

Golden State Warriors 1/2 (In)

Milwaukee Bucks 15/2 (In)

Houston Rockets 8/1 (Greater than 99%)

Toronto Raptors 13/1 (In)

Boston Celtics 15/1 (Greater than 99%)

Philadelphia 76ers 30/1 (In)

Denver Nuggets 40/1 (Greater than 99%)

Oklahoma City Thunder 40/1 (Greater than 99%)

Utah Jazz 60/1 (Greater than 99%)

Portland Trail Blazers 75/1 (Greater than 99%)

Detroit Pistons 125/1 (Greater than 99%)

San Antonio Spurs 150/1 (Greater than 99%)

Indiana Pacers 200/1 (Greater than 99%)

Brooklyn Nets 300/1 (82%)

Los Angeles Clippers 500/1 (Greater than 99%)

Miami Heat 500/1 (35%)

Sacramento Kings 2000/1 (Less than 1%)

Charlotte Hornets 2500/1 (14%)

Orlando Magic 2500/1 (64%)

Washington Wizards 5000/1 (5%)

Los Angeles Lakers 9999/1 (Less than 1%)

Minnesota Timberwolves 9999/1 (Less than 1%)

New Orleans Pelicans 9999/1 (Less than 1%)


Stock Report

Miami Heat: Stock Up

Consistency has largely avoided Erik Spoelstra's bunch this season. Case in point—last month, this club lost to the Suns, then knocked off the Warriors in consecutive games.

There are signs, though, that this team might be coming together at the perfect time.

Sunday's critical 93-75 home win over the Hornets was the Heat's sixth in their last eight tries. They have a plus-8.1 net efficiency rating over that stretch, which leads the Eastern Conference and ranks third overall.

The Heat control their own destiny, and we should know soon how they'll handle the responsibility. The toughest stretch of their remaining schedule starts immediately: a four-game road trip opening Monday in Oklahoma City with stops awaiting in San Antonio, Milwaukee and Washington, DC.


Charlotte Hornets: Stock Down

Aaron Gash/Associated Press

Ostensibly, the Hornets had what they wanted on Sunday. While a late-season trip through South Beach is never easy, Charlotte had a direct shot at the No. 8 seed.

"If you don't know the standings at this point, then I feel sorry for you," Hornets coach James Borrgeo said before the matchup. "If you don't understand the magnitude of this game, then I worry about you as a competitor."

Against that backdrop, what happened over the ensuing 48 minutes was an abject disaster. The Hornets scored a season-low 75 points—nine fewer than their previous worst—while shooting just 31.3 percent from the field and 19.4 percent outside. The starting unit shot an abysmal 10-of-40 from the field and missed 17 of its 20 three-point attempts.

The Hornets are just 4-8 with a minus-4.1 net rating since the All-Star break. Those are lottery-level numbers from a team presumably shooting for the playoffs. Unless Kemba Walker can conjure up superhuman efforts more often than not, it's getting harder to imagine Charlotte will make the final cut.


Los Angeles Lakers: Stock Flatlined

After LeBron James joined the Lakers, the optimistic crowd thought they'd be spending March preparing for the King's latest Finals run. At the very least, most projections had the Purple and Gold at least fighting for a postseason spot, if not in range of hosting a first-round series.

But the first chapter of James' tenure with the Lakers instead finds the team shuffling from one potential rock bottom to the next. There have been several possibilities in recent weeks, but Sunday's flop in Madison Square Garden feels like the...well...winner.

The New York Knicks have been the NBA's worst team all season, and they've especially looked the part of late. They entered with a meager four wins in all of 2019 and on an eight-game losing streak. They appeared on their way to wilting again, trailing by 11 points with just over three minutes remaining.

But L.A. managed just a single point the rest of the way, James was blocked twice in the final minute and New York stole a 124-123 victory.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport


The Lakers have been dead in the water for a while now. Their offseason should be the Association's most fascinating.