3 NBA playoff outsiders that must make the postseason in 2022

Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /
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NBA Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports /

The start of the new NBA season might still be more than a month away, but for some teams, the aim for next year is already clear.

If you’re the Los Angeles Lakers or the Brooklyn Nets, it’s winning a title. If you’re an Orlando Magic fan, you want to see clear development from young players. And for some teams, making a postseason spot is a necessity after missing out last season.

Of course, reaching the postseason itself is not the end goal for any team. Every team in the NBA has hopes of winning a title, whether that be right now or in the future. But making the playoffs is a sign of progress, a sign that the current path the team is on might result in success.

The NBA promises to be highly competitive next season, but these three teams simply must make the playoffs or face big decisions about their futures.

For a few teams next year, that all-important next step must be achieved in order to establish faith in whatever trajectory they are on.

Each scenario comes with different pressures on different people. For some, those in the front office are the ones under the spotlight for the roster decisions they have made. In other cases, it’s individual players that need to make the playoffs to restore their confidence in the team’s direction.

This coming NBA season promises to be full of excitement and competitiveness, with contention for playoff spots, particularly in the Western Conference, extremely high.

Making the postseason will not be straightforward next year, but these three teams simply have to or could well face big repercussions for their failures…