NBA standings based on post-trade deadline records: The Lakers are rising

LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers and Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks NBA (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers and Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks NBA (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Just one week remains in the NBA’s regular season, and many teams are still trying to secure a spot in the postseason. Most teams have fewer than five games remaining and some will need to win out and hope other teams slip up. Thus far, only seven teams have clinched a spot in the playoffs, with 17 remaining in the hunt.

This is a result of the addition of the play-in tournament, which has given more teams the opportunity to make the playoffs. As a result, several teams were buyers at the trade deadline, but how have they faired since then? Let’s take a look at the NBA standings based on the post-trade deadline NBA standings.

NBA Eastern Conference standings:

  1. Milwaukee Bucks-18-5
  2. Philadelphia 76ers-17-7
  3. New York Knicks-15-7
  4. Boston Celtics-15-8
  5. Cleveland Cavaliers-13-8
  6. Toronto Raptors-12-9
  7. Charlotte Hornets-11-11
  8. Orlando Magic-11-11
  9. Atlanta Hawks
  10. Miami Heat-11-12
  11. Chicago Bulls-11-12
  12. Brooklyn Nets-10-13
  13. Indian Pacers -9-13
  14. Washington Wizards-9-14
  15. Detroit Pistons-2-19

The Bucks currently have the best record in the NBA, and they’ve managed to improve upon their success since the trade deadline. They are a league-best 18-5, winning a terrific 78% of their games, and have surpassed the Celtics, who have slowed down after starting the season 26-10. Even then, the Celtics recently beat the Bucks down, which could be a preview of the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Raptors, despite speculation to the contrary, decided to try and improve their roster rather than tear it down. It has worked moderately well; they are above.500 and appear likely to make the play-in tournament since acquiring Jakob Poeltl.

However, while both Poeltl and the Raptors have played well, they gave up a lot to be in this position. It could ultimately prove to be a mistake if they don’t make noise in the playoffs and decide to change course in the offseason.

The Nets made a pair of big in-season deals, trading away all-stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. Even then, they are only 3 games below .500. All things considered, they have played relatively well, particularly Mikal Bridges, who looks like he is the Nets’ next superstar.

Despite having the fourth-worst record in the NBA this season, the Hornets are a respectable 11-11 since the trade deadline. Most of their wins have come since All-Star LaMelo Ball was ruled out for the season with an ankle injury.

Additionally, their two wins against the Mavericks likely knocked one of last year’s Western Conference Finalists out of the playoffs. It’s an encouraging end to a frustrating season for the Hornets.

NBA Western Conference standings:

  1. Sacramento Kings-16-7
  2. Memphis Grizzlies-16-7
  3. Los Angeles Lakers-14-8
  4. Denver Nuggets-13-9
  5. Phoenix Suns-12-9
  6. Golden State Warriors-13-10
  7. Oklahoma City Thunder-12-12
  8. New Orleans Pelicans-11-11
  9. Los Angeles Clippers-10-11
  10. Minnesota Timberwolves-9-11
  11. Utah Jazz-9-12
  12. Dallas Mavericks-7-15
  13. Houston Rockets-6-17
  14. San Antonio Spurs-5-17
  15. Portland Trail Blazers-5-17

The Kings have proven that their surprising success isn’t a fluke by managing to improve upon their already strong play since the trade deadline. They are on pace to finish with the best offensive rating in the NBA hisory, which could translate to postseason success.

The Grizzlies have weathered a rocky stretch, including losing Brandon Clarke for the season and having Ja Morant step away from the team for nine games. Fortunately, they have actually gained ground since the trade deadline, in part thanks to an underrated trade that’s paying big dividends.

The Lakers have been clear winners after making several deals to improve their team. They have gone 14-8 in the 23 games since the February 9th deadline, and while they are currently 8th in the West, they could get as high as 5th. Meanwhile, Dallas’ aforementioned losses to the Hornets took them from being a seeming lock to make the postseason to being on the outside looking in.

Now, after losses to the 76ers and Heat, they are all but eliminated from making the playoffs, especially with the Pelicans and Thunder holding tiebreakers over the Mavericks. Speaking of the Pelicans and the Thunder, they are both .500 since the deadline, making up ground after it appeared that both would fall just short of making the play-in. Brandon Ingram’s hot streak has helped lift the Pelicans, and they could soon get Zion Williamson back before the playoffs.

It’s hard to believe that the Trail Blazers have the second-worst record in the NBA since the trade deadline. After all, superstar Damian Lillard has averaged 35.9 points in that span, but it’s failed to translate into wins. As a result, the Blazers opted to shut Lillard down and tank the rest of the season to improve their pick. It’s the right move, but it’s not likely to make Lillard happy ahead of a pivotal offseason for Portland.

Next. The 20 worst free agent signings in NBA history. dark

All in all, the NBA standings are very much in flux as we enter the final week of the season. More than a dozen teams remain in the hunt but several teams have improved their chances of making the playoffs by making deals at the trade deadline.