- Kevin Pelton, ESPN Staff Writer
Entering the season, the consensus of experts had nine teams in each conference as likely to make playoff runs -- Atlanta, Boston, Brooklyn, Chicago, Indiana, Miami, Milwaukee, New York and Philadelphia in the East, and Dallas, Denver, L.A. Clippers, L.A. Lakers, Memphis, Minnesota, Oklahoma City, San Antonio and Utah in the West.
Of the 12 projected also-rans from both conferences, three in the East (Charlotte, Cleveland and Washington) and three in the West (New Orleans, Phoenix and Sacramento) essentially already have been eliminated. That leaves a group of six teams hoping to surprise the league with playoff runs. Using advanced metrics, we rank their chances of reaching the postseason from best to worst.
2dSteve Ilardi and Jeremias Engelmann