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Insider

Surprise teams in playoff hunt

Golden state of mind: Steph Curry and the Warriors are eyeing a postseason trip in the crowded West. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

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.