Which NBA Teams Would Be Most Affected By an Altered Playoff Schedule?

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If the NBA season resumes the playoffs may have to be altered. That could have an adverse effect on some teams and give an advantage to others. SI’s Robin Lundberg and Ben Pickman discuss how an altered season may affect the Los Angeles Lakers and the Houston Rockets. For the Lakers, would the extra rest make for an even more lethal LeBron James or will the absence hurt a team that was getting hot at the right time? For the Rockets, will their ability to shoot create an advantage, or will the extended time away leave them rusty?

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Robin Lundberg: If the NBA season does resume and the playoffs are altered, which teams would benefit and which teams would be hurt? For more, I'm joined by our Ben Pickman. Obviously, Ben. The Lakers are the team everybody likes to discuss here. And you can make the argument that they could benefit because LeBron's had some time off or that they'd be hurt, that he had, you know, why down after they were so hot when the season stopped?

Ben Pickman: Without a doubt. I mean, when the season was put on hold, the Lakers were playing some of their best basketball of the season, coming off victories of the Clippers and over the bucks. Now, a shortened postseason could could do two things for the Lakers, as you alluded, Robin. It could either be pretty detrimental as they were playing their best. They're probably the best team over a large sample size and over a five game series. Potentially, maybe a fluky loss actually does hurt the team. And as we said, that Shorten sample size could actually do them in.


Robin Lundberg: Now, what about a team that could be a wildcard that maybe people weren't necessarily putting right up there with the Lakers, the Bucks, the Clippers, that could do damage?

Ben Pickman: I wouldn't go with the number six overall seed currently in the Western conference, the Houston Rockets. Now, the Rockets would really rely on this kind of short postseason schedule and benefit from it potentially because they have such a high reliance on three point shooting and because they are so small, limited. You look at James Harden and Russell Westbrook and Robert Covington and the plethora of talent on the perimeter. They could shoot themselves into a series and pull off some major upsets based on pure acumen from the outside alone. And I think banging bodies for a seven game series against a team, a physical team like the Lakers, the Clippers like the Nuggets could actually hurt them in the long run.


Robin Lundberg: And maybe if you have less time to prepare their style, hit you a little harder. Does the Houston Rockets Ben, appreciate your time, as always.

Ben Pickman: Thanks a lot for having me. 

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