NBA: 4 Dark Horse Teams That Will Surprise in the Playoffs


With the Miami Heat and their huge winning streak, one would wonder if there’s anybody in the East that can take them down. There are a couple teams that are going to very well in the playoffs. They may not beat the Heat, but they’ll surely give them a run for their money.

As for the West, the main teams are the Thunder and the Spurs, who falter in the playoffs. The Nuggets could take down one of them, but who’s to say for sure?

The Indiana Pacers and the Clippers are exempt from this list because they are contenders as well.

Eastern Conference:

1. Milwaukee Bucks:

Mar 15, 2013; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Bucks guard Monta Ellis (11) goes for a layup against Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) at the Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

I know what you’re thinking. There’s no way that the Bucks can get past the Heat in the first round, right? Well, that doesn’t matter. The playoffs are a completely different atmosphere. If the Bucks have their crowd on their side, they’ll likely do well at home. They’ve been rolling lately, and Monta Ellis + Brandon Jennings is a surprisingly good combination, when Jennings is passing the ball. The Bucks could upset the Heat, but they need to fix a few problems first.

2. Boston Celtics:

The Celtics played a great game last night, and showed the potential to beat the Heat. Once they make the playoffs, rest assured, they will upset the Knicks in the first round. The Celtics are one of the best post-season teams and they can be very deadly. Although they’re playing without their star point guard in Rajon Rondo, they have a pretty deadly lineup, with the vast improvement of Jeff Green, who was excellent last night.

Western Conference:

1. Denver Nuggets:

Apr. 21, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Denver Nuggets center JaVale McGee (34) talks with forward Al Harrington (7) , forward Danilo Gallinari (8) and guard Ty Lawson (3) while playing against the Phoenix Suns during the first half at the US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports.

The Nuggets have been one of those under-the-radar teams who have been playing excellent basketball. While the Heat’s huge streak is the chatter of the NBA, the Nuggets are on an 11-game winning streak of their own. Lead by no one in particular, the Nuggets are able to share the ball, while having everybody contribute. One would say the leader is Danilo Gallinari, another could say the leader is Ty Lawson. It doesn’t really matter to the Nuggets or their fans, who are absolutely deadly at home. Plus, they might be getting homecourt advantage.

2. Los Angeles Lakers:

Uh oh! A couple months ago, no one ever thought the Lakers would make the playoffs. Currently over .500, the Lakers are coming back strong, and doing so without Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant. When those two get back, it’s going to be nothing but good times. Kobe is one of the most amazing players in the game today.

You think that the Spurs are a problem for him? Nope. He enjoys silencing crowds, especially in the playoffs. If the Lakers just make the playoffs, they could take a swipe at the championship.