The 2022 NBA Playoffs have generated more and more buzz as the months have gone by, and now the NBA is one week away from its annual All-Star weekend, a time to honor the best players of the season and enjoy video game-style competitions with the best athletes on Earth.
Once the festivities are over, however, it will be back to business for every team in the league, and especially those in the playoff hunt. With 20-something games to go for every club, the back-end of the 2022 regular season is rapidly approaching, and teams will be vying for all-important playoff positions.
Because some teams are scarier matchups than others, here is a list of the teams that nobody wants to face in the postseason.
Teams NOBODY WANTS in the 2022 NBA Playoffs
#5: Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers have drastically underperformed this season and, as the ninth seed, would be in the first do-or-die round of the play-in tournament if the season ended today. They have been fragile defensively, slow on the perimeter, and inconsistent shooting the ball; regardless of all this, however, they have LeBron James and Anthony Davis— and Russell Westbrook, to a lesser extent— on their roster. James has been scoring the ball effectively, and Davis has been a monster since his return, so no matter how bad LA may be in multiple areas, they have two of the biggest knockout punchers in basketball on their roster.
#4: Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls are currently the second seed in the Eastern Conference despite losing nearly all of their players to injuries or COVID protocols during different portions of the season. Chi-Town has four legit stars in their starting lineup as well as a talented bench full of specialists (in their roles). They excel offensively and defensively and have a bonafide closer in DeMar DeRozan who, despite the stigma surrounding his career, has been the best fourth-quarter and late-game player in the league this season. Most importantly for the Bulls: they all have something to prove.
#3: Milwaukee Bucks
It may seem a bit redundant to put the league’s defending champions as a team that nobody wants to play, but the Milwaukee Bucks are somehow flying under the radar this season. A slow start has been all but forgotten now that the Bucks are up to third place in the Eastern Conference, riding behind the MVP-level play of the current best player in the NBA Giannis Antetokounmpo. A recent trade acquisition of Serge Ibaka will bolster Milwaukee’s advantage in the paint even further, also creating space for their sharpshooting wings and bolstering their defensive profile on the interior.
#2: Memphis Grizzlies
The surprise team of the West is the Memphis Grizzlies, whose youthful roster has arrived a year or two ahead of schedule. Ja Morant and Desmond Bane have sneakily formed one of the league’s best backcourts, and Jaren Jackson Jr. is a serious Defensive Player of the Year candidate. Memphis’ greatest advantage is that they do not realize that they are overachieving, and they play fast and furious every single night.
#1: Phoenix Suns
The best team in the league has an elite decision-maker, one of the game’s purest scorers, tall, defensive-minded wings that can shoot, a great rotation of bigs, and a tactical mastermind of a coach. There are little to no flaws on this roster, which is why they have produced the NBA’s best record thus far; they will also be out to avenge a six-game series loss from last year’s Finals, which ended with Giannis Antetokounmpo dropping 50 points in the closeout game. Phoenix has to be the championship favorite in the 2022 NBA Playoffs and is the top team that everyone wants to avoid.