Race to the Finish: 10 Big Possible Scenarios in the NBA This March

10 Big Possible Scenarios in the NBA This March image

📖 Published on: February 27th, 2024

✍️ Updated: February 29th, 2024

⏳ 16 mins read


While there’s still a full month to go for the NBA in the 2023-24 season, it cannot be denied that teams are keen to make a mad dash for one last chance to either cement their places with big wins or at least secure tactical playoff seeding. Some would still even battle for a spot in the Play-In Tournament, which is why the March stretch will be fun to watch.


Setting Expectations in the Final Stretch of the 2023-24 NBA Season


The 2023-24 season has been quite spectacular. It was full of ups and downs, with teams seeing many changes in pace, player injuries, and many more. That just says a lot about how unpredictable this season has been, and no one can deny the fact that the battle of the best teams has even sparked a lot of momentum shifts over the past few months.


With the NBA coming into the final stretch, fans should expect crazy shifts and momentum changes that will bring more excitement into the season. After all, when the playoffs begin, every team gets back to zero, and this season is something to look back to once they get back to the postseason.


But what are the 10 big possible scenarios that fans should expect from the NBA for this final stretch?


Celtics Win 68 Games This Season


The Boston Celtics are undeniably the best team in the league right now, and there’s little less to expect from a team that is already on the pace to eclipse 50 wins by this week. This just says a lot about the way they are playing right now, putting up impressive numbers night in and night out with just a little flaw. Boston may not be on the pace to come up with a 73-9 record like the 2016 Golden State Warriors did or better, but you can bet that the Celtics have a fair chance to make history now more than ever.


Boston Celtics image


The Celtics have reached 60+ wins 13 times in their franchise history. The best season that they ever had was in the 1972-73 campaign, where they finished with a 68-14 record. That team averaged 112.7 points per game and shot 44.8% from the field. In comparison, the Celtics are averaging 120.7 points per game while shooting 48.4% from the field in 58 games. That says a lot about how strong this team has been and the potential that they can pull off by the end of the campaign.


Miami Clinches the Second Seed


Miami Heat image


Everybody talks about Boston, but then it seems that everyone still needs to remember that the 2023 Eastern Conference Champions still exist. The Miami Heat are slowly making their presence felt in the season with some timely wins – even with the bulk of their core missing out games due to injuries. For instance, the rotation has never been quite the same for almost a week, and that says a lot about how the Heat is slowly managing to will its way back into the playoff mix and possibly make a dash to the top – at least the second seed. And it is something that is not impossible for them, especially after what feats they have pulled off last season into making the NBA Finals as the eighth seed.



The Cleveland Cavaliers remain consistent but that will wane in time. The Heat, on the other hand, have always found their way to win even in the toughest of games – especially when they face adversity while also lacking most of their key players in a given game, which is why it is easy to expect that the Heat will be there to shock the league with another late climb in the season as they did before. The Miami Heat trade rumors 2024 are already far gone with the trade deadline out, so they will have to work with the squad that they have.


Lakers Survive with the Sixth Seed


The Los Angeles Lakers are tasked with the daunting quest of climbing back to the Playoff spots this second half of the 2023-24 season. It can be remembered that the 2022-23 Lakers started as the 13th seed by the All-Star Break and finished with the 7th seed by the end of the season and went to push for a dash to the Western Conference Finals – even knocking out the defending champion Golden State Warriors in the process.


Los Angeles Lakers image


This season has been a different scene. They started the second half with almost the same faces as the previous season, and they’ve managed to secure some key wins that are fueling their campaign to secure playoff spots. This season has been challenging for the Lakers as a whole, and no one can deny that they had some of the big NBA mock trade scenarios back then – only to stay still by the end of the trade deadline. Now it is time to make a daunting climb for the final stretch.


Oklahoma City Arrives at the Playoff Stage as the 1st Seed


OKC has been the best team to look out for in the West. A lot of fans have been clamoring as to how they have managed to stay afloat in a tight Western Conference. The lack of experience as a playoff team hasn’t bothered them at all, and they are still a bunch of 24-year-old NBA players or even younger who are making waves in a tight West. It is a no-brainer to expect that OKC will be on a winning pace to open up this month and likely lock up their playoff spot as the 1st seed. This season has shown how promising this young Thunder squad is when built with the right mentality and discipline, and they are likely to finish the 2023-24 NBA season with a bang at the top of the West if they keep the same pace going.


OKC Thunder image


For those who didn’t know, OKC also had one of the hauls among 2024 NBA free agents – signing Bismack Biyombo after the trade deadline while also adding Gordon Hayward off a trade with the Charlotte Hornets. So far, OKC has been quite a fun team to watch even with the two additions not putting up heavy minutes. It says a lot about how good this squad is. Alluding to Sam Presti’s vision of an arrival instead of an appearance, I can quite agree that they will have arrived by this month as the sole 1st seed in the Western Conference.


Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Takes Over the MVP Race


A continuation of the discussion above; should OKC continue this winning pace, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is expected to make his case for the MVP rock solid with the success of the Thunder. The two-time All-Star is already putting up almost the same numbers as Michael Jordan’s MVP run, and SGA is averaging 31.2 points, 6.6 assists, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.1 steals per game - all while shooting 54.8^% from the field.


Shai Gilgeous-Alexander image


SGA leads the league in steals and has also entered the DPOY race at the same time. It goes without saying that the leader of the second-youngest team in the NBA is showing his worth as a leader who makes the rest of his team better. His presence in the game should not be underestimated – especially with the team entering the final stretch of the season where almost every game matters as they try to secure the 1st seed in the Wild West.


Joel Embiid Returns to Boost the Sixers’ Seeding


Joel Embiid image


Let’s be clear, SGA would not even be in a position to take over the MVP race if it wasn’t for Joel Embiid’s injuries that have made him ineligible for any individual awards this season. However, the Philadelphia 76ers have yet to put a timetable on the star’s return – but are hinting at a possible return late in March. The Sixers’ fortunes haven’t been quite impressive this month, and it is also a challenge for them to win games without their star big man at the helm. Embiid's health has been a huge issue for the team, but his production levels when he is at his peak has brought wonders for the Sixers over the years, especially when he managed to win his first MVP award last season.


Before his injury kept him out of games in the previous month, Joel Embiid averaged a league-leading 35.3 points, 11.3 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 1.8 blocks, and 1.1 steals per game. He is also shooting at 53.3% from the field, including 36.6% from deep. His return will likely invigorate the Sixers’ hopes of making it to the Playoffs without the need to contend for a Play-In spot by the end of the campaign – if Embiid manages to return in the same form.


Utah Secures a Play-In Spot


The Utah Jazz have been quite unstable in its climb in the Western Conference. After starting out strong, the Jazz slowly fell out of playoff contention in the early months of 2024, and it proved to be a tough spot as now the team had to endure some of the roughest stretches that they have ever seen in the season. On top of that, Lauri Markkanen is in a tough inconsistent stretch, which just proves how tough it has been for the team to stay alive.


Lauri Markkanen image


Still, the Jazz are not that far behind from the four spots in the Play-In Tournament. With still lots of games to go around, the Jazz may just have enough chance to come up with at least the 10th seed by the end of March. Utah has gone 3-7 this month alone, and now is the time for them to grind their way and at least try to claw to the 10th seed and earn a chance to punch their playoff ticket.


The Chicago Bulls Lock Up the Sixth Seed in the East


The Chicago Bulls are one of the most mysterious teams in the NBA for arguably having a force of four stars but still yet to make a deep impact in the Eastern Conference. Sitting at the ninth seed in the East, the Bulls have every chance to make their presence felt for the sixth seed rush even though they are already far behind. Expect some big heroics from DeMar DeRozan as he tries to will the rest of the team to make one last push to secure a playoff berth. Last season was a proof that the Bulls need better fortunes if they are ever going to make the most of their campaign with a talented squad that can support their claim in the East, so they really need to make the climb to the secure playoff spots now more than ever.


Chicago Bulls image


Going 4-5 in February means a good note for the team’s chances so far. However, it will mean that they have to come up with a dash of winning streaks as they are far from the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference, which is why it is going to be a massive gamble to see the Bulls push for a secure spot in the Playoffs.


Luka and the Mavs Secure a Playoff Spot


The Western Conference is another scenario that fans will have to look forward to. Unlike the East, the Dallas Mavericks have a fair chance to make it to the Play-In Tournament or get lucky enough to make it to the playoffs. It can be remembered that the Mavs have made one of the biggest starts in the NBA this season only to fall apart due to a lot of injuries that have crushed their impressive push.


Dallas Mavericks image


Luka Doncic is playing like an MVP now more than ever, and he deserves to get all the credit for carrying an injury-plagued squad in the middle of the season so far. This is why Doncic is also quite deserving to be considered for the MVP conversation as well. Who knows, Doncic may be gearing up for a fiery campaign that will allow them to push deeper and secure a Playoff spot to make things interesting in the postseason.


Orlando Falls to the Play-In Tournament


Orlando Magic image


After a pleasing and surprising start to the season, the Orlando Magic have found themselves in the limbo of the Play-In Tournament. While they are not that far behind the secure playoff spots, it seems that the magic has waned for Orlando at this point. They will need more than just the heroics of Paolo Banchero if the team is going to win big in their next set of games and get a chance to climb up. Franz Wagner and Jalen Suggs has somehow cooled off in the team's past few games, and the rest of the squad isn't really riding on the same page as Banchero does night in and night out. Jamahl Mosley needs to figure out a new strategy if they are going to survive the postseason and make the push they need.


However, the next teams above – the Philadelphia 76ers, Miami Heat, and New York Knicks are more likely to keep hold of their secure playoff spots by the end of the season. All that the Magic can do now is to hope that they can find ways to survive the ever-changing landscape of the Play-In Tournament, especially when they are bound to play against the likes of the Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls, and the Atlanta Hawks – teams that are already primed for playoff contention to begin with.


Fantastic Finishes: How Will the 2023-24 NBA Season End?


These scenarios are all speculations of all possible results of the upcoming NBA games this month. There’s no denying that it is possible for all of these to happen, but that’s just another gamble. At the end of the day, these are mere predictions, and some are right, and some may be wrong. But, if you saw that all of these happened, then feel free to come back here and say “GambleSpot predicted it first.”, but that’s just a pipe dream. Who knows?


Stay tuned for the latest in the NBA with the blogs and predictions that we write on a regular basis. Make sure to get the hottest updates on the big stage with GambleSpot today!


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