Skip to main content

The 3 Top 'Under the radar' teams that could make the Finals this season

Not too many people expected these teams to look this good to start the season.
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (45)/ Portland Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons (1) celebrates with guard Damian Lillard (0) after making a three-point shot

Donovan Mitchell, Anfernee Simmons, and Damian Lillard

The 2022/2023 NBA season is very young, but we have already seen a lot of players and teams display impressive performances and show why this is the best and most entertaining basketball league in the world. A lot of the predictions many analysts voiced before the season have proven to be true, but there are exceptions like always. A few teams that weren't expected to do too much have shown the ability to beat anybody, as predicting which two teams will make the Finals this season will be a true challenge. Here are the three most pleasant surprise teams that could actually make a deep run in the postseason.

Cleveland Cavaliers

When the Cavs decided to go all in and trade for Donovan Mitchell, a lot of people thought it would take some time for the new addition to gel into the system. But it seems the fit is seamless, as the Cavs are 6-1 on the young season, winning six games in a row after a tight defeat in Toronto on opening night.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Mitchell has proven he is still a superstar, averaging 31.1ppg and 7.1 apg, stepping up in Garland's absence. His backcourt buddy, Darius Garland finally returned from the eye injury and showed this duo will be tough to handle, beating last year's finalists, the Boston Celtics in an overtime drama in front of their loud crowd. With the long frontcourt of Evan Mobley and Jarret Allen, and a deep roster of contributors like Caris LeVert, Kevin Love, Isaac Okoro, and many more, it seems the young Cavs team has what it needs to go deep in the playoffs.

Portland Trail Blazers

After years of being in the middle of the pack, the Blazers decide to shake things up and change their core. Damian Lillard and Jusuf Nurkic are still here, but with new additions, Portland has shown a totally different identity. Dame got a new sidekick in Anfernee Simmons, who has proven he has learned a lot from his veteran, being that #2 offensive option, ready to torch anybody on a given night.

In addition, two-way juggernauts like Jerami Grant and Josh Hart have given a much need identity on the defensive side of the floor to this team, doing all the little things and allowing Dame to focus on what he does best. Lillard's injury will definitely slow down Portland's hot start, but the rest of them will hold down the fort and try to build on their 5-2 start.

New Orleans Pelicans

Although a 4-3 start doesn't sound too spectacular, the Pelicans have been hampered by injuries early in the season, most notably to their All-Star Brandon Ingram and defensive specialist Herbert Jones. But they have still looked very good and shown they have a very deep rotation. Zion Williamson is still an unstoppable force. CJ McCollum has continued his great form from last season, and when the trio of him, Zion, and Ingram is together on the floor, not too many teams can counter.

When you add a quality big man like Jonas Valanicuans, along with an array of serviceable role players like Jose Alvarado, Devonte Graham, Naji Marshall, Trey Murphy III, Larry Nance Jr., and more, you have a team with a head and tail. If they manage to stay healthy, there is no team in the West or the whole NBA for that matter, they can't beat

Former Kansas Jayhawks player Scot Pollard

“It’s a common expression here” - Scot Pollard revealed the code the Sacramento Kings used for too much dribbling

As it turned out, every single player on "The Greatest Show on the Court" Kings was about team basketball.

New York Knicks guard John Starks

"That’s like the best feeling as a guard" — John Starks shared his favorite dunk besides "The Dunk"

Knicks icon John Starks relished the time he pulled off the best dunk of his career.

Portland Trail Blazers guard Clyde Drexler

“He’s telling me how to prepare?” — Clyde Drexler described rookie Cliff Robinson's energy

Clyde Drexler saw a young Cliff Robinson as a breath of fresh air in Portland.

Kevin Garnett & Paul Pierce

Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce have an interesting suggestion on what the Brooklyn Nets could do to upgrade their roster

Garnett and Pierce want to see the Nets make some changes to their roster, and they believe that Dwight Howard can help them out this season

Tracy McGrady

Tracy McGrady reveals his favorite player growing up that made a tremendous impact on his career - "That was my Michael Jordan, that motherfu***er was cold"

McGrady had a tremendous amount of respect for Penny Hardaway, who was his favorite player growing up and, later his a mentor as well