Bucks, Lakers pace NBA playoff race

Luisa Morales (Philstar.com) – January 1, 2020 – 3:03pm

MANILA, Philippines – Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks are leading the NBA playoff picture heading into the new decade.

With a league-best 30-5 record, the Eastern Conference’s Bucks come out on top against the Los Angeles Lakers, who are slowing down after a hot start.

The one-two punch of LeBron James and Anthony Davis have led the Lakers to the No. 1 spot in the West with a 26-7 slate.

Last year’s champions Toronto Raptors, meanwhile, are sitting at fourth place in the East with 23 wins and 11 losses.

For their part, runners-up Golden State Warriors are in the middle of a nightmarish season —finding themselves in the cellars.

With Klay Thompson and Steph Curry stuck in the sidelines due to injury, the Warriors have only notched nine wins in 35 outings.

The Boston Celtics (23-8) and the Miami Heat (24-9) are exceeding expectations so far taking the second and third spot in the East respectively heading into the New Year.

The Indiana Pacers (22-12) are in fifth while the 76ers (23-13), Nets (16-16) and the Orlando Magic (14-19) complete the top eight teams for the East.

Meanwhile in the tougher Western Conference, the Denver Nuggets (23-10) and the LA Clippers (24-11) are keeping themselves within striking distance of the Lakers.

Former MVPs James Harden and Russell Westbrook have been doing work to keep the Houston Rockets well within the playoff picture sitting at fourth with a 23-11 slate.

Kristaps Porzingis, Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks (21-12) are also looking gold early at the fifth spot.

The Utah Jazz (21-12), Oklahoma City Thunder (18-15) and the San Antonio Spurs (14-18) round up the top eight teams in the West.

However, the season is far from over with more to come before the All-Star break.

Who do you think will come out on top in the end?

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