Who’s legit? Ranking the NBA’s seven surprise teams

  • Co-author, Pro Basketball Prospectus series
  • Formerly a consultant with the Indiana Pacers
  • Developed WARP rating and SCHOENE system

Which surprisingly strong starts are most likely to continue?

After an unpredictable first two weeks of the 2020-21 season, seven teams that were in the 2020 lottery would make the playoffs if the season ended today. Those range from a former dynasty to teams expected to make a leap after busy offseasons to others who still seemed to be early in the rebuilding process.

Not all those teams will stay .500 or better. Let’s take a closer look at this group to see which ones have staying power and which are likely to fall back into the lottery, from most likely to continue to least.

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