By Wally Jacobs @Wjac1 on April 2, 2014
With the NBA Playoffs right around the corner, it's important to remember that not all teams in the postseason are true title contenders. Here are the top five pretenders that will be headed to the playoffs.
The expectations were extremely high for the Brooklyn Nets coming into this season, but they disappointed tremendously out of the gate. Although they've been playing well since the All-Star break, winning four grueling playoff series to win a championship seems nearly impossible for this aging team.
The Chicago Bulls are having another cinderella season without their former MVP Derrick Rose. Centered around Joakim Noah, the Bulls find ways to win with their tenacity on defense. However, their inability to score has been an Achilles' heel all season long. Don't expect that problem to go away in the playoffs.
The Toronto Raptors can outscore any team on any given night, and the way Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan can put the ball in the hoop is a thing of beauty. However, when the playoff games become a defensive grind, it might be tough for this team to even escape the first round.
LaMarcus Aldridge is having another spectacular season along with Damian Lillard, but the Portland Trail Blazers have shown inconsistencies when they play the league's most elite teams. When the postseason rolls around, it's difficult to think that the Blazers can win more than one playoff series.
Early in the season, the Indiana Pacers were the darlings of the NBA. Paul George was playing like a league MVP, and their defense was clicking on all cylinders. But ever since the trade for Evan Turner, the Pacers haven't found that championship-winning chemistry. Consider this team a pretender until they can get their act together.
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