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If the Playoffs Started Today – NBA Week 13

Spurs vs Celtics: Week 13's prediction for the NBA Finals

Halfway through the season, and there’s great fun in futility. The Cavs are on pace for 15 wins, and are eight losses away from breaking their own record for longest losing streak ever. The Wizards are 0-21 on the road. But the Spurs have a six-game lead over the Lakers, and Boston is still a relatively healthy 2.5 games ahead of the Heat. With injuries threatening multiple teams, there’s still plenty of time for the standings to get shaken up, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Tuesday, January 25, before the day’s games:

West

#1 San Antonio Spurs vs #8 Portland Trail Blazers

Portland may be 16-6 at home, but they’re 9-15 on the road, compared to San Antonio‘s 24-2 at home. Portland really doesn’t have much hope the way San Antonio has played this season.

#2 Los Angeles Lakers vs #7 Denver Nuggets

Yes, the Lakers have had their trying times, but they’re back in business. And at 5-13 on the road, and with ‘Melo potentially departing shortly, the Nuggets aren’t in a position for a deep run.

#3 New Orleans Hornets vs #6 Utah Jazz

As of late, these two teams are going in completely opposite directions. Still 19-5 at home and with nine straight wins, the Hornets are back on track. The Jazz, on the other hand, have lost four in a row. They’re not necessarily done and roasted yet, but they’ll have to take great care to stand a chance.

#5 Dallas Mavericks vs #4 Oklahoma City Thunder

With one less loss, Dallas still has home-court advantage. But they still have a long way to go to recover their luster from earlier in the season. With Durant, Westbrook, Ibaka, and others, the Thunder will be a huge challenge in the bracket this time around.

East

#1 Boston Celtics vs #8 Charlotte Bobcats

Charlotte is looking a lot like last year: okay at home but terrible on the road. Boston tends to get complacent against terrible teams, but they should still win out with seven chances to move on.

#2 Miami Heat vs #7 Philadelphia 76ers

Key injuries showed something glaringly obvious about the Heat: without their Big Three, they’re ripe for the picking. But Philadelphia isn’t good in their own right, and James, Wade, and Bosh will all be back.

#3 Chicago Bulls vs #6 New York Knicks

New York is only 3-7 in their last 10, but they do already hold two victories over Chicago this season, and with the Nets out of the way, they’ve been in the forefront of the ‘Melo discussions (provided Denver lowers their asking price). The Knicks may still need him, because Joakim Noah will be back and make the Bulls that much better.

#4 Atlanta Hawks vs #5 Orlando Magic

Both teams are 29-16, but Atlanta is 2-1 against Orlando this season. Orlando seems to be evening out after the mega trades, while Atlanta is 8-2 in its last 10, and 15-9 on the road (a huge improvement, including a win in Miami on January 18). The way these two are shaping up, it could go either way, and should go at least six games (more than likely seven).

What Might Change Next Week:

  • With Charlotte on a lengthy road trip, look for Indiana to break back into #8.
  • If Dallas regenerates enough to beat the Hawks, then the Magic could take home-court advantage over them by with their extra game this week.

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  1. [...] The Cavs are on pace for 15 wins, and are eight losses away from breaking their own record …sportsofboston.com/…/if-the-playoffs-started-today-nba-week-… Share and [...]

    Posted by If the Playoffs Started Today – NBA Week 13 | Sports of Boston | NBA Playoff Tickets | January 27, 2011, 9:41 pm

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