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Kobe Bryant has played more games than Michael Jordan, Ray Allen needs two more threes to break Reggie Miller’s record, and the Cavaliers have now lost more games in a row (25) than the previous record holder, Cleveland. Yes, there’s plenty of exciting things happening in the NBA lately. Of course, San Antonio’s still running away with everything, but the rest of the league is fairly close to each other, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Tuesday, February 8, before the day’s games:
San Antonio is still the team to beat. Their only two home losses (New Orleans and Dallas) were their first two losses of the season. Portland may have won at home on the first of the month, but they still haven’t come close to beating San Antonio at home.
Make it nine straight for Cuban’s crew. Denver‘s not too good on the road, and they even just lost at home to Houston. With Nowitzki back in tow, the Mavericks are back to normal. They’re too much for the Nuggets right now, especially if this Nuggets/Knicks/Timberwolves deal goes through.
To see the Jazz at #6 and think they’ll be an easy out would be to fall into a trap series. The Jazz are 14-12 on the road, and 17-10 in the Land of 10,000 Wives. They have playoff experience, and can give anyone troubles. I’d still expect the Lakers to win, but the Jazz’ll test ’em.
The Thunder have won their last three while the Hornets have lost their last three, most recently at home to Minnesota. The Thunder are rolling, while the Hornets are rolling gutter balls, so the Thunder have the clear edge right now.
Boston has no business losing to Charlotte. The worse a team is, the worse Boston plays against them. Since Indiana is on a four-game winning streak right now, that might be good news for Boston. Still, with the elderly in Boston’s lineup dropping like flies, Indiana has a good a shot as any lesser team of the upset victory.
Chicago may have lost two in a row, but the Knicks are playing iffy lately. Chicago’s 23-4 home record, along with Boston, is the NBA’s second best. One of those four was to New York, but that was over three months ago. Chicago has stabilized since then, and is a very good team.
Orlando is now 1.5 games behind Atlanta, and is 5-5 in their last 10. Atlanta is 7-3 in their last 10, including wins in their last three. Now that the Hawks have gotten quite good on the road (now 16-11), they’re starting to become a favorite in this series instead of a toss-up. It’ll still be close, but Atlanta holds that slight edge.
Tags: Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, NBA Playoffs, New Orleans Hornets, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz