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If the Playoffs Started Today – NBA Week 16

Spurs vs Celtics: Week 16's prediction for the NBA Finals

The Clippers are now officially the worst team ever, after letting Cleveland get the better of them. Speaking of which, it’s thanks to the Cavs that Washington finally won a road game in its 26th attempt. And the Celtics are still in 1st place in the East despite emptying out the Maine Red Claws with all the injuries. They might have Miami’s number, but not necessarily other teams’ numbers. Other than the Spurs, no team is yet able to go on cruise control, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Tuesday, February 15, before the day’s games:

West

#1 San Antonio Spurs vs #8 Denver Nuggets

Denver is plummeting faster than a Delta flight with a leaking engine. Perhaps the Carmelo Anthony talks are getting to them? Whatever the case may be, there’s no way a 9-18 road record won’t get past San Antonio‘s 25-2 home record.

#2 Dallas Mavericks vs #7 Utah Jazz

When the Mavericks are healthy, they’re on. With Jerry Sloan run out of town by someone (himself or otherwise), the Jazz have continued their own downward spiral. Cuban and Co. are on pace for another deep playoff run.

#3 Los Angeles Lakers vs #6 Portland Trail Blazers

The Lakers have been sputtering lately, most recently losing in Charlotte by 20. Meanwhile, the Blazers have won five straight. It’s not that the Blazers have the caliber to beat the Lakers when L.A. does tend to turn it on in April, but they should make things interesting first.

#4 Oklahoma City Thunder vs #5 New Orleans Hornets

It’s pretty tough these days to figure out which Hornets will show up. But they and the Thunder have both relatively stabilized their seedings lately. Oklahoma won the season series 3-1 in a battle of the top two fantasy picks, and only lost in New Orleans by a minute two points. Without their early season magic, all the Hornets can do is win a game or two.

East

#1 Boston Celtics vs #8 Indiana Pacers

Indiana has won three in a row and eight of their last 10. Boston may have Miami’s number, but they barely managed to win. Add to that all the injuries, and even if Boston makes it past Indiana, they probably won’t be stable for long.

#2 Miami Heat vs #7 Philadelphia 76ers

Philadelphia‘s doing pretty good considering they’re the 76ers, winning two in a row and seven of 10. But Miami is still a legitimate powerhouse who was #1 again briefly. As long as the Heat don’t face the Celtics in the post-season, they should be fine.

#3 Chicago Bulls vs #6 New York Knicks

Chicago is solidly at #3 in the East, and their 23-4 home record is second only to San Antonio. They’re also the only NBA team yet to lose in their division. New York is so-so, and they might need to rip ‘Melo away from the Nuggets to have a good shot at defeating Chicago, once Joakim Noah returns.

#4 Atlanta Hawks vs #5 Orlando Magic

Neither team has been quite impressive lately. The Hawks have lost their last two home games, while the Magic have recently lost to a horribly banged up Celtics team and at home to a pretty poor road team in New Orleans. Atlanta is only ahead on percentage points right now, and this has the makings of an ugly series.

What Might Change Next Week:

  • With an abbreviated week due to the All Star game, don’t expect anything significant happen.

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  1. [...] Cleveland get the better of them. Speaking of which, it's thanks to the Cavs that …sportsofboston.com/…/if-the-playoffs-started-today-nba-week-… Share and [...]

    Posted by If the Playoffs Started Today – NBA Week 16 | Sports of Boston | NBA Playoff Tickets | February 18, 2011, 10:44 pm

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