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If the Playoffs Started Today – NBA Week 5

Thunders vs Bulls: Week 5's prediction for the NBA Finals

After another week of action, things are starting to really heat up. Houston is rising, while Orlando is falling. Even Milwaukee’s getting in on the action. It looks like plenty will be shaken up in the rest of the season, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Sunday, January 29 at 8:00pm:

West

#1 Oklahoma City Thunder vs #8 Dallas Mavericks

Dallas is getting better from their slow start, but the Thunder are rolling. They’re a West-best 11-2 in the conference, and have won their last four, leaving a Jason Kidd-less Dallas with a tough time.

#2 Denver Nuggets vs #7 Portland Trail Blazers

Similarly, the Blazers are doing well, but the Nuggets are actually good on the road, plus Denver’s won six straight.

#3 Los Angeles Clippers vs #6 San Antonio Spurs

The Clippers are only percentage points ahead of the Spurs, while both teams are great at home but poor on the road. When both teams are so similar, that home-court advantage means everything, and right now, the Clippers have it.

#5 Utah Jazz vs #4 Houston Rockets

Utah may have home-court advantage, but Houston is just about the hottest team in the NBA right now, having won nine of ten. However, they’ve still had some huge road troubles against good teams. This is another series where home-court advantage should mean everything as things stand.

East

#1 Chicago Bulls vs #8 Milwaukee Bucks

Milwaukee may be the least bad of all East playoff teams, but Chicago is much too good for Milwaukee to stand a chance.

#2 Miami Heat vs #7 Boston Celtics

Miami is continuing its rise back to the top, most recently knocking off Chicago in impressive fashion. Boston may be recovering from early season struggles, but they’re still having a rough time, and they won’t be able to keep up with Miami’s explosiveness.

#3 Philadelphia 76ers vs #6 Orlando Magic

Philadelphia is continuing to keep their record up, while Orlando is having trouble putting together points. And with Dwight Howard stirring things up in the locker room, Orlando will have a tough time putting together a meaningful run.

#4 Atlanta Hawks vs #5 Indiana Pacers

Indiana finally seems to be cooling off, at least compared to other teams around them. Both teams have one home loss, while Atlanta has the better conference record, so unless Indiana can make up their 1.0-game difference, they’ll have a tough time.

What Might Change Next Week:

  • It’s a tough week for a lot of teams, but the biggest thing looks to be Dallas taking over the Division from Houston.

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