|Notes and Observations Week 15: Patriots Blow Out Dolphins 41-13; Clinch AFC East||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Defense, Special Teams Carry Home Team||Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 15||Right Idea? Red Sox Bring in Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Justin Masterson|
Another week by, and the All-Star starters are already in place. Only one, Carmelo Anthony, isn’t from a currently seeded team, so it should be a good game. In the meantime, teams are still shaking things up. Houston is falling while Miami is going back up. But Chicago and Oklahoma City are still running the show. But what’s happening in the meantime? Let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Sunday, February 5, before the day’s games:
You can pretty much throw out home/away ratings here, but the Lakers are struggling at the bottom of the bracket, despite being just 1.5 games behind the Clippers. The teams are 1-1 against each other so far, but the Clippers were 2-0 in the pre-season. The Lakers are essentially carried by Kobe Bryant, while Chris Paul and Blake Griffin lead the entertaining Clippers. Without big man Lamar Odom, it’ll be tough for the Lakers to defend the Clippers’ pounding style of attack.
Boston has won three in a row, finally getting above .500 again. But Toronto aside, they’ve had real problems getting and holding leads. With the explosiveness behind Miami‘s younger, stronger Big Three, the Heat should still be able to pull out a win.
All of a sudden, the Magic have won three straight. But Philadelphia has the better conference record, and they’re 12-3 at home. The one time they met this season (in Philadelphia), the 76ers were limited to 74 points, but the Magic only scored 69. Philadelphia still has the edge.
Both teams are close; Indiana is only ahead because they have a game in hand on Atlanta. Both teams are good at home and away. Indiana does have only two home losses and 10 road wins, so they may have to rely on their home crowd four times to put them over the edge if they are to win.
Tags: Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, NBA Playoffs, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz