|Report: Celtics and Clippers Revive Trade Talks||Aaron Hernandez Not Ruled out as Suspect in Homicide Investigation; Sued For Shooting Man in Florida||Questions at Third: What is Wrong with Will Middlebrooks?||Red Sox Make up their Mind, Place Clay Buchholz on the DL|
It’s All-Star Weekend, and we’re now halfway through an abbreviated season. The Heat, Bulls and Thunder all continue to be on top, while other predicted contenders are continuing to bring up the rear and middle of the brackets. Better things were expected from Boston and New York, but that’s where they are. The race for #8 in the West is also very cluttered, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Sunday, February 26:
The Rockets have won three in a row, and can definitely provide a challenge for the Clippers. However, they still have difficulties on the road, which could be disastrous with Blake Griffin and Chris Paul running afoot.
Both teams are doing well lately, but at the risk of being redundant, the Lakers are 14-2 at home, but but 6-12 on the road. Dallas is barely above .500 on the road themselves, so it shouldn’t be another sweep, but the Mavericks do have the advantage against a Lakers team without big man Lamar Odom (now with the Mavericks, by the way).
The teams are close, but Indiana has won four in a row to move back up to #3. It hasn’t been against the best teams, but Atlanta hasn’t won consecutive games in over two weeks, and is 4-8 in their last 12. It’ll be a close series, no doubt, but the home team has won each game in the season series so far.
Philadelphia has lost five in row, keeping their position only because New York and Boston have been doing so poorly. The Magic have been doing well lately despite the Dwight Howard trade deadline drama. With Philadelphia’s negative momentum and losing road record, Orlando has the edge in addition to home-court advantage.
Tags: Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, NBA Playoffs, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs