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Just now we’re reaching the 10-week mark of the season, and it’s already more than halfway through. The Bulls, Heat and Thunder continue to be the teams to beat, while the lower half of the brackets are fighting to avoid them (though they have made great progress to secure a spot to begin with). The middle of the brackets can also fairly be called a logjam, making no seed safe, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Sunday, March 4, before the day’s games:
Both teams are 5-5 in their last 10 and hovering around .500 on the road. Dallas has slipped down the seeding lately, and they have four games out of hand. That might get them a tad extra rest compared to the Clippers, but for the time being, the home Clippers have the slight edge.
The Grizzlies have put together four wins in a row, but still struggle on the road, especially against good teams; the Lakers are 16-2 at home, by the way. With both teams picking things up lately, the Lakers have better pieces with which to move into the next round.
The Celtics have won three in a row, but that’s just another example of how incredibly streaky they are. Streakiness, age, injuries and illnesses will all come together to give the Heat an easy victory.
How about the Pacers, putting together six straight wins after five straight losses? Okay, they were all against teams currently no better than .424, but still. With two wins in a row, the Hawks are trying to right their own ship, but momentum and most of the road ability is still with Indiana.
The Sixers continue to struggle but benefit from an even weaker division. Orlando is continuing to roll, just 1.0 game away from moving ahead of Indiana. With Dwight Howard still in the fold, Orlando looks in a good position to move on to the next round.
Tags: Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, 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, San Antonio Spurs