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After another week, the drama is picking up in some areas. The 76ers have slid clear out of the division lead. The Knicks are out Amar’e Stoudemire and Jeremy Lin, but have a decent lead on the last spot, for now. The Lakers are running into a mini tough patch, and the Clippers are making a move. Before the season winds down, plenty could still happen to blow up the standings, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Sunday, April 1, before the day’s games:
Despite Los Angeles‘ recent benchings and rough performances, they still have plenty of talent to make waves, especially at home. The Grizzlies are 4-6 in their last 10 and still have a losing record both on the road and in the conference. Not that the Lakers will cruise, but they should still be in for a fight.
Both teams are doing well right now, but the Clippers are on a five-game winning streak; anybody remember the last time that statement was factual? The Mavericks recently won in Orlando, but quality road wins are still almost unheard of for Dallas this season. With the Clippers having a top option at point guard to feed it to some athletic big men, Dallas will have a difficult time mounting a defense to their title.
Orlando may have lost two straight, but Atlanta hasn’t exactly been doing well in their last four games following their winning streak of like length. Atlanta should still have enough to hold sway in Atlanta, but a potential Game 7 in Orlando may just be too much to overcome in the end.
Boston has really picked things up since the All-Star break. Indiana has shown the ability to beat Boston before (and having Larry Bird on your side doesn’t hurt), but Boston has been running wild even without Ray Allen. Once his ankle rests up and the Cs get that shooting ability back, they’ll be even harder for a so-so team to defeat.
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