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If the Playoffs Started Today – NBA Week 15

Bulls vs Spurs: Week 15's prediction for the NBA Finals

After another week, we’re starting to see some teams punch their postseason tickets, and some teams bow out. The Thunder have weakened themselves out of the #1 spot out West. The Wildcard races are also pretty close as well, which should make the last 10 games or so that much more entertaining. So with the league moving into the home stretch, let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Monday, April 9, before the day’s games:

West

#1 San Antonio Spurs vs #8 Denver Nuggets

San Antonio is unquestionably the best team in the league right now, having won 11 straight. There’s not really much of any hope for Denver against such abilities.

#2 Oklahoma City Thunder vs #7 Dallas Mavericks

Dallas is having a tough time of things by their standards, just like Oklahoma City, but the Thunder are still as deadly as anyone, and lead the West in wins. Maybe Dallas could hold their own at home, but the Thunder will win the series in OKC.

#3 Los Angeles Lakers vs #6 Houston Rockets

Houston doesn’t exactly have the road record to contend, but Andrew Bynum does have a thing for getting ejected against the Rockets this year. However, the Lakers still have an outstanding home record and now have Ramon Sessions to stabilize the point guard position, not to mention Kobe Bryant leading the way.

#4 Los Angeles Clippers vs #5 Memphis Grizzlies

Both teams have been doing well as of late, and both are quite noticeably better at home. That does favor the Clippers, but the Grizzlies upset the spurs only last year. Still, with a series so close and sure to go seven games, home-court and a stellar front court should eke out a win for the Clippers.

East

#1 Chicago Bulls vs #8 Philadelphia 76ers

The 76ers are completely in dud mode, and while Chicago isn’t perfect right now by any means, the 76ers are a perfect opponent against whom to get back in shape.

#2 Miami Heat vs #7 New York Knicks

‘Melo can’t carry the Knicks by himself, especially with Miami‘s Big Three swarming over him and Amar’e Stoudemire and Jeremy Lin hurt.

#3 Indiana Pacers vs #6 Orlando Magic

Dwight Howard might safely be in Orlando, but he’s allegedly tried to get Head Coach Stan van Gundy fired, which can only blow up the locker room. The Pacers have been on a bit of an upswing in the meantime, which could very well carry enough momentum to capitalize on Orlando’s latest Howard-inspired soap opera.

#5 Atlanta Hawks vs #4 Boston Celtics

Again, both teams are on winning streaks, but Boston will still need to picks things up on the road to pull off a victory. For Atlanta, the key comes down to keeping up a fast pace to wear down Boston’s old and injured players. Of course, when that does happen, Rajon Rondo always turns into a secret weapon. If the streaky Celtics can stay on a good streak, they may simply have too many pieces for Atlanta to overcome.

What Might Change Next Week:

  • With the Knicks visiting Milwaukee, they remain in large danger of losing their spot to Milwaukee.
  • Oklahoma has a shot at regaining the top spot, but first San Antonio has to run into a wall in Utah (20-8 at home).

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