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If the Playoffs Started Today – NBA Week 16

Bulls vs Thunder: Week 16's prediction for the NBA Finals

We’re now less than two weeks from the conclusion of the regular season, and only seven spots (three divisions) have been locked up so far. Few teams are very secure in a seed, which means there’s still plenty to play for. So where does that leave everyone? Let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Sunday, April 15 at 1:30pm:

West

#1 Oklahoma City Thunder vs #8 Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets may have a slight edge over Phoenix for the time being, but they still have some road issues, which will not be good against a team like Oklahoma City.

#2 San Antonio Spurs vs #7 Houston Rockets

The Rockets have lost two in a row, and are still a very rough 12-17 away from home. The Spurs are too well-equipped to fall to that kind of negative momentum.

#3 Los Angeles Lakers vs #6 Dallas Mavericks

The Mavericks have won three in a row, but so have the Lakers. They still have the home record to win, and have motivation after last postseason’s embarrassing loss, but this series may very well come down to if Andrew Bynum can keep his head about him, which has been a challenge at times.

#4 Los Angeles Clippers vs #5 Memphis Grizzlies

The Clippers are on a three-game winning streak, which has helped maintain a 1.5-game lead on Memphis. The Clippers have the talent to move on, but Memphis will make things difficult, and will pick up the upset if Los Angeles doesn’t give things their all.

East

#1 Chicago Bulls vs #8 Philadelphia 76ers

Philadelphia‘s still struggling, and Chicago can get it done with or without Rose. Easy win for Chicago.

#2 Miami Heat vs #7 New York Knicks

The Knicks are a streaky team with multiple injuries to key players. That is not a good formula against Miami and their Big Three.

#3 Indiana Pacers vs #6 Orlando Magic

The Pacers have suddenly won four straight. And after the mess Dwight Howard caused in Orlando, he’s now hurt. The Magic are now ripe for Indiana’s picking.

#5 Atlanta Hawks vs #4 Boston Celtics

Toronto loss aside, the Celtics are still a very good team since the All Star break. Even with injuries, they’re still getting huge contributions from almost the whole bench. Atlanta now hold home-court advantage based solely on a game in hand. Even if they win that game, Atlanta will still have a very difficult time dealing with Boston’s depth.

What Might Change Next Week:

  • Things look fairly stable this week, but a home-and-home between Houston and Denver could force one of the two to struggle and drop below Phoenix, if they have a good week.

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