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If the Playoffs Started Today – NBA Week 15

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

The All Star Game is this weekend, and the playoff teams are starting to come into the picture. Miami is rebuilding a lead in the East, as San Antonio is starting to do out West. The teams in the middle are still fighting for position, which is extra important in order to avoid the hardest teams at the front of the conferences. So where does everyone stand at the All Star Break? Let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Thursday, February 14, before the day’s games:

West

#1 San Antonio Spurs vs #8 Houston Rockets

San Antonio just keeps on rolling atop the West and the NBA. Houston simply won’t be able to keep up.

#2 Oklahoma City Thunder vs #7 Utah Jazz

Oklahoma City is cooling off every so slightly, now 2.0 games behind the Spurs, but they still have superior talent and 10 games over Utah. The Thunder should win fairly easily.

#3 Los Angeles Clippers vs #6 Golden State Warriors

The Clippers have won three straight, but that just reconfirms them as a highly streaky team. Still, the Warriors have lost five straight, after doing so well beforehand. The momentum is with Los Angeles, and as long as both current streaks don’t reverse themselves together, the Clippers have the edge.

#4 Memphis Grizzlies vs #5 Denver Nuggets

Memphis has won three in a row, while Denver has lost its last three. But Memphis is only 1.5 games ahead of Denver. Both teams are good at home, which helps Memphis as long as they remain #4, but with Denver’s balanced squad and Memphis having shed talent and salary earlier, Denver is still a decent pick to win.

East

#1 Miami Heat vs #8 Milwaukee Bucks

A rough patch has Milwaukee down at #8. Expect Miami to roll in this one.

#2 New York Knicks vs #7 Boston Celtics

Rajon Rondo, Jared Sullinger, and now Leandro Barbosa are done for the season. Boston just can’t catch a break, and recently had their winning streak snapped by Charlotte of all teams. These injuries have to catch up with them eventually, giving a much healthier New York squad the edge.

#3 Indiana Pacers vs #6 Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta is starting to recover from their lengthy rough stretch, but Indiana is still a good sleeper pick, and 21-5 at home to boot. If Atlanta doesn’t fall back into any more losing ways, they have a chance, but Indiana is still the favorite.

#4 Brooklyn Nets vs #5 Chicago Bulls

Chicago lost an ugly contest against Boston on Wednesday, while two straight wins have bumped Brooklyn into the #4 spot by half a game. Brooklyn may have the extra win for now, but they’re still far too close to Chicago for comfort. Especially if Derrick Rose gets cooking, Brooklyn could find themselves in trouble.

What Might Change Next Week:

  • With a tight week following the All Star Week, Chicago could easily get to #4 with one slip-up by Brooklyn.

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