|Jacoby Ellsbury Signed with the Yankees: Now What?||A.J. Pierzynski Deal Meant End of Jarrod Saltalamacchia in Boston||Bruins Catching Up On Much-Needed Rest||Winning the Wire and the Playoffs: Week 14 Fantasy Sleepers|
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tags: Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls, Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, NBA Playoffs, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz