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We’re coming up on 60 games played in the season, and there’s still a lot to play for. Miami and San Antonio are still the teams to beat, but it’s a lot closer amid the rest. In particular, the race to avoid the worst West seeds is getting very heated, especially with San Antonio and OKC waiting. Many teams are trying to carve a niche out for themselves where they are, but there’s still plenty of time left for movement, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Wednesday, February 27 at 8:00pm:
The Warriors are continuing their slide, now just 3-7 in their last 10. A win against San Antonio was certainly impressive, but their three-game winning streak, snapped Tuesday, only followed a six-game losing streak. The Clippers moving the other way, now 1.5 games (three losses in games out-of-hand) behind OKC for #2, and could accomplish a lot with their power.
After struggling for awhile, the Grizzlies have won seven to reaffirm themselves as #4. They’ll need all of that momentum against the Nuggets, who are 24-3 at home, but 12-19 on the road. Putting a little extra something into their four home games should give Memphis the edge, but the Nuggets should also stop us from calling Las Vegas and going all-in with Memphis too.
The Pacers have won five in a row to storm past New York for #2. Boston hasn’t been terrible, as injured as they are, but ever since losing to the Bobcats two weeks ago, it’s been hit-or-miss. Plus, Boston should have some trouble trying to work with Roy Hibbert if they don’t stock up on size in a hurry.
Chicago is struggling right now, and it bumped them down another seed. However, New York has been a .500 team for some time now, and there’s time for Chicago to get healthier. If Chicago can come out firing, New York could find themselves in trouble.
With three straight wins, Atlanta is back up to #5 and just half a game away from #4. Brooklyn is quite similar to the Hawks in many fashions, which will likely make this the most drawn-out series of the first round. In the end, with both sides so even, Atlanta’s advantage in playoff experience could very well be what matters in the end.
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