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If the Playoffs Started Today – NBA Week 16

Spurs vs Heat: Week 16's prediction for the NBA Finals

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:

West

#1 San Antonio Spurs vs #8 Houston Rockets

Houston isn’t bad, and they’re only #8 by half a game, but there’s no way a 12-19 road record will cut it against a Spurs team with but two home losses on the season.

#2 Oklahoma City Thunder vs #7 Utah Jazz

This series will wind up in a similar fashion. The Thunder are loaded with explosive talent. The Jazz are a good team, but just 10-19 on the road so far. OKC has too much ability to lose this soon.

#3 Los Angeles Clippers vs #6 Golden State Warriors

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.

#4 Memphis Grizzlies vs #5 Denver Nuggets

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.

East

#1 Miami Heat vs #8 Milwaukee Bucks

Miami has won 12 straight. Milwaukee quite simply can’t win this one.

#2 Indiana Pacers vs #7 Boston Celtics

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.

#3 New York Knicks vs #6 Chicago Bulls

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.

#4 Brooklyn Nets vs #5 Atlanta Hawks

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.

What Might Change Next Week:

  • Don’t look for much to happen in the next week, unless Brooklyn manages to choke in Charlotte and against Washington.

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