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If the Playoffs Started Today – NBA Week 3

Spurs vs Pacers: Week 3's prediction for the NBA FInals

It’s three weeks into the season now, and we’re getting a sense of who will be a contender and who will be playing for ping pong balls. The Pacers, Spurs and Blazers are doing quite well for themselves, while the Bucks and Jazz are having quite a bit of difficulties. The West is still populated by winners, while the East features three playoff teams with losing records, one of which leads a division. With teams jostling each other all over the place, let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Friday, November 22, before the day’s games:

West

#1 San Antonio Spurs vs #8 Memphis Grizzlies

The Grizzlies have won four in a row, but with their start to the season that’s only good for eighth place in the West. The Spurs have won eight straight to move to 10-1, and once again remain a major player in the NBA. THe Spurs should be able to take care of this one.

#2 Portland Trail Blazers vs #7 Houston Rockets

Dwight Howard isn’t helping the Rockets as much as they hoped. They’re only .500 on the road, which will create problems against a 10-2 Blazers squad that’s won eight in a row.

#3 Oklahoma City Thunder vs #6 Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers are doing well with Doc Rivers, but “well” isn’t nearly good enough in the West. They’re sub-.500 on the road, while the Thunder haven’t lost at home. The Thunder have plenty of young and powerful talent centered around Kevin Durant, but can hurt you in so many ways.

#4 Golden State Warriors vs #5 Dallas Mavericks

The Mavericks have won three games straight to move up to #5, but they’re 6-0 at home and only 2-4 on the road. The Warriors have moved up to #4 and lead the Pacific Division, with their last two losses coming against Memphis. Dallas will make things very interesting, but with a potential Game 7 being in Oakland, they could have some problems in the end.

East

#1 Indiana Pacers vs #8 Detroit Pistons

The Pacers are 10-1; Detroit is 4-7. The Pistons have won just one road game all year, and that was in Sacramento. It seems pretty clear how this one will go.

#2 Miami Heat vs #7 Philadelphia 76ers

Philadelphia has lost four in a row, and also has one road win all season long (in Washington). Miami is 9-3, but still has much more than enough to take down Philadelphia.

#3 Chicago Bulls vs #6 Charlotte Bobcats

Chicago only has one road win themselves, but are 5-0 at home. Charlotte is 3-3 both at home and on the road, but isn’t used to having much success, whereas the Bulls and Derrick Rose know what it’s like to expect success. That could seriously jeopardize the Bobcats’ chances, but it’s not out of the question.

#5 Atlanta Hawks vs #4 Toronto Raptors

#5 isn’t a bad spot in which to be right now; the Hawks are just above .500 at 7-5, but the Raptors, division leaders, are 5-7. Without a good team in the Atlantic Division, the Raptors are getting a pity seed, which won’t be enough for them to do much.

What Might Change Next Week:

  • With the East in such turmoil in the middle of the pack, be on the lookout for someone to be the least futile and move into a spot.
  • With a light week that starts against San Antonio, one minor mistake will cost Memphis their spot in favor of Minnesota. Though Minnesota does have some tough games themselves.

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