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If the Playoffs Started Today – NBA Week 4

Pacers vs Spurs: Week 4's prediction for the NBA Finals

A month is gone in the NBA season on Thanksgiving, and there’s plenty of room for movement. Other than Indiana and Miami, no East team is above .500. Meanwhile, three .500 or better teams in the West aren’t even in the playoffs. Seeding is still very clogged up, so anyone could be anywhere in not too much time, for the most part. While all 30 teams are resting on Thanksgiving, let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Thursday, November 28:

West

#1 San Antonio Spurs vs #8 Golden State Warriors

The Warriors are having a difficult time in the middle of the crowded West, while the Spurs, despite a loss in Oklahoma City are still leading the West. And with a perfect home record to boot, the Spurs should get yet another first-round victory.

#2 Portland Trail Blazers vs #7 Denver Nuggets

Phoenix just ended Portland‘s 11-game winning streak, while Denver has won four straight to settle into the seventh seed. Still, two of Portland’s three losses on the season have specifically been in Phoenix (the other against Houston). Denver still has a lot of work to do to stand a decent chance here.

#3 Oklahoma City Thunder vs #6 Dallas Mavericks

Dallas has hit 10 wins, but is still having some road issues. Oklahoma City has won five in a row, preserving a perfect home record against San Antonio in the process. With all the pure talent the Thunder have, they likely won’t have any issues this early.

#4 Los Angeles Clippers vs #5 Houston Rockets

Both teams are 11-5, great at home and near .500 on the road. This will definitely be a close one, but if the Clippers can use all their abilities to their advantage and manage to neutralize Dwight Howard, they should do well enough against the Rockets.

East

#1 Indiana Pacers vs #8 Detroit Pistons

At 6-9, the Pistons are only in the picture because of an exceptionally poor conference. At 14-1, Pacers will win easily.

#2 Miami Heat vs #7 Charlotte Bobcats

The same can be said for the 7-9 Bobcats and the 12-3 defending champion Heat.

#3 Chicago Bulls vs #6 Washington Wizards

The Bulls are the only team to beat the Pacers so far, but they recently lost Derrick Rose for the season, again. The Wizards have won three in a row, and are just half a game behind Chicago. That can give Washington a good edge, unless Chicago can remain vigilant enough at home (5-0 so far).

#5 Atlanta Hawks vs #4 Toronto Raptors

The Raptors are only 6-8, leading the weakest division in basketball, while the Hawks are at 8-8 following three straight losses. Toronto has a chance with Atlanta’s negative momentum, but they’ll need Rudy Gay to be at the top of his game nonetheless if they hope to overcome Atlanta.

What Might Change Next Week:

  • The Celtics have the Cavs, Bucks and Bucks again, which gives them a good chance at the division lead if they can put together another winning streak.
  • Look for the winner of Phoenix at Memphis to squeak into the last Western spot.
  • With much of the East an exercise in futility, look for some noise in the lower seeds there.

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