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Seven weeks are gone in the NBA season, and three teams are above .500 in the East. Beyond the front few teams, the teams are as clustered as they can be, and especially in the East several teams ranked ninth and lower are in the running. Trading season is off and running, and many teams have interests and holes to fill. A lot can and will happen in the next week, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Thursday, December 19, before the day’s games:
Phoenix is doing well enough to stay in the hunt, but well enough won’t cut it against this season’s Portland squad. They can easily win anywhere, and have scored at least 100 points in 14 straight games. Phoenix just had a five-game winning streak, but they’ll have plenty of trouble against the best teams.
These divisional rivals always have great games against each other. Dallas is a good team, but almost all of that ability shines in Dallas. San Antonio is one of the tougher places to play in the league, and the Spurs never like to end their season this early.
Both teams are about as good they come at home, which is good news for the Clippers. With all their talents, the Rockets will have some difficulties. That being said, Houston center Omer Asik is involved in plenty of trade rumors. Houston won’t deal him unless they can get a good deal, but if they can get a piece or two to help out, it could always help against LA.
The Celtics continue to benefit from being in a very weak division, but Detroit is 2-0 against them this season, most recently a 107-106 hard-fought victory Wednesday. Even in a weak division and with good chemistry, it will be difficult for a rebuilding team like Boston to do anything much.
Tags: Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Charlotte Bobcats, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, NBA Playoffs, Oklahoma City Thunder, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards