|Rusney Castillo signs with Red Sox for 7 years, $72.5 million||Connelly’s Top Ten: All-Star Starting Pitchers, Medal for Frates, Weekend||Video: Angels’ Garret Richards Blows Out Knee vs. Red Sox||The Mishandled Career of Jackie Bradley Jr.|
Now that the All-Star break is over, the final stretch of the season has begun. The East’s top eight have a fairly good lead over the rest, while Memphis is still knocking on the door out West. Seeding is still a jumble in the middle of both conference brackets as well. A lot will be decided in the final month and a half, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs as of Thursday, February 27 at 9:30pm:
The Thunder have lost their last three games, all of them at home. That would usually make a team a more popular team to be upset, but Phoenix have lost three in a row themselves. In a loaded conference, NBA betting odds with sportsbooks may not favor the Suns and checking back week to week will likely say that Phoenix will certainly be tested.
San Antonio is making a push to regain the top seed, and own the NBA’s best road record (22-8). The Warriors have a mini lead over Phoenix, and are poking around #6. The Warriors have the talent to make a run of things, but the older Spurs have plenty of tricks left up their sleeve.
Dallas has won four games in a row, though Portland has gotten back on track and done the same. Both teams have won on the other’s home court, with each side scoring in triple digits each time. Dirk Nowitzki means the Mavericks can never be discounted, the Blazers have been doing very well without being in the spotlight too often. Without elite names on the team, it’ll be tough to know who to guard on them.
Houston and Los Angeles are still fighting tooth and nail for home-court advantage, which could mean plenty the way both sides have been playing at home all season. However, the Clippers have emerged as front runners to land Danny Granger, assuming he clears waivers Friday as most expect. The Clippers are already dangerous with a great coach surrounded by great players, and with yet another notable talent in the mix, it might just tip the scales in LA’s favor.
Miami has won five straight, and even a broken nose isn’t slowing LeBron James down. When the Heat are clicking like this, the Nets (and everyone else for that matter) will find Miami nearly impossible to stop.
The Bobcats have surprised lately, winning four straight. Toronto has been winning plenty themselves, and have a winning road record. The Raptors would be in 10th place if they were in the West, but hardly anyone thought the Bobcats would be relevant, and if you can’t pick Miami or Indiana, Toronto would be an attractive dark horse in the East.
Tags: Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Bobcats, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors, 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