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If the Playoffs Started Today – NBA Week 20

Spurs vs Pacers: Week 20's prediction for the NBA Finals

Just a few weeks, 10 or so games, remain in the season. San Antonio continues to put themselves in a great position, but nothing is for certain with the Thunder close behind and so much of the standings still up for grabs. Some teams are settling in for ping pong balls, but plenty others have a great chance at making noise in the postseason, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Thursday, March 27 at 8:00pm:

West

#1 San Antonio Spurs vs #8 Phoenix Suns

Five straight wins have the Suns back in the hunt, but 15 straight wins have the Spurs as odds-on favorites to win it all.

#2 Oklahoma City Thunder vs #7 Memphis Grizzlies

Though San Antonio may be the favorite, Oklahoma City is keeping pace, having won their six games against teams other than Dallas. Memphis has been winning just as often, including limiting Indiana to just 71 points in a win. OKC’s significant talent pool gives them the edge, but don’t be surprised if Memphis makes a series of it.

#3 Los Angeles Clippers vs #6 Golden State Warriors

Both sides have been winning quite a bit, though it’s been a tough March for Golden State against playoff teams, even in wins. The Clippers haven’t even faced one since beating Golden State two weeks ago. The Clippers have so many ways to beat opponents, and have the West’s best home record, so Golden State will have a real tough road ahead if they want to pull off the upset.

#4 Houston Rockets vs #5 Portland Trail Blazers

Houston has won four straight games, while Portland‘s three straight losses have them in serious jeopardy of falling further in the standings. Look for Houston to continue their momentum in the right direction in this one.

East

#1 Indiana Pacers vs #8 Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks are back in their losing rut, four straight at the moment. Indiana, already winners of the Central Division, shouldn’t have much of a problem here.

#2 Miami Heat vs #7 Charlotte Bobcats

Miami has been a .500 team over the last few weeks, but they’re still Miami. And when Chris Bosh can hit threes on you, watch out. Charlotte has had mixed results over the last week and a half, but they’ll need more quality wins to stand up to Miami.

#3 Toronto Raptors vs #6 Washington Wizards

The Wizards have now lost four of their last five, while the Raptors have been more even with wins and losses. Toronto has won the season series 3-1, and scored 129 points in that one loss. Having already won twice in Washington helps as well.

#4 Chicago Bulls vs #5 Brooklyn Nets

The Nets have lost their last two, but have been surging otherwise. Chicago has lost here and there, but to the likes of Indiana, OKC and San Antonio. With their superior veteran presence, the Nets have the ability to place themselves on that list of top NBA teams that give Chicago fits, but Chicago is bound to have a few tricks up their sleeve. Either way, look for a fun, close series.

What Might Change Next Week:

  • Dallas hosts Golden State, who also hosts Memphis in return. With Memphis, Phoenix and Dallas all within half a game of each other, Dallas has a good chance of getting a spot right back.

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