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If the Playoffs Started Today – NBA Week 12

Spurs vs Celtics: Week 12's prediction for the NBA Finals

Another week down, and after a brief scare, the Celtics are back on top of the Heat, following injuries to the other Big Three. Dirk Nowitzki’s absence really took a toll on the Mavericks. The Lakers are nicely situated at #2. The #8/#9 gaps are reasonably safe, in the West due to skill and the East due to common ineptitude. There’s plenty to cover, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Tuesday, January 18, 2011:


#1 San Antonio Spurs vs #8 Portland Trail Blazers

The Spurs are on pace for exactly 70 wins. The Blazers have a baby winning streak going, but they’re still 8-15 on the road. Spurs all the way.

#2 Los Angeles Lakers vs #7 Denver Nuggets

These two love facing off in the playoffs. At 5-13 on the road, the Nuggets are prepping for a seemingly imminent ‘Melo trade, while the Lakers are getting better and better (Clippers loss aside). Don’t expect them to lose out so soon.

#3 Oklahoma City Thunder vs #6 New Orleans Hornets

Oklahoma City is still a very good team, but New Orleans has won its last five, including three straight road wins, one of them a rare Nuggets’ home loss. That’ll make things interesting, but New Orleans has still failed to beat Oklahoma this season.

#4 Utah Jazz vs #5 Dallas Mavericks

The Mavericks have lost their last six. Nowitzki is back, but he got ejected after a double technical for using his first amendment rights. Only half a game behind Utah, Dallas has a chance, but not unless Nowitzki re-inspires the team. Jason Kidd, the West’s Rajon Rondo, can’t do everything.


#1 Boston Celtics vs #8 Indiana Pacers

Welcome back KG. Thanks to his late steal, the Celtics were able to hold on to beat Orlando. Indiana? They’re really no match in a series with a healthy Celtics team.

#2 Miami Heat vs #7 Philadelphia 76ers

The Heat have lost three in a row, thanks to LeBron James and now Chris Bosh hurting. Still, when’s the last time Philadelphia was a threat to anyone?

#3 Chicago Bulls vs #6 New York Knicks

The Knicks have lost their last three, and the Bulls have won the same. Props to Chicago for knocking off Miami, and knocking out Bosh. Chicago will have to wait until April to salvage a game from the season series, but with Derrick rose, and 18-3 at home (behind only Boston and San Antonio), Chicago will still be quite difficult to stop.

#4 Atlanta Hawks vs #5 Orlando Magic

Orlando is only half a game behind because they have one less win in one less games played. But they’ve also won just one of their last four. Atlanta has won six of seven. Atlanta currently controls the season series, which judging by how it’s going, the playoff series may just come down to the home team’s Game 7.

What Might Change Next Week:

  • Picking up that game in hand, and with a lighter schedule, Orlando should take home-court advantage over Atlanta.
  • With two tough Thunder road games, the Jazz could take the division lead.

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