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If the Playoffs Started Today – NBA Week 17

Bulls vs Spurs: Week 17's prediction for the NBA Finals

Finally, the playoff schedule is starting to take shape. All but two spots have been clinched, but it’s really just one that’s up for grabs. It’s still a battle for the West title, too, so expect that to get pretty heated. So far, only the Celtics and Pacers have locked themselves into a particular seed, so there is certain to be big pushes from several teams looking for a better draw. So what’s going to happen when the season comes to a close? Let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Sunday, April 22, at 5:15pm:


#1 San Antonio Spurs vs #8 Utah Jazz

The Spurs continue to be a favorite for the title, only half a game behind Miami for the league’s best home record. The Jazz are good at home, but their 11-22 road record will kill them.

#2 Oklahoma City Thunder vs #7 Dallas Mavericks

It’s a similar story in this series, with the Thunder being great no matter where they play. The Mavericks are a mere 13-19 on the road, and not that Lamar Odom was of much use, but his buyout made the Mavericks smaller.

#3 Los Angeles Lakers vs #6 Denver Nuggets

The Lakers are tough at home, but at least Denver has a winning road record. However, the only win Denver had in the season series came at home on New Year’s Day. Since the only team in the last two weeks to beat L.A. is San Antonio (including an attempt by Denver), Los Angeles should be good for at least one round.

#4 Los Angeles Clippers vs #5 Memphis Grizzlies

Memphis has won four straight, and nine of their last eleven. Not many of those wins have been against good teams, though. The Clippers have been doing similarly well lately, and just like the Grizzlies are much better at home. If they maintain a hold on #4, Los Angeles should do well enough against Memphis.


#1 Chicago Bulls vs #8 Philadelphia 76ers

The 76ers have won two straight, an amazing feat for them at this point. Now that Derrick Rose is back in tow, the Bulls will have an easy first round series.

#2 Miami Heat vs #7 New York Knicks

Now that Amar’e Stoudemire is back, the Knicks will get a little better, but they’ve still had too many problems this year to get past the Heat.

#3 Indiana Pacers vs #6 Orlando Magic

The tough times continue for the Magic. Without Dwight Howard at his best, the Magic won’t get far against the Pacers.

#5 Atlanta Hawks vs #4 Boston Celtics

The Hawks may have recently beaten the Celtics, but that was because the Celtics were resting their key guys for the playoffs (and the Hawks still only won by five). With Boston going on all cylinders, the Hawks will find this go-around to be much tougher.

Predicted Final Standings:

#1 Chicago Bulls
#2 Miami Heat
#3 Indiana Pacers
#4 Boston Celtics
#5 Atlanta Hawks
#6 Orlando Magic
#7 New York Knicks
#8 Philadelphia 76ers
#1 San Antonio Spurs
#2 Oklahoma City Thunder
#3 Los Angeles Lakers
#4 Memphis Grizzlies
#5 Los Angeles Clippers
#6 Denver Nuggets
#7 Dallas Mavericks
#8 Utah Jazz

Predicted First Round Results:

Bulls def 76ers Heat def Knicks Pacers def Magic Celtics def Hawks
Spurs def Jazz Thunder def Mavericks Lakers def Nuggets Grizzlies def Clippers

Predicted Second Round Results:

Bulls def Celtics Heat def Pacers
Spurs def Grizzlies Thunder def Lakers

Predicted Third Round Results:

Heat def Bulls
Spurs def Thunder

Predicted Finals Results:

Heat def Spurs

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