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20 weeks into the season, and things are starting to come down to the wire. There isn’t much time left at all to make a move, yet only five teams have been mathematically eliminated so far. The Heat have opened a sizable lead in the East, while even San Antonio isn’t out of the woods yet with OKC. The Lakers also have to be careful with their #8 seed, while the rest of the teams are busy trying to set up the first round match-ups. With many playoff implications still to be decided, let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Wednesday, March 27 at 8:00pm:
Three straight losses have the Lakers reeling. They only have 11 games left to secure a spot, which will force them to work extra hard. That will only hurt their chances against the Spurs, who have a reputation for getting their players well-rested for the postseason.
The Rockets have given themselves a fairly safe buffer for a playoff spot, but the Thunder have few weaknesses, and don’t show any signs of slacking off. The Rockets have done a great job improving the team overall, but they still have a lot of work to do to get up to OKC’s level.
Denver‘s streak may have finally ended (in New Orleans), but they do share the NBA’s best home record at 32-3. Golden State may push the series longer than Denver would like, but four out of seven may be too much to ask.
Both Los Angeles and Memphis have identical records both at home and away, except for Los Angeles’ extra win on the road. Los Angeles leads the season series 2-1, though both teams have a road win. You might as well toss a coin to pick the winner of this one; you can’t go wrong.
The Hawks are having trouble getting things going. Though in their defense, not moving up to #5 would save them Miami in the second round. Of course, the Pacers certainly won’t make things easy. Atlanta’s road problems (including a recent loss in Indiana) favor the Pacers in this one.
Chicago has won their last two, but two wins won’t do much in this case. Brooklyn is 7-3 in their last 10, and as of yet, no Derrick Rose for Chicago. We saw what Philadelphia did to Chicago last season without Rose; it may be time for Brooklyn to do the same.
Tags: Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls, Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, NBA Playoffs, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs