As of today, these are the current standings for both the East and West. With 4 games left in the regular season which will end on April 16th, the fate and playoff positions of many teams will be determined only until the end of that day. The only teams that are assured of their playoff position are the Celtics and Pistons, number one and two respectively, in the Eastern Conference. All the other teams are either still fighting for home court advantage and who to avoid in the first round, or fighting for their 8th seed lives.
A few milestones from the standings above. Celtic pride is BACK with KG, Pierce, and Allen surrounded by a bunch of great supporting players. Currently they are at 63 wins, with a possibility to end the season with 65 wins with two games remaining on their schedule (against ATL and CHA) and are the favorites to be in the NBA Finals.
This week will also determine if Kobe’s Lakers will be the number one seed in the powerhouse Western Conference. The Hornets have their first 55 win season (current), and the most wins in franchise history with CP3 and the gang making waves. A very dangerous team to play in the post-season! The ever-steady Pistons are cruising again to their nth post-season appearance while the Nets will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2001.
The defending champion Spurs are dropping at the wrong time, with Manu sidelined with an injury and struggling. This is not a position they are used to as they are always at the peak of their game near post-season, but amidst all that, they are STILL at 54 wins (their NINTH straight 50 win season) and STILL do have a chance at winning the West. The most surprising team is probably the Sixers in the East with the NEW AI at the helm, while the very tight race for the 8th spot for both the East and West are coming to an end.
The last two teams fighting for the 8th seed in the mediocre East are the Pacers and the Hawks. Indiana won its 4th straight game yesterday but might be a little too late as they are still 2 games behind 8th seed Atlanta, with 3 games to play. The Pacers hold the tie-breaker advantage but need to win all 3 games to even have a chance of passing the Hawks. They are up against the Bobcats, Wizards, and end the season against the lowly Knicks. The Hawks need to win two of the last three against the Celtics, Magic, and end their season against the pathetic Heat.
It should be a down-the-wire finish with both teams going up against Division leaders. The advantage is still with the Hawks, but they have a more dangerous road ahead unless the C’s let up today. The Magic are struggling and are looking to destroy their next opponent after losing by a point to the Wolves yesterday. But they should be able to dispatch the Heat with relative ease on their last game. The Pacers are up against the Bobcats today and they NEED to win. They also have a tough schedule ahead against two teams fighting for playoff position, while they should end their season beating a hapless Knicks team on the final day.
Current update, the games for both teams have just finished with BOTH teams losing! The Hawks lost at home to Boston 99-89, while the Pacers lost at home to the Bobcats 107-103 (who were without Gerald Wallace) thus practically kissing their chances of making the playoffs goodbye. The Hawks now just need to win one game out of their last two, to face the Celtics in the first round.
The last two teams fighting for the 8th seed in the very trying Western Conference are the Warriors and the Nuggets. The biggest game of these two teams happened 2 days ago when the Nuggets beat the Warriors on their home court 114 – 105. With that win, they control the tie-breaker and need to win just 2 of their last 3 games to clinch the 8th seed. The Warriors, on the other hand, need to win its last 3 games and pray that Denver loses two of their last 3. Whichever way it goes, the team that doesn’t make it will have the distinction of being winningest team EVER to miss the NBA playoffs. The Warriors close out the last 3 games against the Clippers, Suns, and Sonics. Those are all games they should win, with the Suns being the only stumbling block, as it is a road game against a playoff team jockeying for position also. But they have always played well against Phoenix, and most likely will win the last 3 games. The Nuggets, on the other hand, have a tougher road ahead against the Jazz, Rockets, and Grizzlies. There is a huge possibility that Denver may lose those games to Booze and T-Mac, while they should destroy the Grizzlies to finish off the season. So this looks like it’s going to be a really tight race for the 8th spot in the West. Let’s see what happens
Stay tuned for a detailed playoff match-up per team for the East and West once the regular season has ended on the 16th of April!