Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Postseason Push - NBA
I'll admit it - this post was a tough one to write. It isn't that I can't get excited about the NBA playoffs. On the contrary, the thought of [finally] getting to watch meaningful NBA games is quite refreshing. But the idea of evaluating bubble teams seems rather futile. The NBA is a very top-heavy league in general, and this year the talent is especially skewed. Honestly, look at current seeds 5 through 8 in each conference and find one that could win a first round playoff series. (Maybe the Knicks, maybe).
But anyways, we might as well take a look at the playoff picture.
Here are the standings as of today:
6. New York
In the hunt: Charlotte (1 GB), Milwaukee (4 GB)
Maybe next year? : Detroit, New Jersey, Toronto, Washington, Cleveland
1. San Antonio
3. L.A. Lakers
4. Oklahoma City
6. New Orleans
In the hunt: Phoenix (1 GB), Utah (1.5 GB), Houston (3 GB)
It's been real: Golden State, L.A. Clippers, Sacramento, Minnesota
Finals Favorites: Boston Celtics, L.A. Lakers
-Until I have a serious reason to believe otherwise, I'll pick the perennial favorites to return to the finals. Many analysts are criticizing the Celtics for trading Perkins and the Lakers for poor play. But the Celtics were without Perkins all season, and have been doing just fine, and the Lakers still have Kobe.
Biggest Threats to the Finals Favorites: Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs
-The Spurs are playing the best basketball in the NBA this year, posting a 49-11 record so far. And San Antonio is no stranger to the postseason. In the East, the Bulls boast a very impressive starting five (Rose, Bogans, Noah, Boozer, Deng). Sure, the Heat have talent, but Miami has failed to beat the league's elite teams.
Don't Be Surprised if they Make It: Milwaukee Bucks, Houston Rockets
-Despite being four games out of 8th place, Milwaukee has a very realistic shot at making the playoffs. Their record is unimpressive, but Milwaukee's roster is loaded with talent. As for the Western Conference, the Houston Rockets are without a doubt the hottest "bad" team, riding a 5 game win streak. Houston doesn't have tremendous size or star power, but the Rockets possess the shooters to remain competitive in any game.
Don't Be Surprised if the Blow It: Indiana Pacers, New Orleans Hornets
-The top six spots in the East are essentially secure. The Sixers have more talent than the Pacers, which leaves Indiana as the most likely team in the East to miss the postseason. The Hornets got off to a hot start, but have since been in a tailspin. Despite being in sixth, New Orleans is only 2 games up on ninth place Phoenix.