NBA Playoff Race is Really Heating Up

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bill-swift - April 10, 2012

Just think folks; back in November it didn't look like there was a chance that the NBA was going to play the 2011-12 season. Here it is early April, there are roughly 10-12 games left for most teams and the playoff race could not be much closer!

The top teams in both conferences have remained relatively the same for the majority of the season. The Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat have been battling it out for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. In the Western Conference the Oklahoma City Thunder have been leading the pack pretty much all season, but thanks to a three-game losing streak to start the month of April they've lost the top spot to the streaking San Antonio Spurs.

The Eastern Conference:

The East has not seen as much movement as the West with the exception of the last couple spots. A number of teams have been in contention for the seventh and eighth seeds. As of Sunday night they are currently held by the New York Knicks (No 7) and Philadelphia 76ers (No 8).

Milwaukee is still in contention, a game behind the Knicks and 76ers. New York has managed to remain alive even with Amar'e Stoudemire and Jeremy Lin on the bench with injuries. If the Bucks are going to catch anyone it would be the 76ers who have lost their last four, and seven of their last ten, including a 103-79 spanking by the Celtics on Sunday.

Should the regular season end as of Sunday night the Eastern Conference playoff picture would be as follows:

  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

The Western Conference:

In the West, the picture is a bit more muddled. For much of the last month the No 3 -8 seeds have been separated by less than two games; as of Sunday the difference is four and half with just a half game between the last three seeds (Houston-10.5 back, Dallas 10.5 back, Denver Nuggets, 11 back).

The L.A. teams sit in the No 3 and 4 seeds with the Lakers in front of the Clippers by half a game. That could change depending on how long Kobe Bryant ends up sitting out; he missed Saturday's game against Phoenix (Lakers lost by 20).

The bottom three could see a lot of movement over the last couple weeks of the season. Phoenix sits just a game out of the post season (12 games back) and Utah is just a game and a half out. Should Denver, Dallas, or Houston implode and Portland catch fire (14.5 back) the Trail Blazers could still sneak in.

As of Sunday night the Western Conference playoff picture is as follows:

  1. San Antonio Spurs
  2. Oklahoma City Thunder
  3. Los Angeles Lakers
  4. Los Angeles Clippers
  5. Memphis Grizzlies
  6. Houston Rockets
  7. Dallas Mavericks
  8. Denver Nuggets

(What would an NBA post be without a video of Blake Griffin doing something amazing?)

Article by Travis Pulver

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