Wednesday , Mar , 02 , 2011 Paul Eide

If the NBA Playoffs Started Today…

Ladies and germs with roughly 60 games in the books for every team in the league it means we only have a quarter of the regular season remaining. With that in mind, let’s take a look at where we stand as far as playoff implications and potential playoff matchups:

Eastern Conference
(1) Celtics vs. (8) Pacers
Season Series 2-0 BOS
At this point the Pacers don’t have much if any resistance to offer the Celtics. The Pacer,s at 14.5 games behind the Bulls are more games back than any second place team in any NBA division.
 
(2) Heat vs. (7) 76ers
Season Series 2-0 MIA
The Sixers are pretty much the classic embodiment of a .500 team that squeaks in to a weak Eastern Conference playoff matchup. It’s not hard to envision the Heat sweeping them while Mike Miller and other backups double their normal minutes.
 
(3) Bulls vs. (6) Knicks
Season Series 2-0 NY
This has “Great Series” written all over it, especially with the additions of ‘Melo and Chauncey. Even though the Knicks haven’t lost to the Bulls yet this year both games have been decided by only eight points. With Noah back and healthy for the Bulls and with the Knicks new roster, this series could be reminiscent of the Bulls Celtics epic seven gamer two years ago.
 
(4) Magic vs. (5) Hawks
Season Series 2-1 ATL
Are the Hawks the quietest potential five seed in league history? To think they are just three games behind the Magic considering all their star power, it’s a surprise. Somehow they just keep hanging around, winning games.
 
Western Conference
(1) Spurs vs. (8) Grizzlies
Season Series 2-1 SA
Did anybody see this performance coming for the Spurs so far this season? The owners of the best record in the NBA have gone from relative unknown commodity entering the season to consensus best team in the NBA. No one knows what to expect from the Grizzlies but I bet they wish they were in the Eastern Conference.
 
(2) Mavericks vs. (7) Blazers
Season Series 2-0 DAL
If the injury riddled Blazers could ever get healthy and get their optimized lineup on the floor at the same time, they could put up a good fight. But, we’ve been saying that about the Blazers for two years so it isn’t going to happen at this point. The Mavs have always been Dirk’s team, but this year the bench has played significant minutes.
 
(3) Lakers vs. (6) Hornets
Season Series 3-0 LA
Surprisingly in spite of the Lakers struggles at times, they have owned the Hornets this season. CP3 has seemed distracted about a potential offseason move all year and the Hornets just don’t have the players to hang with the Lakers over seven games, even with the Lakers lack of consistency.
 
(4) Thunder vs. (5) Nuggets
Season Series Tied
This is another surprise, but obviously the full impact of Carmello being traded to the Knicks has yet to play itself out. The Thunder have deepened their roster which is filled with multi faceted players while the Nuggets have done the eact opposite but, they are 3-1 since the trade including a victory over the playoff bound Hawks.

(Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/boixoesnois1987)

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