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Your Tuesday morning NBA playoff scenarios

Posted on: April 12, 2011 3:35 am
Edited on: April 13, 2011 8:54 am
 
Updated playoff positioning following Monday night's games. 
Posted by Matt Moore




We've got 16 teams, and a lot of them are locked in place. Here's where we stand in terms of playoff positioning going into Tuesday night's games. 

Eastern Conference:

The East is locked. With Miami's win over the Hawks combined with Boston's loss to the Wizards, along with the Sixers loss to the Magic, we have our first round playoff match-ups.

1 Chicago vs. 8 Indiana
2 Miami vs. 7 Philadelphia
3 Boston vs. 6 New York
4 Orlando vs. 5 Atlanta

Boston lucks out in this scenario. Without a legit center and against a weak rebounding team, their biggest concerns are mitigated, and it could allow them time to get back on their feet. Shutting down explosive stars is their business. Philadelphia, on the other hand, is the exact kind of team Miami could overlook. While the Sixers are outmatched at nearly every position outside point guard (even lacking a superior center). The Magic knew they were headed for the Hawks for weeks, same with Chicago and Indiana. 

New York landing as the six is considerably higher than many thought they would in the preseason. Philadelphia has to be unnerved they surrendered the sixth spot, but given their beginning, it's still a win. 

A likely Easteron Conference semi-finals series between Boston and Miami would begin with Game 1 in the great state of Florida. 

Western Conference: 

Things are much more liquid in the Western Conference. Denver's win over Golden State secures Denver in the fifth seed. The Spurs locked up the No. 1 seed a week ago. Other than that, everything's up in the air. Dallas' win over Houston after L.A.'s loss to the Thunder Sunday puts the 2 seed back in play. The Mavericks are now a half-game ahead of the Lakers for homecourt in a theoretical second round. The pressure is now on L.A. to break their five-game losing streak and close out the season to secure that seed. But then, lowering themselves to actually trying in games like this are not really the Lakers style. 

And oh, look at that, Oklahoma City is only a half game behind the Lakers. If the Lakers lose out, it's possible L.A. could wind up in the fourth spot, as crazy as that is. 

Meanwhile, as Denver is the dividing line between the insanity up-top and the looniness on the bottom, there's a continuing shuffling in spots 6-8. Portland remains in the driver's seat for the sixth seed. With the Hornets' loss to the Jazz, which was about as badly timed as it could have been, the Hornets have fallen to the 8th seed. Memphis is now in the seventh spot. The Grizzlies face the Blazers Tuesday night with the season series tied 1-1. Winner gets tiebreaker. Portland wins, they lock up the sixth. Grizzlies win, it comes down to Wednesday night's games. This situation is made trickier by not knowing how the top will look. In reality, everyone's trying to avoid the Lakers. But since L.A. could land anywhere between 2 and 4, there's no way to effectively duck them. If Portland wants to avoid the Lakers, for example, and think winning is the best way to do so, they could beat the Grizzlies, then watch Phil Jackson pull his starters against San Antonio and Sacramento. 

There's no way to tank to avoid opponents. It's a lottery at this point. Which is why so often coaches ignore such strategies at an organizational level. 

We'll update you after Tuesday's games. 
Comments

Since: Oct 10, 2006
Posted on: April 14, 2011 4:51 pm
 

Your Tuesday morning NBA playoff scenarios

Superstar
Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: April 12, 2011 7:10 pm Score: 108  

Your Tuesday morning NBA playoff scenarios

Why would a Portland team that just dismantled LA and have played them close three times want to avoid the Lakers?

Oh I don't know.

Maybe because they have an elite front line that the Blazers can't compete with?
Maybe because they have the best closer and clutch player in the NBA that the Blazers can't stop?
Maybe because they have one of the greatest all-time perimeter defenders?
Maybe because they have the greatest big game coach in history?
Maybe because the Lakers NEVER lose to the Blazers in the playoffs as they have shown 10 times previously?
Maybe because the Lakers are 2-time defending champs and know how to win when it matters?
Maybe because the NBA simply will not allow the Lakers to lose in the first round because it would hurt ratings?

I don't know.


Trust me. As a lifelong Blazer fan I've endured 30 years of nothing but playoff misery. And all the most painful moments were at the hands of the Lakers. I already know how this story goes and want no part of the Lakers. I don't need another chapter for my ongoing nightmare of horrific moments of heartbreak where years of longing, hope, anticipation & excitement all get stomped on again & again by an unbeatable relentless and merciless force called the Los Angeles Lakers.

If the Blazers face the Lakers WE WILL LOSE. Period.

That will never change.
---------

Who exactly are you calling the best closer and clutch player in the NBA?  If you're talking about Kobe, stats actually show that he is pretty low during clutch time.  We only remember the baskets he makes, such as the one last night to send it to overtime.  What we don't remember are all the shots he misses in the meantime.  If we soley base it on stats, Kobe is actually fairly low if we were to rank the best clutch players.



Since: Feb 14, 2010
Posted on: April 13, 2011 12:58 am
 

Your Tuesday morning NBA playoff scenarios

Wow.  I'm a Blazer fan, too, and want no part of the Lakers 
To be honest as a Laker fan i dont want any part of the Blazers



Since: Jan 24, 2009
Posted on: April 12, 2011 7:54 pm
 

Your Tuesday morning NBA playoff scenarios

Wow.  I'm a Blazer fan, too, and want no part of the Lakers if we can avoid them for many of the reasons you mentioned, but this is sport!  Nothing is forever, and things do change.  All it takes is one series victory to turn the story around.  Just ask the Red Sox.

Have faith in the Blazers, my friend, and some day you will be rewarded.



Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: April 12, 2011 7:10 pm
 

Your Tuesday morning NBA playoff scenarios

Why would a Portland team that just dismantled LA and have played them close three times want to avoid the Lakers?

Oh I don't know.

Maybe because they have an elite front line that the Blazers can't compete with?
Maybe because they have the best closer and clutch player in the NBA that the Blazers can't stop?
Maybe because they have one of the greatest all-time perimeter defenders?
Maybe because they have the greatest big game coach in history?
Maybe because the Lakers NEVER lose to the Blazers in the playoffs as they have shown 10 times previously?
Maybe because the Lakers are 2-time defending champs and know how to win when it matters?
Maybe because the NBA simply will not allow the Lakers to lose in the first round because it would hurt ratings?

I don't know.


Trust me. As a lifelong Blazer fan I've endured 30 years of nothing but playoff misery. And all the most painful moments were at the hands of the Lakers. I already know how this story goes and want no part of the Lakers. I don't need another chapter for my ongoing nightmare of horrific moments of heartbreak where years of longing, hope, anticipation & excitement all get stomped on again & again by an unbeatable relentless and merciless force called the Los Angeles Lakers.

If the Blazers face the Lakers WE WILL LOSE. Period.

That will never change.



Since: Jul 15, 2008
Posted on: April 12, 2011 5:35 pm
 

Your Tuesday morning NBA playoff scenarios

Because they are the defending champions that turn it on in the playoffs. If you can avoid playing them that is the smart decision.



Since: Apr 6, 2007
Posted on: April 12, 2011 5:30 pm
 

Your Tuesday morning NBA playoff scenarios

Because given their track record, the easiest way to the Finals is to have someone else beat the Lakers.  



Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: April 12, 2011 4:21 pm
 

Your Tuesday morning NBA playoff scenarios

Why would a Portland team that just dismantled LA and have played them close three times want to avoid the Lakers?


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com