With the season winding down, the playoff pictures in the two
conferences are at very different points. In the Western Conference the
one through seven seeds are just fighting for seeding. While the eight
seed is still up for grabs between multiple teams. In the Easter
Conference five through ten seeds are all within four games of each
The Memphis Grizzlies sit at the seven seed, six games ahead of the
eight seed Nuggets, making the Western Conference playoff picture a
little less exciting then the Eastern. With only the eighth seed being
open in the Western Conference it looks like it is going to come down
to the red-hot Denver Nuggets and the guard driven Portland Trail
Blazers. Denver currently holds the eight seed with a record of 34-37,
a game up on the Blazers sitting at 33-38.
With the emergence of Nikola Jokic this season, the
Nuggets have found an unexpected triple double machine, with the young
Serbian big. Jokic’s passing ability has reinvented this high-powered Denver Nuggets
offense. With Jokic’s dominance it made their back up center Jusuf
Nurkic available and interestingly enough, the team they’re fighting
with for the eight seed traded for Nurkic at the deadline in a deal for
Mason Plumlee. Nurkic has been a beast on the boards which the Blazers
have desperately needed.
He has fit seamlessly into Portland’s guard driven offense. With only
eleven games left, it will be interesting to see who can put together a
late season run and secure the final playoff spot in the West. Only one
game remaining between the two contenders next week in Portland may be
the deciding factor.
The Eastern Conference playoff picture is in total disarray. The first
four teams in the East have practically guaranteed their spots. The
five through eight seed however, is still up for grabs. Currently the
standings are accordingly 5. Altanta 37-34, 6. Milwaukee
36-35, 7. Indiana 36-35, 8. Miami 35-37, 9. Chicago
34-38, and 10. Detroit 34-38.
While it seems unlikely Atlanta would have a late
season let down they could drop from a five seed to fishing when it
comes playoff time. Milwaukee has been playing tremendous basketball as
of late (8-2 in their last ten games), and looks to be trending upwards
in the standings. The Pacers have been consistently inconsistent
throughout the season, and their record shows it. With an easy
remaining schedule the Pacers should be able to squeak into the
playoffs. Erik Spoelstra’s Miami Heat has been on an unbelievable tear
through the league after their dreadful start.
With ten games remaining for the Heat, a solid end to the season will
give them a playoff spot and possibly a Coach of the Year award for Spoelstra.
The Chicago Bulls are sitting at nine (3-7 in their last ten) and
without Dwayne Wade for the rest of the season. Unless superstar Jimmy
Butler can carry this team on his back down the stretch, the Bulls may
be watching the playoffs from home this season.
Detroit is tenth (4-6 in their last ten) and has been one of the more
disappointing teams in the East. Inconsistent play from Reggie Jackson
and lack of development from Andre Drummond has left the Pistons on the
outside looking in.
With only a couple weeks of regular season basketball left there is
still a lot to be decided. It will be interesting to see which teams
can make a run and surge into the playoffs, playing their best
basketball of the season.
In a meantime, you could put some bets and predicitions about your favorite for this season Playoff, or even try Boxing Betting or something else.