There are two weeks left within the season because the race for the NBA Jap Convention playoff seeds reaches its remaining stage. Whereas the Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics have all secured their positions, there are nonetheless spots up for grabs.
The Cleveland Cavaliers and New York Knicks have additionally claimed playoff positions, however seed #6 – the final qualification place – is always there for the taking.
Exterior of the highest six, these between seventh and tenth will face off in a qualifying event for the ultimate two post-season spots.
If two groups end with the identical file, their place shall be decided by a tiebreaker, the primary of which is the head-to-head file between the groups.
So what is going to all of this seem like as soon as the mud settles?
Present place: sixth
Season win/loss file: 41-35
The great occasions proceed for Mikal Bridges, however the remainder of his teammates have not caught on but.
Whereas the 26-year-old averaged 28 factors per recreation in March, the Nets have not adopted swimsuit, profitable simply considered one of their final seven video games.
The latest stoop towards the Cavaliers on Thursday confirmed Jacque Vaughn has some work to do to redevelop and strengthen his roster.
Can they cross the playoff line with the objects that work in the intervening time? Their 129-100 win over the Miami Warmth was a giant a part of getting there; they now have the tiebreaker of their palms with the simplest remaining schedule within the NBA.
They may subsequent face the Atlanta Hawks – a recreation that has permutations for all competing groups – earlier than taking part in towards the Utah Jazz, Minnesota Timberwolves, Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic and Philadelphia 76ers.
Remaining gadgets: Hawks (A) – April 1, Jazz (A) – April 2, Timberwolves (A) – April 5, Pistons (H) – April 6, Magic (A) – April 8, 76ers (A) – April 9
Present place: seventh
Season win/loss file: 40-37
The Warmth have had a turbulent season, and so they’re lastly catching up with them.
They managed to stability being wildly inconsistent with among the best workforce data within the league. However once they haven’t got their favourite beginning 5 on the pitch, issues go awry.
That was evident in Tuesday’s loss to the Toronto Raptors. With out Jimmy Butler to headline the assault, they fell to a 106-92 loss. They could not even pull off a win towards the plummeting Nets.
If they’ll make it to the play-ins, they will want a succesful secondary unit that enables gamers like Butler, Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo to take breaks. Higher nonetheless, they should discover some type of stability.
It will not be simpler for them to do it this week. They face the unpredictable Dallas Mavericks before facing the Pistons in a huge dwelling recreation.
Remaining gadgets: Mavericks (A) – April 2, Pistons (H) – April 5, 76ers (H) – April 7, Wizards (H) – April 8, Magic (A) – April 9
Present place: eighth
Season win/loss file: 38-38
Here is a bizarre stat: The Hawks have been inside .500 of a recreation within the final 30 video games. By means of teaching adjustments, participant squabbles, and numerous enterprise debacles, they’ve caught to that line.
That stage of dedication to consistency is admirable, particularly as Dejounte Murray is all the time there to get issues executed on offense.
Conserving him in Atlanta whereas rival groups did their finest to reward him within the February commerce window was monumental then – and it is going to be sooner or later.
You may want him in fiery kind as they give the impression of being to place distance between themselves and the eighth-place Raptors and chase seventh-place Miami.
Huge wins over the Nets, Mavericks and Chicago Bulls this week will go an extended approach to cementing that.
Remaining gadgets: Nets (H) – April 1, Mavericks (A) – April 2, Bulls (H) – April 5, Wizards (A) – April 6, 76ers (A) – April 8, Celtics (H) – April 9
Present place: ninth
Season win/loss file: 38-38
Toronto’s victory over shorthanded Miami on Tuesday allowed the Raptors to tie the Hawks’ win/loss file and proceed to battle for eighth place within the standings. Extra detrimentally, it additionally means they handed the sequence over to them.
The fact that there may only be one win that separates seventh and ninth makes things even hotter; any of the video games within the final 10 days of the season may swing the pendulum.
Nick Nurse’s workforce will dig deep to show it must be them. Their subsequent 5 video games are on the highway, beginning with the 76ers, adopted by the Hornets, then three huge video games towards the Celtics and Bucks.
Whether or not or not the highest two seeds relaxation their stars may imply the distinction between a cushty and rocky experience to the play-ins.
Remaining gadgets: 76ers (H) – April 1, Hornets (H) – April 2, Hornets (H) – April 5, Celtics (H) – April 6, Celtics (H) – April 8, Bucks (A) – April 9
Present place: tenth
Season win/loss file: 36-40
There isn’t any doubt in Chicago that the Bulls will make the play-ins. They’ve constructed a 2.5-game cushion because the No. 10 seed within the East, and so they’ll probably preserve it.
Can they go additional? They solely path Atlanta within the eighth by one recreation, and so they have the return of Alex Caruso to assist bolster their protection.
The Bulls can put their renewed backcourt to the take a look at this week towards the Hornets, Memphis Grizzlies and Hawks – groups that have not regarded essentially the most constant within the latter a part of the season and could possibly be probably to present factors and large wins.
Remaining gadgets: Hornets (H) – April 1, Grizzlies (A) – April 2, Hawks (A) – April 5, Bucks (H) – April 6, Mavericks (H) – April 8, Pistons (A) – April 9
Present place: eleventh
Season win/loss file: 34-42
The Wizards have shut down Bradley Beal and Kyle Kuzma for the remainder of the season, which might solely imply one factor: they will be the workforce that misses the playoffs this yr.
Anybody who’s had an ear for Kuzma’s dialogue has recognized that for months. He shall be a free agent this summer time and though the franchise has talked about contract extensions, he’ll probably be on the primary flight out of Washington.
What this implies for Beal, Kristaps Porzingis and the opposite core members remains to be up within the air. The Wizards want so as to add depth to their roster and will look to maintain as many members of the prevailing squad as potential.
Whereas it isn’t completely implausible that they might usurp the Bulls and declare the ultimate play-in spot, the chances are insurmountable. They are 2.5 games behindwith a tough schedule remaining and two of their largest stars injured.
The collective focus ought to now be on the industrial lottery and what subsequent season would possibly seem like for the franchise.
Remaining gadgets: Magic (A) – April 1, Knicks (A) – April 2, Bucks (A) – April 5, Hawks (A) – April 6, Warmth (A) – April 8, Rockets (A) – April 9
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