Updated NBA Playoff Picture As Of This Moment

Updated: April 13, 2014
hoops court

What’s really amazing about the 2013 – 2014 NBA season is that the playoff picture is constantly changing, although we are less than a week before the end. There are two significant battles ongoing, one in either conference. In the East, the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers still haven’t managed to top one another and the winner of the conference might be decided in the final meeting of the season between the two teams tonight in South Beach. In the West, the battle for the positions nine to seven now became even more interesting. After the latest loss from the Golden State Warriors, the sixth seed is now included in the mix and four teams will be fighting for the last three playoff tickets of the conference. Let’s break down the updated playoff picture as of April 11.

Eastern Conference

Finally, after nearly 80 games into the 2013 – 2014 campaign, we almost know which of the eight teams that will participate in the playoffs will be. But even that is not for sure, as the New York Knicks still have mathematical hopes to regain the eighth spot, knocking out the Atlanta Hawks. However, it will be very difficult for Carmelo Anthony and Co. to make it to the postseason, since New York lies two games behind the Hawks and all four of their remaining games come against difficult, playoff teams.

The clash of powerhouses between the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers continues at the top. The Heat currently stand just half a game behind Indiana, but the two teams are even when it comes to losses. The matchup between the two powerhouses could determine the winner of the title in the East. In a rematch of the 2013 Eastern Conference Finals but also in a potential preview of the 2014 Conference Finals, LeBron James and Co. will try to bring down Paul George and the emerging Indiana Pacers. Both teams want to win this game, not just in order to gain some momentum but to also clinch the top seed and the home court advantage.

Talking about close races, the battle for the third seed in the East continues as well, between the young and aggressive Toronto Raptors and the astonishing Chicago Bulls. Apart from the conquest of the third seed, both teams have another good reason to try and top one another. The loser of this race will get to face the red hot Brooklyn Nets in the first round. Brooklyn, which currently occupies the fifth seed in the East, holds the best record in the East during the second half of the season. Even the Pacers and the Heat are concerned about the Nets’ potential. One thing is for sure, the Brooklyn Nets are a team to avoid this year.

In yet another close race in the East, the Washington Wizards and the Charlotte Bobcats are tied at 13.5 games behind the Pacers. The loser of this race will get to play either Indiana or Miami in the first round. It’s obvious that either team would like to avoid such a first-leg matchup.

Western Conference

The San Antonio Spurs will win the Western Conference this season, as projected, with the Oklahoma City Thunder following right behind. However, it’s OKC which is considered a stronger favorite in the West. Unless an injury slows down Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and company, the Thunder stand the best chance to win the West.

The Los Angeles Clippers seem to be a lock for the third seed and they hope to have all their weapons available for the playoffs. If Doc Rivers has all his players up and ready to go, the Clips will certainly be a strong contender in the West. Houston follows two and a half games behind LA and although they are not receiving much attention at the moment, they are a very dangerous team. Houston can be characterized as a dark horse but one of the most dangerous ones.

The Portland Trail Blazers and the Golden State Warriors were considered as championship sleepers, too, earlier in the season. Nonetheless, as of lately, they are not showing the surge they did earlier in the season. In fact, due to the injury of David Lee, the Dubs’ chances to win the tile are now almost diminished. The Warriors’ fight for the positions six to eight with the Dallas Mavericks, the Phoenix Suns and the Memphis Grizzlies most probably go to the last games of the season.

For more NBA news and analysis, visit www.FantasyBasketballMoneyLeagues.com.

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