Playoff Picture Is Getting Clearer
Not much is going to be decided before the last day of the season on Wednesday (especially in the West) but at least now the “if we win” scenarios are clearer. Without going through every possible scenario, here is a breakdown of how things could shake out.
First, here is an excerpt from ProBasketballTalk on NBCsports.com:
Also out East, Boston and Atlanta will finish as the three and four seeds, in some order, and will face Miami or Milwaukee, in some order. The Bucks may have the most say in how this finishes up — they face the Hawks and the Celtics.
Atlanta has a one game lead on Boston for the three-seed, and plays the Bucks then the Cavaliers (who likely will rest a lot of players). Boston faces the very desperate Bulls followed by the Bucks. The smart money would say Atlanta remains the three seed. But again the Bucks get a big say.
And those Bucks need their wins, Miami’s two remaining games are against the Sixers and Nets, two games the hot Heat should win. Milwaukee will have a tough time getting two wins. Again, look for the Heat to be the five seed (against Boston) and the Hawks to get the Bucks.
As mentioned before, there are too many possible scenarios of how things could shake out to go through them all. The simplest scenario is if we win our last two games against Milwaukee and against Cleveland and Miami wins their last two games. In that case the matchups would be ATL (3) vs. MIL (6) and BOS (4) vs. MIA (5).
Elsewhere in the East, the Cavs have locked up the top seed, the Magic are 2nd, the Bobcats are almost guaranteed to be the 7th seed and the Bulls and Raptors are battling for the last spot.