Clearing Up the Playoff Picture – 4.11.12

Wednesday, April 11, 2012
By Jon Newberry

With such a tight race involving so many teams, almost every night will feature at least one game with playoff implications. Here on the blog we will provide a daily update on the standings, what games to watch, and where to find the best analysis about the Hawks’ position.

Benefits of Winning Your Division…
Since the Hawks are facing the Atlantic Division leading Boston Celtics tonight, it is a good time to go over some of the benefits of taking home the division crown.

  • Guaranteed a top four seed
    This is important only for match-ups, as home court advantage is determined solely by winning percentage.
  • Tie-Breaker Advantage
    In any tie-breaking situations, the team that wins their division has the advantage, regardless of head-to-head records or any other tie-breaking criteria.
  • Hanging a Banner
    Division winners get to add a little decoration to their home arena by hanging a banner to commemorate their accomplishment.

What happened last night:

  • Wizards 93 – Magic 85 (@ Washington)
    Orlando played without Howard or Turkoglu and couldn’t keep pace with a Washington team.
  • Celtics 115 – Heat 107 (@ Miami)
    Boston continues to impress (and scare) as they keep winning despite an extremely tough stretch in their schedule.
  • 76ers 107 – Nets 88 (@ Philadelphia)
    Philly got just what they needed last night, a convincing win over an inferior team.
  • Bulls 98 – Knicks 86 (@ Chicago)
    Chicago avenged Sunday night’s OT loss in New York despite the absence of Derrick Rose (ankle).
Here is what is on tap for tonight:
  • 76ers @ Raptors – 7:00 pm
  • Pacers @ Cavaliers – 7:00 pm
  • Hawks @ Celtics – 8:00 pm
  • Knicks @ Bucks – 8:00 pm

With so many possible outcomes still available to the Hawks, it is always good to have some serious number crunchers on hand. Here on the Hawks Blog we have always relied on for our in-depth analysis of playoff odds, etc. Here is a breakdown of where the Hawks could finish based on their record in the remaining 9 games:


Another resource that uses numbers way above most of our heads is ESPN’s John Hollinger. He is a frequent visitor to the Highlight Factory and breaks down nearly every facet of NBA basketball with statistics and probabilities. For his “Daily Playoff Odds” he runs the remaining schedule through the computer 5,000 times to churn out the most likely results. Right now he has the Hawks finishing 39-27, the fourth best record in the East. CLICK HERE for his complete breakdown.