Clearing Up the Playoff Picture – 4.14.12

Saturday, April 14, 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 an almost daily update on the standings, what games to watch, and where to find the best analysis about the Hawks’ position.

Another Day, Another Shift
There was a lot of action last night among teams still jockeying for playoff positions (see results below), but while some positions changed hands, it provided no help in firming anyone’s grasp on any seed.

The quick explanation is that the Hawks made a statement against the Magic and moved back into sole possession of the fourth best record in the Eastern Conference. If Atlanta wants to make a serious push at the 3rd seed, they will need some help in the form of a few losses by Indiana. Keep an eye on the Pacers tonight as they travel north to face a Milwaukee team that has their back against the wall.

What happened last night:

  • Raptors 84 – Celtics 79 (@ Toronto)
    With their tough run of playoff opponents in the rear view, Boston had a letdown in Toronto on Friday night. The loss could not have been how they envisioned starting their three games in three nights (all on the road).
  • Nets 95 – Sixers 89 (@ Philadelphia)
    Just when it looked like Philly had righted their ship the 76ers laid an egg at home against New Jersey.
  • Pacers 102 – Cavaliers 83 (@ Indiana)
    Indiana trailed at the half but used a big third quarter to run away from Cleveland and maintain their two-game lead over the Hawks for the 3rd seed.
  • Hawks 109 – Magic 81 (@ Orlando)
    Atlanta scored a season-high 36 points in the first quarter and never looked back as they easily defeated an Orlando team that is playing without Dwight Howard.
  • Knicks 103 – Wizards 65 (@ New York)
    The score accurately tells the story in this one.
  • Bucks 113 – Pistons 97 (@ Detroit)
    Milwaukee won a game it needed to have as they try to remain in contention for the final playoff spot in the East.
Here is what is on tap for tonight:
  • Celtics @ Nets – 7:30 pm
  • Pacers @ Bucks – 8:30 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 7 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 fifth position in the East. CLICK HERE for his complete breakdown.