One good thing happened last night. Everything else? Kinda meh all over. Unless you are excited for the Celtics beating the Pacers . . . which means you aren't that interested in the NBA Playoffs, but more of an NBA Draft fan.
What Happened Last Night?
- GSW (1) 125 - NYK 94 -- Obvious win was obvious
- MEM (2) 96 - MIL 83 -- Memphis knows their time is now, read this article
- UTA (11) 88 - DET 85 -- What a crazy finish . . .
- WAS 113 - SAC (13) 97 -- Kings were up big, but couldn't maintain their huge lead
Three West teams all won, one lost. None of the standings changed though.
Western Conference Standings:
The Warriors remain at the top, and it doesn't look like any team will catch them. They *could* be caught, their lead is only 6.5 games with 17 remaining, but it's unlikely for a team to make that up. In other news, the #2 to #7 spot is separated by only 5.0 games. That's ridiculous. But that's yearly in the West. A hot streak, a bad schedule, or an unfortunate injury can change how these six seeds shake out.
The only real race that matters, beyond the pecking order, is between New Orleans and Oklahoma City. These teams are tied, and each other will be watching the calendar to see how the other team is doing, every night.
The Jazz are within "striking distance" of the Suns, but I don't know if anyone really cares about this race. (I know a few do, but it's not something that drives the site.) After that it's lotto-ville, so let's break that down over here.
The Race to the Bottom:
I don't know how to group these teams. The Top 4 are far and away the worst. But a Top 5 pick is such a better way of putting things into this Base 10 type of order system. (The only alternative would be to group things by 4s, and still get up to 20, but I don't know if I want to do that . . . I may have to though . . . ) Detroit and Sacramento have been losing so much (on a combined 12 game slide) that they've put themselves in the picture to be fighting Orlando for that #5 lotto ball seed. Only 2.5 games separate them.
The Next group, Denver, Brooklyn, Utah, Boston, Miami, Charlotte, and Indiana are West lotto teams and East teams that think they can be playoff teams. Isn't that funny, there's 5.5 games between being the #13 team in the West and being the #7 team in the East. It should also be noted that three of the hotted five teams in this 20 team overview are in this group: DET, UTA, and BOS.
The last six teams, PHX, MIL, OKC, NOP, WAS, and CHI are playoff aspirants. Though, I do not expect the Suns to mount a serious #playoffpush at this stage.
What Games are happening tonight?
- Bulls @ Thunder -- Early game starts at 1:00 pm EST, OKC needs to win if they want to make the playoffs
- Rockets @ Clippers -- Another early game, and a game between the #4 and #5 seeds in the West. 1.5 games between them this one means something.
- Nuggets @ Pelicans -- Denver is reborn now that Brian Shaw is gone, but New Orleans wants to fend off OKC.
- Cavaliers @ Magic -- two teams that want one thing, a Cleveland win tonight
- Timberwolves @ Spurs -- San Antonio is 7th in the West right now. They need this win. How strange is that to say about a game against Minnesota?
- Trail Blazers @ Raptors -- Portland is tough, but less so on the road. Toronto is a good home team and need to get out of their funk asap if they want a good draw in the East.
- Knicks @ Suns -- It's going to be hard to expect a New York win here
- Hawks @ Lakers -- This one seems to be another game where both teams want one thing, an Atlanta win
The HOU @ LAC game seems to be the best one to care about tonight. The only game that really matters for the Jazz is the NYK @ PHX game, and only because the Jazz are 4.0 games behind the Suns right now.
A great, hard fought win against Detroit. Beyond that nothing else good, bad, or ugly happened.