The crowd screams louder; the games become more intense and meaningful. The defense locks in and the game slows down, every shot has the fans on the edge of their seats. That can only mean one thing… the NBA playoffs are almost here! We are five days away from the start of the NBA playoffs; April 14.
- In the East you have the Toronto Raptors in the first place (58-22), they will finish with the top seed since they’re up four games over the second place team with only two games to play. The Raptors surprised a lot of people with their record this year, but they always seem to have good regular seasons -then fall apart in the playoffs (last year they got swept 4-0 by the Cavaliers).
- The Boston Celtics (54-26) will finish in 2nd place without a doubt, since they cannot catch the number one seed and they’re four games up on the 3rd seed with only two games left. You would think that the 2nd seed was a lock to win against a 7th seed, but with this first round match up -if it stays put, could be a challenge for the Celtics. For one, the Celtics will be without their key player Kyrie Irving, who is out for the rest of the year after having a successful surgery to remove two screws in his left patella. In my opinion, the Celtics losing their best player really makes them vulnerable in the playoffs. With only two games left it will be exciting to find out who the Celtics will exactly play.
- The fight for the 3rd seed isn’t yet set. As a battle between two teams is ongoing for that 3rd spot. The Philadelphia 76ers sit currently in 3rd (50-30) and they have been playing best at basketball as of lately with 14 straight wins. The 76ers are only one game above the 4th place Cleveland Cavaliers (49-31). With two games left, the 76ers and the Cavaliers could still switch spots before the season ends.
The Indiana Pacers (48-33) are locked in 5th place for the playoffs. No matter if they win or lose their last game they will stay in 5th.
- Seeds 6-8 are all battling still. The Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks (43-37) are tied with their records. The Heat is in 6th and the Bucks are in 7th because the Heat hold the tiebreaker of head-to-head wins. The Heat won all three games that they played against the Bucks this year.
- Right behind the Heat and Bucks, – in 8th, the last playoff spot is the Washington Wizards (42-38). The Wizards would need to win both of their remaining games and have the Heat and Bucks both lose their last two games in order for the Wizards to move up to the 7th seed. In my opinion, the Wizards will finish in the 8th seed.
This final week of the regular season will definitely settle some the seedings. If the playoffs started in the East today, the match-ups would be, Raptors vs Wizards, Celtics vs Bucks, 76ers vs Heat, and finally the Cavs vs Pacers. This could change if teams like the Bucks win their last two, the Heat lose their last two – then the Bucks would finish in 6th, leaving the Heat to finish in 7th.
The last week in the NBA won’t be a bore with “meaningless” games, but with some some competitive basketball. One of my favorite times of the year is upon us, spring is in the air, warm weather is coming and the NBA playoffs are about to start… game on!