Playoff Picture: March 13th
At this point the the season, with the playoff race really tightening up, it’s normal for changes in the standings to happen everyday. Yesterday’s game resulted in such movement in the Western Conference playoff standings.
The Trail Blazers were one of the teams that shifted in the race. Last night’s unfortunate loss to the Hawks paired with the Hornets win over the Kings caused Portland to drop to 7th and New Orleans to jump to 6th.
Last night's scores and effects:
The Memphis Grizzlies were ravaged by the Miami Heat 85-118
in Miami. The Grizzlies are still in the 8th seed in the Western Conference with Phoenix game behind them. The loss by the Grizz last night didn’t widen the gap with Portland because we lost last night too.
The Portland Trail Blazers fell to the Atlanta Hawks 82-91
in Atlanta. Last nights loss coupled with the win by the Hornets caused a flip-flop between the two in the standings. New Orleans is now in 6th and a full game ahead of Portland in 7th. The Trail Blazers and Hawks played an ugly game last night, period.
The Utah Jazz lost to the Chicago Bulls 100-118
in Chicago. The Jazz got lucky last night. The Houston Rockets, who are right on their tails, lost last night too. So even with their loss to Chicago they still hold 10th place in the West.
The Sacramento Kings were dropped by the New Orleans Hornets 103-115
in New Orleans. With the handling of the Kings the Hornets pushed forward in the standings to 6th and bump the Trail Blazers to 7th.
The San Antonio Spurs beat the Houston Rockets 115-107
in Houston. The Spurs are solidly in 1st in the West. The loss for the Rockets leaves them three full games out of the final 8th playoff spot in the Western Conference.
The LA Lakers defeated the Dallas Mavericks 96-91
in Dallas. The Lakers remain in 3rd and the Mavs stay in 2nd, but the win brought Los Angeles within 1/2 a game of Dallas. This tightens up the top half of the playoff race in the West.
The Detroit Pistons were handled by Denver Nuggets 101-131
in Denver. The Nuggets win keeps them in 5th place and pushes them a full game ahead of the Hornets in 6th and two full games ahead of the Trail Blazers in 7th.
Tonight’s games with Western Conference potential playoff teams:
Oklahoma City Thunder (41-23) vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (12-52)
A win by Oklahoma keeps them firmly in 4th. The Lakers are four and a half games ahead of them in 3rd and the Nuggets are 3 games behind them in 5th. Oklahoma should trample the Cavs tonight.
Orlando Magic (41-25) vs. Phoenix Suns (33-30)
This will be the first match-up between the teams since their six-player trade earlier in the season. A win for the Suns will bring them within a half a game of Memphis and the final playoff seed. A loss will bring Utah within half a game of them and the 9th spot. This game is a toss-up for me. The intangible of history between the two teams could prove to be a wild card.
Here are the new Western Conference playoff match-ups with the jumble last night.
Do you like the Trail Blazers matched up with the Mavs better than the Lakers?