Mar 31

Playoff Picture: March 31st

By sarahhecht Posted in: playoffs
Following the loss last night in New Orleans the Trail Blazers are now in 7th place in the West.

We have an identical record with the Hornets at (43-32) which moves us to the tiebreaker. New Orleans holds the season series over Portland (3-1) so they take the lead. Bummer.

Not only did our position in the standings change, but our playoff matchup of the moment shifted to the Los Angles Lakers. Ick. That’s not something I’m happy about. What do you think?

The good news is the change could be jumbled again tonight with the outcome of the Mavericks vs. Lakers game. A Dallas win would move them into 2nd in the West and drop Los Angeles to 3rd. That result means a playoff matchup with the Mavs again. Sigh.

Two good games tonight on TNT, Boston vs. San Antonio and Dallas vs. Los Angeles. I’ll be watching them both, will you?

Last night's scores and effects:

The  Houston Rockets lost to the  Philadelphia 76ers 97-108 in Philadelphia. The Rockets did the Trail Blazers a big favor by losing last night, their losses contribute to the speed at which we clinch a playoff berth. But in turn they hurt their own chances of playing in the post season. Houston is still in 9th in the West. They’re three full games behind Memphis in 8th.

The  Golden State Warriors fell to the  Memphis Grizzlies 91-110 in Memphis. With the Rockets quickly closing on them, the Grizzles needed a win last night to keep some distance. They did just that and widened the gap with Houston to three full games. They remain in 8th in the West.

The  Portland Trail Blazers were defeated by the  New Orleans Hornets 91-95 in New Orleans. This one hurt the Trail Blazers. The loss brought New Orleans to a tie with Portland. They hold the head-to-head tiebreaker which caused them to jump into 6th place and the Trail Blazers to fall to 7th.

The  Sacramento Kings  were defeated by the  Denver Nuggets 90-104 in Denver. The Nuggets maintained their 5th seed. They sit five games behind Oklahoma City in the 4th seed and two and a half games ahead of New Orleans in the 6th seed.

The  Oklahoma City Thunder squashed the  Phoenix Suns 116-98 in Phoenix. Stick a fork in Phoenix, they’re done. They haven’t been officially eliminated from playoff contention, but at five and a half games out of 8th, they’re hopes are dwindling. The Thunder are still in 4th in the Western Conference.

The  Dallas Mavericks beat the  LA Clippers 106-100 in Los Angeles. Dallas held on to the 3rd spot in the West and closed the gap to the Lakers in 2nd to only half a game.

Tonight’s games with Western Conference potential playoff teams:

 Boston Celtics (51-22) vs.  San Antonio Spurs (57-17) on TNT
San Antonio will stay in 1st in the West with a win or a loss. I’ve been saying this for a while now and it’s been true, but that situation might change soon. The Spurs have been on a skid lately and only have a three and a half game lead over the Lakers who have been on a roll. A Spurs loss paired with a Lakers win would close that gap to two and a half games.

 Dallas Mavericks vs.  LA Lakers (53-20) on TNT
This game has movement implications for both teams. The Lakers currently sit in 2nd in the West with the Mavs a half a game behind them in 3rd. A win for Dallas would move them up into 2nd and the Lakers down into 3rd. I’m rooting for the Mavs in this one, a win would make them our first round matchup again.

Here are the playoff match-ups as of today:

(Tables courtesy of


  1. I really like the Laker match up. I know we have the best changes of going against the Mav's. But I don't think I would be content to just make it to the second round. I definitely like to see improvement. But when have a chance to win it all, albeit a slim one, why not try. I'd rather play the best team first when we have the most energy and fire.

    by coreymjr on 3/31/2011 9:26 AM
  2. I am with you Sarah - I do not like the match up as it stands right now -but who ever we get in the first round will just be one less team to deal with later :) I really do not think we will know who's where in the standings until the last game is played - the West is such a close race! You know I will be watching both games tonight -:)

    by Dio Freeman on 3/31/2011 9:36 AM
  3. I'm all about taking good teams out in the first round, BUT when I think about it more, the Trail Blazers don't have any recent experience in winning a playoff series, so why would we want to take on a Lakers team that is flat out winning right now. They're playing good ball right now. I'd rather gain some momentum over a team that we matchup better with than try to take on the Lakers. LA is the hardest matchup for us, no doubt about it. They're huge!

    by sarahhecht on 3/31/2011 9:43 AM
  4. Miss Sarah:

    There are to many scenarios right now to worry about opponents. The number one worry is making the play-offs. As you said, Houston helped us narrow the chase, but with our schedule, I am not confident that we can help ourselves.
    Next, a one game lead over the Grizzlies with their schedule is spooky, but most thinks that it we drop to 8Th we play the Spurs instead of the Lakers, which is not a bad thing, except with the way the Spurs are falling off because of injury it is possible that the Lakers will over take them for home court advantage in case SAS and LAL meets in the finals, and at the same time, put them in first place to play the eighth place Blazers.

    Therefore there is no guaranteed position from 1 thru 8 yet so I just worry about getting in and worry about who we play when we get there.

    I will be in your camp rooting for Dallas, but mostly it is because they are playing the Lakers, not for position. I just don't think realistically that will happen, but it might.

    how did you predict the road trip? I predicted either 0-4 or 1-3 if we could beat NOH. well it came out that way just a unpredicted win over SAS. Regardless, the road trip ended fair or better then many predicted.

    I thank you for the Blog.

    by Hg on 3/31/2011 9:53 AM
  5. @HG I agree that making the playoffs is the most important factor. Matchups don't mean a lick if we don't get to play.

    That said, I'm confident with the way we're playing, and that we can pull off three more wins (or Houston losses) to clinch a playoff berth. That's why I feel comfortable in talking about matchups.

    Yes, the matchups change all the time but isn't watching them and postulating about different scenarios part of the fun? That's one of the reasons I enjoy talking about upcoming games (in Chalk Talk and with friends) as much as I enjoy watching the games. It's that close involvement that keeps me so passionate.

    I predicted the road trip at 2-1 (it was only 3 games) with wins in SA and NOLA.

    I know it's still Thursday, but I'm getting amped up for tomorrow and another shot at the Thunder already!

    by sarahhecht on 3/31/2011 10:00 AM
  6. Miss Sarah:
    thank you for the correction. I predicted 1-2 on hope.

    I too love the way the team is playing, and I am most enthusiastic about the play-off. I just get to mind blogging to think of all the possibilities. You know if the hare hadn't ran the coyote would have caught him type stuff. I also love talking to you and the friends on Up and Adam show. I don't get to watch too many chalk talks because I have to go to work about noon. yesterday was an exception because I postponed all my work until after the game. Although we lost, watching the game and then working the whole night through was worth it.
    BTW, we don't have to hit the road today until two so I plan on watching Chalk talk today. Adam said Casey would make it in to work.

    I am amped up for tomorrow night also, because I think we will win at home against the Thunders. Either way the Hornets, grizzlies games go will be OK if we win. In the win and loss column we stay even with NO or gain the 6Th seed back. Or, we gain a game on the Grizzlies or stay even with them, but first we need to win the game, and I think we are up for the challenge.

    I thank you for answering my post, It makes me feel great.

    Hopefully, I will meet up with you on the Just Casey, or chalk talk which ever one he is doing.

    by Hg on 3/31/2011 10:28 AM
  7. i think we'll go no less than 4-3 the rest of the way; probably more like 5-2. that certainly would include a road win over utah, as well as four of our home games. we will beat the thunder and lakers, as well as the jazz, and the warriors at home. the mavericks and grizzlies make me nervous and i'm not sure about the warriors on the road the last game of the season. if we have our seed secured, we may not play the regular rotation guys much or even not at all (as we did last year). i'll just add that i hope we win that game since i'll be there!

    by Kassandra on 3/31/2011 11:28 AM
  8. Crash got knocked out
    Flagrant fouls
    Rudy almost beat up Jarrett Jack
    It sure looked like a playoff game last night
    Both teams played hard

    by Tobyus Sanchezo on 3/31/2011 4:19 PM
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