The NBA fixed their standings, so apparently I had a point with my confusion yesterday. In order, the playoff teams right now in the East would be Miami, Chicago, Indiana, Philadelphia, Orlando, Atlanta, New York, and Boston. Cleveland is in a very surprising ninth. The last team with a winning record is Atlanta, with New York being one game under .500.
In the West, things are a bit better with all teams at least having a winning record. In order again, we would have Oklahoma City, San Antonio, LA Clippers, Dallas, LA Lakers, Houston, Memphis, and Portland.
In the first round, I think Miami would take care of the Celtics pretty easily, and Chicago would handle New York. The Pacers would probably have a somewhat tough series with Atlanta, but I think they would pull it out in five or six, especially with home court advantage. I do think Orlando would take the 76ers, though it would be tighter than most people who don't really follow the NBA would realize.
Out west, I think OKC would handle Portland, Memphis would upset San Antonio (shades of last year), the Clippers take a seven gamer against Houston, and Dallas beats the Lakers pretty easily. That might change if they make some of the trades they've been threatening, but we're going off of today's team.
In the second round, Miami again wins, but in a tougher series against Orlando. That pits the Pacers and Bulls against each other. If last year is any indication, the Pacers might just win this one. The Pacers have already won in Chicago this year, and this seems like a bad match up for the Bulls after the Pacers could have swept the Bulls if they had hit some late shots or held big first half leads. There was no game the Pacers were just out of. And if the jump from 8th to 3rd is any indication, this is a much stronger Pacer team. Either way, though, I think Miami beats either of these teams. Another conference final heartbreak for the blue and gold.
In the West, OKC would beat Dallas, though it's probably seven games. It's really hard to call, but I do think the Clippers would beat Memphis, though I do think a lot of Memphis after their run last year. OKC and the Clippers would be a great showcase for the up and coming teams in the NBA, though I think OKC would win fairly easily.
That leaves us with the Heat and the Thunder in the finals. This would be a great finals which would feature the Heat against their antithesis, at least as far as philosophy is concerned. I would love for the Thunder to win this series, and I really think they would. You might remember, the Heat don't necessarily shine under pressure.
I'll be recording all the All-Star festivities this weekend, but not the game, in keeping with all my non-baseball all-star games. Paul George is in the Rising Stars Challenge and the dunk contest, so I'll be cheering him on. I'm not entirely sure what he's doing tonight, but hopefully it's entertaining.