With one week left in the regular season the Philadelphia 76ers look like a lock for the number one seed in the Eastern Conference sitting 3 games up with 4 to play. They have road games against Indiana and Miami then two home games against Orlando. The Sixers have won 8 in a row and it is hard to imagine them not maintaining their hold as the top seed in the East.
Brooklyn who is 3 games back with 4 to play and Milwaukee 3.5 back with 5 to play are still battling for the second seed. Brooklyn had been struggling lately losing 4 in a row but they looked sharp in an impressive 125-119 win at Denver in their last game. The Nets have a home and away against the Bulls and then home games against the Spurs and the Cavs. Milwaukee has been playing well winning 8 of their last 10. They have 5 games remaining with road games against the Spurs, Pacers and Bulls then home games against the Magic and the Heat.
The Nets and the Bucks will be teams to consider taking in the right situations as they battle for the 2 seed and potential home court advantage if they advance to the 2nd round to face each other.
The Knicks are in the 4th spot with Atlanta and Miami tied one game behind. They all have 4 games remaining. The Hawks have 2 games against Washington and then Orlando and Houston all of which are at home. The Heat look like they have a tougher schedule with the Sixers at home then Boston, Milwaukee and Detroit on the road.
In the play-in race the Celtics are in the 7th s spot 2 games behind the Hawks and the Heat followed by Charlotte, Washington and Indiana who are separated by only a game and a half in the 8th, 9th and 10th spots.
Chicago appears to be on the outside looking in sitting in the 11th spot 3.5 games back with 4 games to play.
The Utah Jazz have won 5 in a row and have the best record in the NBA. They have a 2-game lead over Phoenix with both teams having a home game with Portland and then 3 road games. The Suns have Golden State and then a back-to-back at San Antonio. The Jazz also travel to Golden State then OKC and Sacramento. Both of these teams seem to be relatively safe in their positions with the one and two seeds.
The Clippers are in the 3rd spot one game up on the Nuggets with both teams having all 4 remaining games on the road. No matter who ends up with the higher seed they are both looking at matchups with either the Suns or the Jazz. However, the Jazz have the best record in the NBA and are riding a 5-game winning streak.
Dallas has moved into the 5th spot a game up on Portland in the 6th spot and 2 up on the Lakers who are currently in the 7th spot and facing the play-in round. The Mavs have won 4 in a row and 8 of their last 10, the Blazers have won 3 in a row and 7 of their last 10. The Lakers have been struggling with injuries to Anthony Davis and LeBron James keeping them out of the lineup. AD has returned and the Lakers had a big win on Sunday 123-110 over Phoenix. LeBron is expected to return any day now.
The Lakers have home games against New York and Houston and then finish up on the road against Indiana and New Orleans.
Golden State is in the 8th spot a half game up on Memphis. The Warriors have their final four games at home against Utah, Phoenix, New Orleans and Memphis. The Grizzlies have 5 games left with New Orleans, Dallas and 2 against Sacramento at home before the final game matchup against the Warriors in Golden State.
If the Warriors maintain the 8th spot we could have a play-in first game against the Lakers with the winner getting the 7th seed and the loser having to play the winner of the 9-10 matchup between Memphis and San Antonio. The winner of that game would have the 8th seed and a first-round matchup against the Jazz.
The way Stephen Curry has been playing of late Golden State’s last 4 games at home should be something to watch with the potential prize of a must-watch one-game matchup with the Lakers for the 7th seed.
The Odds to Win It All
Brooklyn Nets +250
Los Angeles Lakers +350
Los Angeles Clippers +650
Utah Jazz +950
Milwaukee Bucks +1000
Denver Nuggets +1200
Philadelphia 76ers +1400
Phoenix Suns +2200
Miami Heat +3000
Dallas Mavericks +5000
Boston Celtics +6000
Portland Trailblazers +6000
Golden State Warriors +12500
Indiana Pacers +12500
Toronto Raptors +15000
Atlanta Hawks +20000
Chicago Bulls +25000
San Antonio Spurs +25000
New Orleans Pelicans +25000
New York Knicks +30000
Charlotte Hornets +30000
Memphis Grizzlies +30000
Washington Wizards +30000