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Weekly Playoff Jostle March 4, 2007

Posted by netsophobia in Eastern Conference, Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat, NBA talk, New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic.

So what’s the situation on New Jersey’s playoff hopes?

Well, right now the team is occupying 8th spot in the standings and are remarkably only 1.5 games behind the 6th seed in the East, New York Knicks are streaking with 2 straight wins, Miami Heat too have won 2 straight behind a vintage performance by Shaq, Orlando Magic’s slump continues and it doesn’t look like they are breaking out of it, the Pacers are on a 5 game slump and are now 29-29.

Indiana Pacers, in at the 6th spot, have 4 of their next 10 games at home, and have 6 of their next 10 against 0.500 and above teams, crucial games includes games against Cleveland and Miami. with Sacto, Utah, Philly, Cavs, Minny, Wizs, Hawks, Rockets Spurs and Heat in their next 10 games, we could see whether the Pacers stays in the 6th spot or fizzles out and play ala Magic to end the season out of the playoffs.
Schedule Strength : 8/10

Miami Heat, in the 7th spot, without Dwyane Wade have suprisingly won their last two on the back of a Shaq and Antoine Walker attack, WOOT!, they have their next ten with two against the Hawks, Bulls, Minny, Wiz, Jazz, Jersey, Kings and the Magic. with crucial games including two playoff tussles against the Nets and Orlando. they have only 3 games against teams above 0.500 both have tough games against some below 0.500 teams like the Kings. how they play in their next 10 is probably how far can Shaq take them, because other than Shaq, the next best player in the team is maybe Antoine “the walking chucker” Walker and Jason Williams, whom are both best playing as the fourth and fifth options on offense.
Schedule Strength : 4/10

New York Knicks at 9th, again playing without Jamal Crawford but if you seen them play with Steven Francis, Stephon Marbury and Quentin Richardson clicking, they are really quite a team, coupled with Eddy Curry and Channing Frye and a solid supporting cast, suddenly the Knicks are looking like a serious playoff threat, one’s gotta give credit to Isiah Thomas for bringing them to this position right now, the Knicks play their next 10 with two against the Atlantic leading Raptors, two against the Cavs, Mavs, Wiz, Sonics, Blazers and the Magic. with crucial ones including the games against T-dot and Orlando. they have one of the toughest 10 game stretch amongst all five teams and how they will cope with their squad will be interesting to see.
Schedule Strength : 9/10

Orlando Magic at 10th, have been on a free fall since god knows when; have their next 10 against the Bulls, Bucks, Jersey, Knicks, Hornets, Rockets, Heat, T-Dot, Utah and the Kings, with the team under performing as a whole (well, Dwight Howard is the only bright spot), this stretch of games against 6 sub 0.500 teams could either spell playoffs for the Magic or the lottery. crucial games includes three games in this list, heat, Knicks and the Nets.
Schedule Strength : 5/10

finally we come to the New Jersey Nets, who are 28-31, occupying the 8th spot, and with a six game roadtrip looming, have; i mean HAVE to step up in the six games and at least win two out of those six to keep their playoffs hopes alive, with the Texas big three part of that six game stretch, it really looks bleak. big games include the game against a NBA best Dallas team, the Heat and the Magic. the CLips and Denver are teams that could test Jersey at home because they are two completely different teams compared to the Nets. this stretch will both be interesting and painfully depressing.
Schedule Strength : 9/10



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