Most other teams' blogs I come across have a good deal of discussion about playoffs odds, possible matchups and predicted standings being debated frequently. Blazersedge comes to mind, those are pretty much the best and check out all of the Western schedules analyzed by jscot on there. As a Nuggets fan my general feeling on it is who cares. The Nuggets control their own destiny, all they have to do is play like they have been all season which is a 2 or 3 seed in the west. We've already discussed how the Nuggets could take a huge step forward by acting like a great team on the road, it's the only thing stopping us from competing for a #1 seed. Nevertheless the K-Mart injury changes a lot and playoff speculation is just fun as long as we don't jinx the Nugs, which we won't because our fully healthy squad can beat anyone, I'm confident in that. Figured I'd throw out a few talking points on each conference to see what everyone has to say about it.
- The Blazers are just a half game behind San Antonio for that #7 seed right now. They just delivered a sub-par effort against us but we still have not seen them with Camby, who changed their team a lot. They gave up a significant part of their rotation to get him. San Antonio just lost Parker till probably the playoffs, and they still have to play at Miami, Orlando, Boston, ATL, and OKC and home against LAL and Cleveland this month. Their schedule sucks and Portland could definitely pass them. In fact, if they suffer another injury problem they are in danger of slipping out of the race should Houston or New Orleans muster a late push. Both of those teams have probably lost too many already so San Antonio is pretty safe from all except Portland. I'm hoping the Blazers pass them, because SA is a better matchup for the Lakers. They probably still aren't beating LA, but you can't count out a Duncan-led squad against anyone, the man's got 4 rings along with Popovich. The toughest out of the first round for the Lakers is San Antonio in my mind, no doubt. Same with Dallas against a healthy #7 seed Portland. More next bullet
- Utah looks pretty good to finish top 4. And Mavs plus their schedule have good odds to stay in the #2 seed. They made some good moves at the trade deadline, we're all hoping it turns around on them but if the Nuggets slip up just once it could ruin our chances beating them to #2. I will be happy if the Nugs can enter the playoffs a #3 seed ahead of Utah. Dallas, Denver, and Utah all have an outside shot at stealing the #1 seed, but I'm living in the real world. It's not happening, they are the defending champs, they are healthy and that's just the way it is right now. The road goes through LA. Denver should try to get a 2 or 3 seed for obvious reasons.
- There's a huge gap between the top 4 and the bottom 4 playoff seeds in the East. Only 2 teams in the bottom half of the East are a threat. The Bobcats and the Bucks. The Bobcats start a huge lineup, they have Augustin scoring off the bench, numerous 7 footers and a good coach in Larry Brown. They aren't making the Eastern Finals but they are certainly dangerous at home, having already shown that to a number of top teams including us. The Bucks are a wildcard too, 5th spot right now but honestly they'll only have a chance against a tired and hobbled Boston in the playoffs. I still like Boston, but they are struggling and right now they can't afford even a minor injury or an off-night from anyone. A question mark, but right now I think it's Cleveland or Orlando coming out of the East, with Atlanta and Boston having the smaller outside chance of beating them out, especially if Charlotte can knock off one of the top 2 seeds. The #4 seed could be a blessing in disguise for Boston.
What say you?