It’s been nearly 77 games and in the Eastern Conference there are four teams fighting each other for three playoff spots. Reality is that whoever gets in (Orlando, Miami, Brooklyn, Detroit) it probably will be a short playoff experience, kind of like that cup of coffee at Starbucks. But the playoffs is an important stepping stone for a franchise who has not been there in a while.
Detroit was in the playoffs a couple of years ago against LeBron and it didn’t go well for them. Brooklyn was last in the playoffs with Deron Williams. Orlando hasn’t been there since Shaq. Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh put the Heat in after LeBron’s exit but since then it’s been a lot of famine and no feast. None of the players who are going at it every night have much of a playoff record except for Dwyane Wade.
Being in the playoffs is aspirational. It gives you something to work for. You lose in the first round then the entire summer is about trying to get back there for the second round. The playoffs are different. Pace is slower. The possessions matter. All the attention is on the lucky 16 and all the social media shadiness too when players mess up.
As of Saturday night, Detroit is in the 6th seed, a half a game ahead of the Nets. Miami is 1 game back and the Magic are a game and a half back. Who is going to finish strong? Only Miami has a winning record on the road but a losing record at home. Orlando and Miami have won 7 out of their last 10. The Pistons and Brooklyn are batting .500 the last 10 games. From here on out the schedule is everything.
Detroit. 6 games remaining. Home games: Indiana, Charlotte, Memphis. Road games: Indiana, OKC, New York. Games against playoff teams: 4. Back-to-back games: 1. Prediction: 3-3
Brooklyn. 5 games remaining. Home games: Milwaukee. Toronto. Miami. Road games: Milwaukee, Indiana. Games against playoff teams: 4. Back-to-back games: 1. Prediction: 3-2.
Orlando. 5 games remaining. Home games: New York, Atlanta. Road Games: Toronto, Boston, Charlotte. Games against playoff teams: 2. Back-to-back games: 0. Prediction: 3-2.
Miami. 6 games remaining. Home games: Boston. Philadelphia. Road Games: Boston. Minnesota. Toronto. Brooklyn. Games Against Playoff Teams. 5. Back-to-back games: 1. Prediction: 3-3.
Detroit: Orlando. (Detroit split seasons series with Miami)
Brooklyn: Detroit, Orlando.
Miami: (leads Brooklyn series 2-1).
Last Ones In, First One Out
- 6th seed Nets
- 7th seed Pistons.
- 8th seed Magic
Lottery: Sorry Wade. Miami.