The race for playoff seeding in the Western Conference is extremely close. Closer than its been in quite some time. One of the things I like to look at on ESPN.com is Hollinger's Playoff Odds. The percentages and projections are fun for impatient people such as myself. Here's the way they're looking right now:
If you look at the projected records, it shows that five teams (Denver, Utah, Houston, New Orleans and Portland) are projected to finish with a 51-31 record each. A FIVE-WAY tie for third!!! I can imagine the team that finishes 7th in this case feels pretty cheated. So how would this tie be broken??? Well, I did a bit of research and here's what I found:
(Note, this is all based on current tiebreaker statuses, and could change as the rest of the season unfolds. This is just for fun.)
First, the division champions have to be determined. Right now, Utah has the lead in the NW Division, so we'll keep them as such for the purposes of this.
Next, the best record amongst games between the five teams must be calculated. Currently, the ranking for that goes as follows:
So, based upon those projections with the tiebreaks listed above, here's how the final standings would look:
1. LA Lakers
2. San Antonio
5. New Orleans
That would set us up for a series with Houston. Having Greg would be very nice for that.
So, that's that. It's not going to be accurate in two days, let alone two months. But it still shows a bit more about just how close this race could get.