Sched Ahead Update & Projections - 3/31

Short Version tonight.

Games of 3/31:

Long story short - we take care of business but get absolutely no help whatsoever - even where we could have expected it (looking at your Boston!).  Denver was the only West playoff team not in action tonight, and everyone but the Lakers won.

Games of 4/1:

Orlando & Dallas - Won't affect our seeding, but could affect who we play in round 1.  Hard to know yet though whether we want Dallas to slot into the 2 or 3 slot.  Optimists, root for Orlando; Pessimists, Dallas.

Portland at Denver - This game is going to tell us a LOT.  Win, and we have a semblance of a chance left of passing Denver and an outside shot of climbing as high as 4th.  Lose, and we're going to be hoping for a Phoenix meltdown to finish better than 6th.

JScot's Projections:

For those who saw my preview edition in the gameday thread, pretty sure I mucked something up. That's what I get for trying to jump the gun I suppose.  Anywhere, here's latest and greatest:

1	Los Angeles	54-21	59.3
2	Dallas		50-25	54.6
3	Utah		50-26	53.7
4	Denver		48-27	52.8
5	Phoenix		49-26	52.6
6	Oklahoma City	46-28	50.4 (up from 6th)
7	Portland	46-29	50.2 (down from 7th)
8	San Antonio	45-29	49.2

As you can see, it's looking more and more like it's Dallas vs. Utah for the 2 and 3 seeds, Denver and Phoenix heading for an opening round matchup with homecourt being up for grabs, and OKC, Portland, and San Antonio all jockeying for position in the 6 through 8 slots.  Matchups being key in the playoffs, it will be real interesting to see how things play out.  There doesn't appear to be an easy out for any of the top seeds, does there?  You think any of them want to face a veteran Spurs team in round 1?  A surging Blazers squad whose playing their best ball of the year?  An up and coming Thunder who defend well, have no pressure and nothing to lose, and have a guy capable of going off for 40 on any given night?

And now, the East:

1	Cleveland	59-16	64.5
2	Orlando	        52-22	57.5
3	Atlanta	        48-26	52.8
4	Boston	        47-27	51.7
5	Miami	        41-34	46.4
6	Milwaukee	41-33	45.3
7	Charlotte	39-35	43.4
8	Toronto	        37-37	41.7
--	Chicago	        35-39	38.5

Atlanta's big win over the Lakers tonight pushes their projection almost a full game ahead of Boston.  As many of you are aware, there is a brewing potential controversy in the East should the two teams finished tied. Boston would then get the 3 seed by virtue of the "division winner" provision, even though Atlanta swept them 4 games to 0 this year.  My guess is the NBA is hoping they don't end tied.  With Boston continuing to roll over for any Western playoff team that comes into town, that appears to be more likely now.

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