Blazers a lock for the playoffs?

I'm seeing the pundits saying that there is an 85% probability that the Blazers will make the playoffs.  From what I've seen the last few weeks I'm not so sure given the difficulty of their schedule.  Here is my totally unscientific prediction:

4 probable wins: Cleveland, Washington, GoldenState, @GoldenState

6 probable losses: Dallas, @L*kers, SanAntonio, @OKC, @SanAntonio, Dallas

Based on past history I'd guess they give away one of the probable wins and win one of the probable losses so of these two categories we get 4 wins.

That leaves 5 tossup games:

Philidelphia:  they are pretty hot now, so I'd say 50% chance of a win

@NewOrleans:  if Chris Paul is playing, 40%

OKC: we can't be swept can we?  I'll give us a W here.

@Utah: we almost never win in Utah, but they are not the same team without DWill.  40%

 L*kers:  we got them into overtime earlier this year.  I'd say 50% chance of a W

Memphis: If Memphis is our competition for #8, we gotta get a W here.

Of these tossup games I'm going to say we win 3 games

So that puts at 44-38


Let's look at Memphis, NewOrleans, and Phoenix after the jump.

Memphis 37-31 8 home, 6 road  They are playing pretty well even without Rudy Gay.

7 probable wins: Indiana, Utah, GoldenState, Minnesota, Clippers, Sacramento, @Clippers

3 probable losses: @Boston, @Chicago, SanAntonio

4 tossup games

@ NewYork, @ NewOrleans , NewOrleans, @Portland


There 7 probably wins are very strong, and let's say they win 2 of their tossup games, and lose to Portland.

That puts them at: 46-36 ahead of the Blazers

New Orleans 39-30, 8 home, 5 road

2 probable wins: Indiana, Utah

3 probably losses: Boston, @L*kers, @Dallas.

8 tossup games: Phoenix, @Utah, @Phoenix, Portland, Memphis, Houston, Phoenix, @Memphis

So let's give them the 2 probable wins, and the possibly meaningless (for Dallas) game against Dallas and 4 of the 8 tossup games.  That's 7 wins and puts them at 46-36 ahead of the Blazers.

Phoenix 33-32  8 home, 9 road

7 probable wins: GoldenState, @Clippers, Toronto, @Sacramento, Clippers, @Minnesota, Minnesota

7 probably losses: @L*kers, Dallas, OKC, @SanAntonio, @Chicago, @Dallas, SanAntonio

tossup games: @NewOrleans, NewOrleans, @NewOrleans

So let's give them the 7 probable wins, a meaningless(for SanAntonio) game against the Spurs, and two of the tossups.

That's 10 wins and puts them at 43-39.

If we see the kind of effort and skill we've seen in the last two games, and the difficulty of our tossup games, it doesn't seem too much of a stretch that we lose one more of those games leaving us at 43-39.  We have the tiebreaker against Phoenix so they'd need one more win.

I suppose they could sweep NewOrleans but that would mean winning two road I don't find it very likely.  None of those games are back to back, although the last game is the 4th game in 6 nights, all on the road. The final road game is in Dallas and might be a meaningless game for Dallas, but not sure the Suns will have the legs to accept the gift.

I like our chances to squeak by Phoenix.  I'm not sure I'm convinced by those 85% probability predictions.

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