Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Hello Lakers?

The Thunder routed the 76ers last night to push their record to 45-28

Thunder have games remaining @Boston, @Dallas, Minnesota, @Utah, Denver, Phoenix, @Golden State, @Portland, Memphis.

Going on form they will win 3 more games and finish 48-34. The number 9 team, Memphis, already has 35 losses, so the Thunder appear to at least be in the playoffs. I am assuming that the positioning race between Utah, Denver, Dallas, and Phoenix will be ongoing so that those teams will be, in the words of Sheedy, "playing hard, my man" down the stretch.

However, it's hard to see how they can hold on to the 6th or 7th seed given their schedule vs. that of the Spurs and the Blazers. Each of them has one more loss that OKC right now, but both have a bit easier schedule remaining and both hold the tiebreaker against OKC.

San Antonio has Houston, Orlando, @Lakers, @Sacramento, @Phoenix, Memphis, @Denver, Minnesota, @Dallas. So put them down for 4 wins, tying OKC at 48 - 34. However, as noted above, the Spurs hold the tiebreaker over the Thunder.

Portland has the Knicks, @Denver, @Sacramento, @Clippers, Dallas, @ Lakers, OKC, Golden State. So put them down for 5 wins (yes beating the Thunder in Portland).

That gives Portland in 6th, Spurs in 7th, and OKC in 8th.

The critical game for the Thunder will I guess be the Portland game. Winning that could keep them in the 6th spot if all three teams perform as expected otherwise. Beating Denver or Phoenix at home would be huge too. Who knows, maybe they can steal another one from the Nuggets.

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