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The Road to the Playoffs

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Last night San Antonio lost a game that they were in until the fourth quarter against the Phoenix Suns, a team I just so happen to think is not as good as the Spurs. That puts the end of the season in a bit of a free for all as to who the Rockets will play and what playoff spot they will have.

The Western Conference Standings - Record (Conference Record):
1. Hornets 55-23 (33-15) GB -
2. Spurs 53-25 (30-18) GB 2
3. Lakers 53-25 (33-15) GB 2
4. Jazz 52-26 (31-17) GB 3
5. Rockets 53-25 (31-17) GB 2
6. Suns 53-26 (29-20) GB 2.5
7. Mavericks 49-29 (31-17) GB 6
8. Nuggets 47-31 (28-20) GB 8
9. Warriors 47-31 (27-21) GB 8

I'm going to take a stab at how I think each team's final 3 or 4 games will play out. Mind you, this is just a stab and you are just as likely to see the Suns at number 1 right now as you are to see the Hornets,but I'm going at it anyway. (Note: okay, maybe not just as likely, but I think it's possible)

Final Schedules:

New Orleans Hornets (3-1)
4/11 @LA Lakers - W
4/12 @ Sacramento - W
4/15 LA Clippers - W
4/16 @ Dallas - L

San Antonio Spurs (3-1)
4/11 Seattle - W
4/13 @LA Lakers - L
4/14 @Sacramento - W
4/16 Utah - W

LA Lakers (3-1)
4/10 LA Clippers - W
4/11 New Orleans - L
4/13 San Antonio - W
4/15 Sacramento - W

Utah Jazz (2-2)
4/10 @ Dallas - W
4/12 Denver - W
4/14 Houston - L
4/16 @ San Antonio - L

Houston Rockets (4-0)
4/11 Phoenix - W
4/13 @ Denver - W
4/14 @ Utah - W
4/16 LA Clippers - W

Phoenix Suns (2-1)
4/11 @ Houston - L
4/14 Golden State - W
4/16 Portland - W

Dallas Mavericks (3-1)
4/10 Utah - L
4/12 @ Portland - W
4/13 @ Seattle - W
4/16 New Orleans - W

Denver Nuggets (1-3)
4/10 @ Golden State - L
4/12 @ Utah - L
4/13 Houston - L
4/16 Memphis - W

Golden State Warriors (3-1)
4/10 Denver - W
4/12 LA Clippers - W
4/14 @ Phoenix - L
4/16 Seattle - W

If the above were to happen, here is how the records would work out:
Final Western Conference Standings:
1. Hornets 58-24 (36-16) GB -
2. Rockets 57-25 (35-17) GB 1
3. Lakers 56-26 (36-16) GB 2
4. Jazz 54-28 (33-19) GB 4
5. Spurs 56-26 (33-19) GB 2
6. Suns 55-27 (31-21) GB 3
7. Mavericks 52-30 (34-18) GB 6
8. Warriors 50-32 (30-22) GB 8
9. Nuggets 48-34 (29-23) GB 10

A 4-0 spurt would almost guarantee the Rockets the second spot in the playoffs and they would in turn play the Mavericks. I like the match up, hate the idea of playing the Mavericks in Toyota though, the two fan bases just don't mix well unfortunately.

Now say I'm smoking some really good stuff, and my predicted end of the season unbeaten streak doesn't occur. What happens if the Rockets lose all three of the games to the Suns, Nuggets and Spurs but all else above stays the same?

Western Conference - I'm not Nostradamus Scenario:
1. Hornets 58-24 (36-16) GB -
2. Spurs 56-26 (33-19) GB 2
3. Lakers 56-26 (36-16) GB 2
4. Jazz 55-27 (34-18) GB 3
5. Suns 56-26 (32-20) GB 2
6. Rockets 54-28 (32-20) GB 4
7. Mavericks 52-30 (34-18) GB 6
8. Warriors 50-32 (30-22) GB 8
9. Nuggets 49-33 (30-22) GB 9

The Rockets would play the Lakers, a team I think we match up extremely well with. That's actually our dream scenario if you ask me. And I have to admit something, I'm a self proclaimed NBA fan, and I knew the Jazz road record couldn't be great, but I had no idea it was 17-22. Every team should be licking their chops to get a first round, home court advantage over Utah. However, no one wants to play the Jazz, Spurs or Mavericks without having the HCA, with 35-4, 32-7 and 32-7 records respectively, they would most likely dominated a series they had the HCA in. So that wraps up a little mini-analysis. It's been a great season so far, though it would have been better if The Great Wall wasn't sitting out until next season. I stand by my assertion that the Rockets will win at least their first round series.

Go Rockets!


Heads up : If you like scoring, check out the Denver vs. Golden State game tonight at 7PM CST on TNT.