NBA: The Right Seed Helps Playoff Chances Grow
The NBA playoff format allows over 50 percent of the teams to qualify. This seems to make parts of the regular season almost unimportant.
The Western Conference is really tough to make it in, so tough that winning 48 – 50 games doesn’t guarantee you a trip to the tournament. The Eastern Conference is the exact opposite, you don’t even have to win half of your games. Its like receiving a participation ribbon since your almost guaranteed to be embarrassed in the first round.
Unlike the NFL, preseason prediction for the NBA are similar to what family members will show up every year for Thanksgiving dinner. Just like dinner every year, along comes a new girlfriend or the drunk uncle that you haven’t seen in five years.
There are very few first round upsets in the NBA playoffs. Which is why seeding is so important, it may change the outcome of the tournament based on match-ups.
Which teams from both conferences have a chance to plant their seed and possibly grow deep in this years NBA playoffs?
Just Here for the Check
Two teams in the East that have no chance under any scenario are the Toronto Raptors and the Miami Heat. The chances of these teams winning a first round playoff game are about as likely as Gilbert Arenas being elected President.
The Heat had a chance to make some noise in the playoffs if they would have picked up Amare Stoudemire at the trade deadline. D Wade is a one man show down in South Beach and could be on his farewell tour for Heat fans.
The Raptors look great on paper and on the court they looked like someone used that paper to wipe their backside. The only reason they are still in the playoff hunt is because Chris Bosh hasn’t left yet. This summer Bosh will be leaving Canada faster than people left the worst Winter Olympics EVER! ( One small requirement for winter games… SNOW!)
Any of the top four teams will dominate either squad in a maximum of six games.
Only Hope for Interesting first Round
The Milwaukee Bucks could possibly beat the Atlanta Hawks in the first round. Since the acquisition of John Salmons from the Chicago Bulls the Bucks have been on fire. Someone finally told Andrew Bogut that he was seven feet tall and he realized dunking isn’t illegal.
The Bucks will most likely lock up the fifth spot and I don’t think Atlanta will catch the Boston Celtics for the third position. The Hawks have showed improvement for three straight years and sometime appear to be on the cusp of being really good. I compare the Hawks to a bookshelf from Ikea, it looks nice but there is no guarantee it’s not going to fall apart.
I can’t believe I am going to say this, but if Stephan Jackson is healthy for the playoffs the Charlotte Bobcats could win a first round match-up against Boston and maybe the Orlando Magic.
I know I sound crazy and it is partially due to the fact that I want to be the guy who said I told you so. Recently they finally got over the hump against Orlando. They lost the first three games of the season series, each time closer and closer and finished the climb in the fourth meeting at Orlando.
The Celtics are just ripe for the picking. The Celts are like a Jenga tower, one block away from half of the team crumbling to the ground.
Unfortunately I don’t think either of these teams has the belief to pull it off two rounds in a row.
Get Golden State Fever
A few years back the No. 8 seeded Golden State Warriors upset the No. 1 Seed Dallas Mavericks providing us with the greatest first round series ever. Many Basketball fans understood that match up wise the Warriors had the Mavs number.
I would love to call the Oklahoma City Thunder first round upset, but my days of taking hallucinogens are far behind me. The Thunder are like Rudy Ruettiger, they work hard and you want to see them play, but when they mix it up with the big boys there going to get dump trucked.
San Antonio at the bottom end of the bracket is another temping choice, but with injury problems to the one player not on the verge of getting his AARP card (Tony Parker), they go out in the first round.
Everyone including the Lakers fans know that they hadn’t won a game in Portland since it was cool to tie your sweatshirt around your waist.
With the addition of Marcus Camby and returning to playoffs for the second straight year, the Portland Trail Blazers could be ready to shock the basketball world. They’ve got great post scoring in LaMarcus Aldridge and a go to guy in Brandon Roy.
The Lakers are having injury problems again with the “Big IR”, Andrew Bynum. The Lakers are still concerned about how the playoffs will go with an emotional guy like Ron Artest in the mix. Not to mention that Kobe Bryant has been bailing this team out all season long and would be miracle if he could continue to do it again for another Championship run.
The Trail Blazers will almost benefit from making sure they don’t pass San Antonio for the seventh spot. The seed of doubt has already been planted inside the Lakers head when facing Portland, maybe its time for the Blazers to grow.