Games Played Week 25
2 Games: ATL, BOS, BRK, CHA, CHI, DEN, GSW, HOU, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIA, MIL, MIN, NOP, NYK, OKC, ORL, PHI, PHX, SAN, TOR, UTA, WAS
1 Game: CLE, DAL, DET, IND, POR, SAC
Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $45,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Monday's games. It's $25 to join and first prize is $7,000. Starts at 7pm ET on Monday. Here's the FanDuel link.
My Twitter buddy Richard Yannow broke down the various playoff scenarios and sent them to me last night. Here’s what we’re looking at.
1. Spurs – No. 1 seed, homecourt through the playoffs.
2. Thunder - Clinches No. 2 with a win or a Clippers loss.
3. Clippers - Move up to No. 2 if they win out and OKC loses out.
4. Rockets - Clinches No. 4 with a win or a Blazers loss.
5. Blazers - Move up to No. 4 if they win out and Rockets lose out.
6. Warriors – Clinch No. 6 with a win or if Mavs & Grizzlies both lose.
7. Mavericks - Move up to No. 6 with a win and Warriors losing out. Clinch at least No. 7 with a win or Grizzlies loss. Fall to No. 8 with a loss to Grizzlies, and a Grizzlies win over the Suns.
8. Grizzlies - Move up to No. 6 if they win out and Warriors lose out. Finish No. 7 if they win out and Warriors win one. Clinches at least No. 8 with a win or a Suns loss.
9. Suns - Move up to No. 8 if they win out and Grizzlies lose out. Eliminated from playoff contention by a loss or a Grizzlies win.
1. Pacers – Clinch No. 1 with a win or a Heat loss.
2. Heat - Move up to No. 1 with Pacers loss and if they win out.
3. Raptors – Clinch No. 3 with two wins or two Bulls losses. They hold the tiebreaker, so they get No. 3 if they finish with at least same number of wins as the Bulls over the last two games.
4. Bulls - Move up to No. 3 if they win more games than the Raptors over the last two.
5. Nets – Clinch No. 5 with a win or a Wizards loss.
6. Wizards - Move up to No. 5 if they win out and Nets lose out. Otherwise, they finish No. 6 if they win at least as many games as the Bobcats over last two games, and No. 7 if they win fewer.
7. Bobcats - Move up to No. 6 if they win more games than the Wizards over last two games. Otherwise, they're No.7.
8. Hawks - Locked into No. 8.
So, as you can see, only the Spurs and Hawks have no incentive to win any more games, meaning you should probably think about avoiding them in the next three days if you can. And just because a team, like the Heat, still has something to play for, doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t rest certain players (LeBron James). It will be very interesting to see how things go down in the next few days.
Pacers Down Thunder
Roy Hibbert failed to score and George Hill missed both his shots and scored three points, yet the Pacers still managed to find a way to beat the Thunder and maintain a slim lead over the Heat for the No. 1 seed in the East. I am guessing the Heat are going to go for it. I mean, they haven’t rested LeBron yet, and while he may be running on fumes, the fact remains the team with homecourt advantage has just that – a big advantage.
Back to the Pacers. Hibbert is a disaster and has been for weeks. Hill is the current day Eric Snow. An offensively challenged point guard who can run an offense, yet doesn’t rack up assists. You have to wonder if he’s played his way out of a job, as C.J. Watson had 20 points and four 3-pointers off the bench. The Pacers need scorers, and not a point guard averaging 5.8 points and 2.8 assists over his last four games. Hill should continue to start, but as someone who has him stuck in a lineup for the next two games, I wish I had Watson instead. Luckily for Hibbert, there is no one else waiting in the wings to steal his job. He just needs to figure out what is going on and change it. He has to get aggressive and go back to playing like he did over the first half of the season. The Pacers’ win over the Thunder was huge and a nice confidence boost, but they’re still sitting ducks for a first-round exit if they can’t get Hibbert to figure it out. And as much as Hibbert and his teammates seem to be leery of Lance Stephenson, they owe him a big ‘thank you’ for yesterday’s 17-10-11 triple-double, his fifth of the season.
Raptors Beat Pistons
Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan combined to score 58 points in the win, while Jonas Valanciunas had 18 points and eight rebounds in the win. Amir Johnson was nearly invisible and is back into a full timeshare with Patrick Patterson. If the Raps want the No. 3 seed, they’re going to keep trying to win.
Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe were big and all five starters scored at least 14 points in the loss. It looks like Josh Smith may be done for the season, although that’s not official.
Nets Top Magic
The Nets got 20 points and four 3-pointers out of Mirza Teletovic off the bench, and Mason Plumlee added 17 points and 11 boards in the win. Joe Johnson and 17 points and Deron Williams had 16 points and a nice line, while Marcus Thornton hit just 3-of-11 shots for eight points. The Nets still need to win a game, so hopefully the regulars have one more left in them.
Nikola Vucevic is done for the year and Jameer Nelson sat out last night. Tobias Harris played well, but the Magic box score from yesterday isn’t pretty to look at and it’s hard to trust any of them right now.