2016 Playoff Push – West

With less than one week left of the NBA regular season, playoff spots are starting to be finalized. Compared to the Eastern Conference, the West is a much tighter race. Here’s what the playoff seeding in the Western Conference looks like so far:

  1. Golden State Warriors* (70-9)
  2. San Antonio Spurs* (65-14)
  3. Oklahoma City Thunder* (54-25)
  4. Los Angeles Clippers* (51-28)
  5. Portland Trail Blazers* (43-37)
  6. Memphis Grizzlies* (42-37)
  7. Dallas Mavericks (41-38)
  8. Utah Jazz (39-40)

  9. Houston Rockets (38-41)

*=clinched

The Houston Rockets can potentially make the playoffs if they win the rest of their games, so there is still some hope for them.

 Golden State Warriors

via hypebeast.com

The Warriors (70-9)  are three games away from beating the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls record of (72-10). They are on track to capping off their historic season with the new record and cannot lose any of their remaining three games if they hope to do so. Their last three games are against Memphis (twice) and one more vs San Antonio. However despite being so close to breaking it, head coach Steve Kerr is said to not be focused on that, and will instead be resting his best players before the playoffs.

Golden State has already secured the top seed along with home-court advantage for the first two games and will most likely be playing Utah in the first round, unless Houston can find a way to make the playoffs and take the 8th seed.

Los Angeles Clippers

via clipperblog.com

The Clippers are notorious for making the playoffs, but never advancing past the Western Conference Finals. Blake Griffin was out for 45 games after being suspended for punching a team equipment manager and then breaking his shooting hand. The suspension was for five games without pay, which began when Griffin was cleared to play and was considered active.

According to ESPN.com, Griffin will lose $859,442 from his season salary of $18,907,725. The Clippers will donate Griffin’s salary from the five games to charities that help disadvantaged youth in Los Angeles, and Griffin will also be donating his time to the organizations.

Here’s the video for his press conference where he addresses the 45-game hiatus.

Griffin’s absence was a significant hit for the Clippers because he is still very rusty since returning and this is a crucial time for the team as the playoffs get closer.

Los Angeles Lakers

Now I know that the Lakers are nowhere near playoff contention (16-63), but I thought it was worth talking about Kobe Bryant’s last game. Currently, the cheapest ticket for Kobe’s last game on April 13th vs Utah at the Staples Center is $806 according to SeatGeek. 

And if you thought that was absurd, check out the newest items in the Kobe Bryant 24 Collection on NBAStore.com.

Los Angeles Lakers Limited Edition Kobe Bryant 18 Karat Gold Fitted Cap
Los Angeles Lakers Limited Edition Kobe Bryant 18 Karat Gold Fitted Cap – $38,248.08

There are only two of these hats left of the eight total that were produced. Also this price is almost equivalent to my college tuition. The saddest part about this is that people are actually buying these things.

Check out my post about the Eastern Conference if you haven’t seen it. For more updates and news about ticket prices, follow my blog and never miss a post! I’ll also be posting about playoff tickets soon. Got questions? Email me courtsidebroker@gmail.com and I might make a post about it!

2016 Playoff Push – East

There is officially one week left of the NBA regular season. This is the current seeding for the Eastern Conference:

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers* (56-22)
  2. Toronto Raptors* (52-25)
  3. Atlanta Hawks* (46-32)
  4. Boston Celtics* (45-32)
  5. Miami Heat* (45-32)
  6. Charlotte Hornets* (44-33)
  7. Indiana Pacers (41-36)
  8. Detroit Pistons (41-37)

  9. Chicago Bulls (39-39)

* = clinched

The most interesting part about this seeding is how much it has changed over the last few weeks. Every team except Cleveland and Toronto has been moving up and down the ranks and with only one week left of games, this is a critical time for everyone below 2nd place.

Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks

via crowdalbum.com

 

Coming off of a first round sweep last season against Cleveland, the Celtics have improved their record and currently hold the 4th seed. They have five regular season games left against the Pelicans, Bucks, Hornets, Hawks, and Heat. Their record is currently tied with Miami and if both Miami and Boston win tonight and tomorrow, they will both be tied with Atlanta for the 3rd seed.

Best Case Scenario for Boston:

The best case scenario for the Celtics is to try and take the 3rd seed spot from Atlanta and here’s why:

  • If Boston takes the 3rd seed from Atlanta:
    • They would play Charlotte in the first round instead of Miami
    • Boston is (2-0) vs Charlotte
    • The Hawks would then be playing Miami in the first round
  • Boston can potentially avoid playing Atlanta in the second round because:
    • Boston is (1-2) vs Atlanta
    • Miami can potentially eliminate Atlanta in the first round
    • Atlanta is (1-3) vs Miami
  • Boston would avoid Cleveland in the second round
    • Boston is (2-0) vs Miami
    • Boston is (1-2) vs Cleveland
    • Miami is (2-1) vs Cleveland
    • Celtics and Heat could go to the ECF

If the Celtics can avoid Atlanta and Cleveland at all costs, this would be the best case scenario. Miami is better against the Hawks and can potentially knock them out, and the Celtics have a better chance of beating Miami over Atlanta. Based on their remaining schedule, I think it’s very possible for the Celtics to do.

 

Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls

Tomorrow’s Heat vs Bulls game is a big deal for both teams. Chicago (9th) is two games behind Detroit (8th), so every game is a must-win for them if they hope to even make the playoffs. Miami is still trying to move up in the playoff ranks, so every game matters for them as well. Both of these teams have been plagued with injuries this season and have struggled because of that. Dwyane Wade just got back into the lineup after being out with neck and back injuries and Hassan Whiteside is a day-to-day after taking a hit to the thigh on Tuesday against the Pistons. As for Chicago, Taj Gibson is still out with a rib injury and E’Twaun Moore is day-to-day with a hamstring injury.

via foxsports.com

Cleveland Cavaliers

While we’re on the topic of injuries, Cleveland can definitely relate. Last season, the Cavaliers lost Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving due to injuries in the first round against Boston. LeBron James carried the team to the Finals, but we all know how well that ended. Kyrie Irving was just put back into the lineup again after suffering a sprained ankle, so the Cavaliers will be going into the playoffs with a full, healthy roster.

Check out my analysis of the Western Conference and follow my blog for more news, playoff ticket price reports, and tips on selling your NBA tickets!