Playoff Run: We’re In The Home Stretch

Two weeks ago I shared my thoughts about the teams headed for the Play-In tournament in Eastern and Western Conferences. As I write this the only the Atlanta Hawks are playing tonight. So, let’s take check the pulse on who will make the Play-In Tournament and what seed they will be in.

Eastern Conference

More injuries have hit the teams in the eastern conference.

In Miami they are still within Point Guard Tyler Herro (foot). Now Small Forward Caleb Martin is out with an ankle injury and Forward Duncan Robinson is out with a back injury. The Heat are five and five in their last ten games with nine games left in the regular season.

Now let’s take a look at the 76ers and what injuries they’ve suffered over the last couple weeks. Power Forward Robert Covington (knee) is still out and likely will not play again until next season; Center Joel Embiid is now out with a knee injury too. Philadelphia has only won three of their last ten games.

In Chicago, there have not been many serious injuries over the last couple weeks; the Bulls won only four games of their last ten with eight games to go. Over in Atlanta it is the exact opposite situation. Point Guard Trae Young suffered a finger in February and had surgery over a month ago. However, his return does not appear to be imminent and many reports out of Atlanta say he likely won’t be medically cleared until at least the first round of the playoffs if the Hawks get there. The Hawks have won five of their last ten games and also have eight games left. The Bulls and Hawks play each other Monday night.

Just as Miami and Philadelphia have traded spots in the standings a couple of times over the last couple weeks so have the Bulls and Hawks. If the playoffs were to start today the Bulls would be playing the 76ers in the Play-In Tournament.

Western Conference

The Dallas Mavericks have a solid spot as the number sixth seed after being tied with Phoenix for  sixth and seventh seed ten days ago. The Suns have been hoping Shooting Guard Damien Lee (knee) who has been out all season would make it back to the court by now. Sadly, he has not made it back though and will likely not play again until sometime next season. The Suns have won six of their last ten games with eight games left; while the Mavericks have lost only one game in their last ten games with nine games left.

Ten days ago we did not look at the Sacramento Kings who were the eighth seed in the Western Conference at all as a result of the tie for sixth and seventh seeds. Like the Suns they have won six of their last ten games; however, they have nine games left. So, let’s take a look at the Kings and see if they have nailed down the eighth seed. In Sacramento they have three players suffering knee injuries who are listed as day-to-day: Point Forward Sasha Vezenkov, Shooting Guard Malik Monk, and Point Forward Trey Lyles. They also have Point Guard Jordan Ford battling a back injury.

It would appear that with the Lakers having eight games left and the Warriors having nine games left including their game against each other on April 9th that the Kings have nailed down the eighth seed in the West. Los Angeles has one seven of their last ten; while the Warriors have one six of their last ten.

Here’s the thing folks: We are still a couple weeks from the Play-In Tournament. However, it is looking like the brackets are basically set in the east and west.  Short of major season ending injuries it is safe to say that the only thing which could change is where the teams are seeded because of the amount of times they have traded space the last month.

With that… it is almost time for tipoff in Minnesota and New Jersey.

If you cannot play with them, then root for them.

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