(1)Oklahoma City Thunder vs (8)Denver Nuggets
(2)San Antonio Spurs vs (7)Houston Rockets
(3)Los Angeles Lakers vs (6)Dallas Mavericks
(4)Los Angeles Clippers vs (5)Memphis Grizzlies
*Phoenix Suns (-1), Utah Jazz (-1.5)
The Thunder are tied with the Spurs in the loss column and if they ended the regular season with tied records, the Spurs would claim the 1 seed in the West by virtue of winning the season series 2 games to 1. There's volatility in with the 5 and 6 seeds as well as the 7 and 8 seeds as they can and probably will flip flop positions down the stretch.
Don't sleep on the Suns sneaking in the playoffs. It will definitely be a fight to the finish to get in the playoffs between Houston, Denver and Phoenix. I don't think the Jazz are going to be able to turn things around and get back in the top 8.
(1)Chicago Bulls vs (8)New York Knicks
(2)Miami Heat vs (7)Philadelphia 76ers
(3)Indiana Pacers vs (6)Orlando Magic
(4)Boston Celtics vs (5)Atlanta Hawks
*Milwaukee Bucks (-1.5)
The Bulls got some great news tonight when Derrick Rose told the press that he would return to the lineup this Sunday to face the Knicks. That's bad news for the Knicks, who are trying to get some more separation between the themselves and the Bucks for the 8th and final playoff spot. As for Rose, I'll believe him when I see him out there. The Bulls will most certainly need him to ward off the Heat who are breathing down their necks at only 1 game out of 1st place in the conference.
The Celtics have done an outstanding job of taking over the top spot in the Atlantic, but their grip is slipping as they only hold a one game advantage over Philadelphia. The difference between 1st and 2nd in that division is the 4th seed or the 7th seed. Orlando is a joke and has seen their strangle hold on the 3rd seed slip away and are now free falling in the conference.
Fight For The Top Overall Record:
Chicago Bulls: 43-13 (own tie break over Spurs, winning season series 1-0)
Oklahoma City Thunder: 40-14 (own tie break over Bulls, winning season series 1-0)
Miami Heat: 39-14 (own tie break over Spurs, winning season series 1-0)
San Antonio Spurs: 38-14 (own tie break over Thunder, winning season series 2-1)
There's still a fair amount of basketball left, but these games are like the playoffs before the playoffs as teams can't afford to drop a game or two down the stretch. Stay tuned.