With just about 3 games left for each team, the PlayOff cast is still tightly fought for. Of course we’re talking about those in the lower halves of each conference. And this is especially true with the East having 5 teams still positioning for the last four spots -- the Hawks, Bucks, Bulls, Pacers and the Heat. The West? Well, it’s now a toss up between the Blazers and the Nuggets.

WEST

Okay, though the Blazers are a game ahead of the Nuggets as of this writing, without Jusuf Nurkic and at 100%, they could be an easier prey for the Warriors -- and so, it’d still be better for the Nuggets to advance to have a more interesting series.

Still, we expect the Top 3 seeds -- the Warriors, the Spurs and the Rockets -- to roll over their first round opponents. Blazers or Nuggets. Memphis. OKC. The Thunder could be intriguing though. If Russell Westbrook is done in trying to pile up more triple-doubles (instead focus more on ‘really’ trying to make each of his teammates a threat) then this could be a long series against the Houston Rockets.

As for the battle between the Jazz and the Clippers, hmm, while Utah looks full of promise, this is the last hurrah for LA -- so, more than their teams’ usual threats in Hayward, Gobert, Hill, Jordan, Griffin and Paul, the outcome could be decided on how well Derrick Favors play. Hey, isn’t it about time for him to be more aggressive?? Otherwise, it's gonna be LA.

EAST

Have you checked out the standings on the Eastern side? My it’s a real tight race from 5-8. However, just like the West, the Top 3 teams -- the Cavs, the Celtics and the Raptors -- are highly favored on advancing to the second round. As for the Wizards, though they are quite ahead of whoever the 5th seed would be, they just got to show a little more consistency in their plays to get through the opening round.

In the end, at least for a spot at the Conference Finals that is, we could just be talking about 5 teams. Warriors. Spurs. Cavaliers. Celtics. Raptors. The Rockets? That depends on how convincing they could be against the Thunder.

MVP RACE

So, the Cavaliers has now gotten closer to securing the number one seed in the East conference after beating the Celtics last Wednesday 114-91, and that might as well have doused cold water on whatever hopes for an Isaiah Thomas MVP this season. Yeah, somehow that loss also took off the fire on their game against Atlanta, losing 116-123.

Now, the spotlight is really between former OKC teammates James Harden and Russell Westbrook -- and incidentally, they would also be playing against each other in the coming PlayOffs. Wow! Must be a real good battle of trying to prove and disprove their case over NBA voters and fanatics.

Say what you?

Published by Consumer Live