Blogtable: No. 8 in the West

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

Who’s your pick for No. 8 in the West? And give us a couple reasons why.

David Aldridge: I think Portland holds onto sixth (pretty easy last week for Blazers other than Lakers, but L.A. doesn’t have anything to play for now and Portland has owned the Lakers up at the Rose Garden). So I’ll take the Hornets for eighth, just on the basis of Sunday’s game with the Grizz being in Memphis, where the Grizzlies have been pretty good (19-6 since New Year’s).

Steve Aschburner: Memphis, and I’m not just picking the Grizzlies because they’re in the catbird’s seat mathematically. Well, OK, I am. But they have a feisty and lengthy front line, with Marc Gasol protecting the paint and Zach Randolph a load at the other end. Then there is Tony Allen, who has been crazy-active lately as a surrogate for injured Rudy Gay. The Celtics never leaned on or trusted him like this, but with Memphis, Allen is a veritable savvy playoff vet.

Fran Blinebury: New Orleans.  Monty Williams and Chris Paul have refused to let the Hornets feel sorry for themselves after the loss of David West and Carl Landry has done yeoman work as his replacement.  Holding the tiebreaker on Houston virtually assures they’ll get into the playoffs, but a schedule that still has road games at Memphis and Dallas and a home date with the desperate Rockets will drop them into the eighth spot.  The Grizzlies will get a leg up with the home game against N.O. and Portland will stay out of the No. 8 seed by virtue of the easiest closing schedule among the three.  The Blazers’ only road games are at lowly Utah and Golden State.

Scott Howard-Cooper: The Hornets. And I’ll give one reason: schedule. None of the candidates has a brutal finish, but the Hornets get the Rockets, Suns, Grizzlies (road), Jazz and Mavericks. Utah is the worst of the group, except that New Orleans will be on the second night of a back-to-back. There’s also the one reason the Hornets don’t care about schedules or predictions: They’ve been beating expectations most of the season. This is another chance.

Shaun Powell: It’s been a slow and somewhat painful fall for New Orleans, which at one stage was 31-16. Most likely, the Hornets were overachieving at that point. They’ve now been revealed, and with David West out, there’s no momentum, for the No. 7 spot or the playoffs. Ordinary a team with Chris Paul would be considered dangerous, but with the No. 8 spot and a first-round matchup with the deep Spurs, consider the Hornets done.

John Schuhmann: It’s possible that the Blazers, Hornets and Grizzlies will all finish with 47 wins. And Memphis plays both New Orleans and Portland in its final four games, so there’s still a lot to be worked out. But even if they beat the Hornets at home, I’ve got the Grizz going 3-1 (losing in Portland), finishing with 47 and losing a two-team tiebreaker to the Hornets because of an inferior division record. The Blazers obviously put themselves in the picture with Tuesday’s loss to Golden State, but I think they beat the Grizz at home, get revenge on the Warriors on the last day of the season, and finish with 48 wins to land in sixth and face the Mavs in the first round. (And yes, I completely ignored the team that just lost to the Kings at home. I hope the question wasn’t asked with the idea that the Rockets were still in the picture.)

Sekou Smith: The dream was for my Hang Time Grizzlies to move up as high as six to avoid the Spurs and Lakers in the first round so they could finally win a playoff game. But that doesn’t appear to be in the cards right now. Remaining games against New Orleans, at Portland and at the Clippers could all ruin those ascension plans. But I’ll take No. 8. It didn’t hurt the Oklahoma City Thunder last season. And it worked out pretty well for the Atlanta Hawks four years ago. Lionel Hollins has done a masterful job convincing this bunch that they belong among the playoff field. And here’s hoping they dive into the postseason without any fear of what’s coming their way, because that date with the Spurs in the first round could be a rough ride. That said, the season series was a 2-2 split … (KG voice, “Anything’s possible!”)


  1. Jude "DA SH%T" Vallenuvia says:

    Miami heat are the most pathetic team ever to play in the NBA. Why do we plague other great teams like Boston Celtics with pathetic teams like Miami?? Thoughts?

    • tRay says:

      Kind of harsh my friend. Honestly I would agree that the Boston Celtics are the better team and the Heat are just a collection of talent that can’t seem to find a way to mesh. That being said, you can’t deny the fact that the Heat have the chance to beat anybody with those 3 guys any given night.

  2. Boston Celtic Fanatic says:

    Absolutley great point! miami heat are really crap GO BOSTON CELTICS!!!!!! any miami heat fan shall burn like the ball in their poorly designed symbol for their team!

  3. Jude "The SH%T" Vallenuvia says:

    Miama heat are crap…honestly what the hell have we honestly done this year apart from sucking? we need to focus on the right team…LA Lakers are very strong but the Boston Celtics are number 1 anywhere and everywhere. We should support them and not the miami heat as they really do suck and are a pathetic team to even call themselves part of miami…thoughts?

  4. Lee says:

    the griz just because of the playoff matches, i think they would prefer to match the spurs rather than the lakers

  5. CP3mayn says:

    I feel bad for NOH. If D-West wasn’t injured they’d be looking at 6th place (to play Dallas) an opportunity to get past first round in what has been an important season for them as a team and Chris Paul. Grizzlies will probably finish 7th a good match up for Lakers. Hornets will lose to Spurs and Portland is a 50/50 with Dallas.

  6. Jerome says:

    I hope grizz stays in 8th seed bcoz they play well against the Spurs and they match really well.
    I believe grizz can win agaist the Spurs but not against LA. GO GRIZZLIES!

  7. surely david stern messed this schedule up once again

  8. Adrixe says:

    I think grizz will give any team a hard time. they have a lot of really good role players and play a good team offense and defense. It will be interesting!

  9. jmL| says:

    the 8th seed by the end of the season is

    the NOLA
    the new orleans hornets…

  10. john says:

    grizzlies play very well and maybe the new orleans or portland got the 8th place but memphis is the best for 8th place and maybe they match up with san antonio…

  11. rvca7777 says:

    Memphis is going to be a hard team to beat but but i wish RUDY GAY could hav played

  12. Dacre says:

    I would personally ‘like’ to see New Orleans get the 8th spot. I’m over Chris Paul being tagged as the ‘best pg. in the NBA’.

    • Andrew says:

      well hes top 5 point guard rose,rondo,westbrooke,paul,nash im not sure he was ever considerd being the best pg in the nba but u know hes a superstar on a bad team


  14. Arthur says:

    Go Magic

  15. Herr says:

    Being a Blazer fan, I laughed at the loss last night afterwards. Yeah, I was frustrated during, but it was a simple scenario of a playoff team underestimating a deadly-when-hot team.

    Portland played GSW game and obviously lost it pretty bad. If they made their wide open shots, they would have won. They went 3-20 or so behind the arc, and that’s what Golden State wanted. Wide open shots not going in for us. So, I’m not concerned. I will be concerned a bit if NOH wins tonight, and if Portland falls to Utah tomorrow. I’m not too worried about the Lakers. I only will be if the Hornets win today and Utah beats us tomorrow, because that could finalize the 2-7 matchup, in which the Lakers would want to send a message. But despite popular belief, the Blazers still OWN the Lakers in the Rose Garden, and did what they did last night in the final minutes to eventually fall to LAL. But, I don’t think the Lakers will care. Knowing Jackson and Kobe, they don’t want the Blazers in the first round, the Thunder/Denver in the 2nd, and then the Spurs in the finale. So, if Portland still has hopes for 6th, I’m sure they’d be fine resting up a bit and letting Portland carry away with the victory. If I was a Laker fan, I would want NOH or Memphis before I get Portland, and would probably want a Portland team in the 2nd round rather than a Thunder team, due to height issues.

    Portland will be 6th, NOH 7th, Memphis 8th. Memphis dropping their last game really hurt them. They didn’t have the ground Portland had, so they lost a lot with that loss. They could have lost more if Portland would have like they should have won last night. NOH has a fairly easy schedule, and I see them beating Memphis but losing tonight. I’d much rather have Memphis win that game though.

  16. The Rockets (my team) loss last night to the Kings virtually killed any chance of them getting the 8th seed. Tough for them, but I do believe with the way that the Grizzlies have been playing, they will move up to the 7th seed and unfortunately face the defending champs. And the Hornets haven’t been so great. Ultimately want to see my Rockets in the postseason, but I look forward to the matchups nontheless.

  17. ChrisTx says:

    Bring on the 8th seed! GO SPURS GO!

  18. Aaron Tharpe says:

    if the rockets would have taken care of business last night….i’d take them in the 8th, grizz in the 7th and NO out of the playoffs. (based on remaining schedule)

    would need to win out and NO to lose the rest of the way for that to potentially happen though. too bad for them – good run.

  19. SpursFan says:

    I’m in Spurs fan,obviously, and I am sh*t scared of the Grizz. They have some of the things we hate length up front, athleticism and Zach Randolph. Still think we’ll win in 5/6

    • prix says:

      Grizz play always as its has no tomorrow..they will give a good match-up to either L.A or Spurs…I love the Rockets to win, on how they play they have the potential to upset top seeded teams, Lowry just turn something different this season,hope he will win MOP this year..

    • Rafael says:

      bw carefull with grizz cause i think they could beat spurs but i take spurs in 7