Playoff Scenarios: Who Can End Up Where

.

From staff reports

There is just one day left in the 2012-13 regular season and 15 of the 16 total possible playoff spots have been wrapped up (Utah and the L.A. Lakers are still slugging it out for the last berth in the West). While things get a little clearer each day, here’s a look at which teams are headed where — and which teams can still change their fate.

UPDATED THROUGH GAMES PLAYED APRIL 16

EASTERN CONFERENCE TEAMS

  • No. 1 Heat (65-16) — Clinched Southeast Division, No. 1 in East, No. 1 overall seed in playoffs
  • No. 2 Knicks (53-28) — Clinched Atlantic Division, No. 2 in East
  • No. 3 Pacers (49-31) — Clinched Central Division, No. 3 in East
  • No. 4 Nets (48-33) — Clinched No. 4 in East
  • No. 5 Bulls (44-37) — owns tiebreaker (won season series with Atlanta 2-1); (1 game left — April 17 vs. Wizards)
  • No. 6 Hawks (44-37) — trail Bulls for No. 5 by virtue of tie-breaker rules; (1 game left — April 17 @ Knicks)
  • No. 7 Celtics (41-39) — Clinched No. 7 in East
  • No. 8 Bucks (37-44) — Clinched No. 8 in East

The quick recap: Miami is assured of home court throughout the playoffs and the division-winning Knicks and Pacers have locked up the No. 2 and 3 spots. The Nets, Celtics and Bucks are all locked into their playoff spots as well, leaving the No. 5 and No. 6 spots (which are between Atlanta and Chicago) up for grabs.

ATLANTA: The Hawks (seeded No. 6 as of Wednesday morning) and the Bulls (No. 5) can still swap spots if Atlanta finishes with a better record than Chicago. But, the Hawks do not have the tie-breaker as they lost the season series to the Bulls, 2-1.

CHICAGO: Has tiebreaker (season-series victory) over Atlanta for the No. 5 seed. The Bulls have one game left on the schedule (April 17 vs. Washington) and, should they finish tied with the Hawks record-wise, Chicago would pass Atlanta and clinch No. 5 in the East.

WESTERN CONFERENCE TEAMS

  • No. 1 Thunder (60-21) — Clinched Northwest Division, No. 1 overall in West
  • No. 2 Spurs (58-23) — Clinched Southwest Division, No. 2 in West
  • No. 3 Nuggets (56-25) — No. 3 in West; Assured of home court in first round; Can clinch No. 3 with a win Wednesday against Phoenix OR if the Clips lose finale (April 17 @ Kings).
  • No. 4 L.A. Clippers (55-26) — Clinched Pacific Division; Clinched at least No. 4 in West; May or may not have home court in first round; needs either a win (April 17 @ Kings) or a Grizzlies loss (April 17 vs. Jazz) to clinch home court.
  • No. 5 Grizzlies (55-26) — Clinched No. 5 in West
  • No. 6 Warriors (46-35) — No. 6 in West; Cannot fall lower than No. 7
  • No. 7 Rockets (45-36) — No. 7 in West; Can climb up or fall one spot
  • No. 8 Lakers (44-37) — No. 8 in West; controls own fate (April 17 vs. Houston); can move as high as No. 7
  • No. 9 Jazz (43-38) — 1/2 game behind Lakers for No. 8 seed; owns tiebreaker with Lakers (won season series 2-1); can only clinch No. 8 spot

The quick recap: The Thunder have home court throughout the Western Conference playoffs, the Spurs are the No. 2  seed and the Grizzlies are the No. 5 seed. Other than that, there are still plenty of things left to be decided.

DENVER: The Nuggets are assured of home court in the first round, but their seeding can still change. Denver can clinch No. 3 with a win Wednesday against Phoenix OR if the Clips lose either of their last two games. If the Clippers and Nuggets finish with the same record, the Clippers own the tiebreaker advantage; although the Nuggets won the season series with the Clips, the Clippers’ division title trumps a head-to-head series win. In this case, the Clippers would be the No. 3 seed and the Nuggets would be the No. 4 seed.

L.A. CLIPPERS: By virtue of winning a division, they can’t fall further than No. 4. However, they can lose home court in the first round despite the division title. Memphis is locked into the 5th seed and can’t pass Denver, and the Clippers are guaranteed a top 4 seed. But, if Memphis finishes with a better record than the L.A. Clippers, they would host a Grizzlies-Clippers series despite being the lower-seeded team.

GOLDEN STATE: They can clinch the No. 6 spot by winning their season finale in Portland on April 17. But if they lose and the No. 7-seeded Rockets win their season finale against the Lakers, Golden State loses the tiebreaker with Houston and falls to No. 7 in the West.

HOUSTON: The Rockets can finish anywhere from No. 6 to No. 8 in the West. Here’s how:

They climb to No. 6 if: They beat the Lakers in their season finale and the Warriors lose in Portland. Houston won the season series with Golden State 3-1.

They stay at No. 7 if: The Warriors win their season finale in Portland. The Rockets would be unable to catch Golden State in the standings.

They fall to No. 8 if: They lose to the Lakers in their season finale on April 17. With a victory, the Lakers would tie the season series with Houston and, by virtue of the next tiebreaker (record against conference foes), would leapfrog Houston. In that scenario, the Warriors would be the No. 6 seed, the Lakers would be the No. 7 seed and the Rockets would be the No. 8 seed.

L.A. LAKERS: First things first — they control their own playoff fate. Win on April 17 against the Rockets (or have Utah lose in Memphis earlier in the night) and L.A. clinches the last playoff berth still available. A victory by Utah coupled with a loss to Houston means L.A. misses the playoffs by virtue of the Jazz winning the season series, 2-1.

They will be No. 8 if: They lose, but the Jazz lose to the Grizzlies, too.

They will be No. 7 if: They defeat Houston in their season finale.

They miss the playoffs if: They lose to Houston in their season finale and the Jazz defeat the Grizzlies.

UTAH: The Jazz need to win their season finale in Memphis … and then hope the Lakers lose at home to the Rockets (who, as you can read above, could fall to No. 8 if they lose). If the Jazz get in, they can’t move up higher than No. 8, even if the Warriors lose and Rockets win their final games. Both teams would finish with better records than the Jazz.

181 Comments

  1. Fernando says:

    Apple

  2. Anna says:

    next year…

  3. Laker23 says:

    Lakers are done in first round. But will be strong next year if roster doesn’t change and they play they did in the last few weeks. Predictions… Next year, at least No.6 at most, No 3.

  4. Gonz says:

    Would be nice to see Denver and Knicks, especially for Melo to vs his old team.
    I think it could possibly be a Denver vs Miami Finals.. with Miami taking it 4-2

  5. Firesale says:

    I hope lakers miss the playoff, can’t want to see them eat their guarantees, and see the sorry look on Kobe’s face.

  6. Iceman says:

    What about the Nets chances to improve their position. I felt as though they could have tied the Pacers, a team that they have beaten all 3 times that they have played. I understand not playing the Boston/Indy game in Boston—but did the NBA decide that the Nets do not deserve the opportunity to avoid Miami in round 2. If that s the case, I’m sure the league has it fixed so theydo not finish with the same number of wins.

  7. Ian Simonka says:

    Representing all the gangstas across the world still hitting them corners in them lolos girlll, taking my time to perfect the beat and I still got love for da street I am a fasdt typer dont u agree zane?
    thank you it really means alot zane and I appreciate the thought, hey ian
    IAN!
    IAN IAN IAN!
    ian…
    youre gonna get murdered tonight
    Dont look under the bed or Ill grab your feet and rip them off. MY name is SAMARA
    Im gonna kill uuu
    also im black
    dawg
    turkledawg
    friday -

  8. John F Waynr says:

    THE DENVER NUGGETS ARE LOOKING BETTER THAN THEY HAVE EVER BEEN IN HISTORY. COMING OFF OF 4 GREAT WIN STREAKS IN THE YEAR AND THE BEST HOME RECORD WITH HOME COURT ADVANTAGE I SAY DENVER DOES NOT HAVE MUCH TO WORRY ABOUT UNTIL WE SEE SAN ANTONIO IN THE WESTERN CONFERENCE & THEN WELL STMP MIAMI #DENVERNUGGETSLEGO# #CANYOUFEELLLLLLLLLLIIITTTTTTTTTTTTTTT#

  9. […] it may not be very long. Depending on what happens on the last night of the regular season, the Lakers will either play the Oklahoma City Thunder or the San Antonio […]

  10. otis says:

    Well only two teams actually have a chance to win the championship this year! Those two teams are Ofcourse Miami Heat. THE other teams that has a chance is the New York Knicks. Everybodyelse has no chance!

  11. I hope (my team) the L.A. Lakers will beat the Houston Rockets and will become #7 seed in the playoffs to face the San Antonio Spurs. Go Lakers and win more NBA Championship.

    Ray
    Ray Duque III (GMBD), USA

  12. TheCray says:

    No res[ect for the #3 seed out west, DEN. DEN are going to the finals against MIA. It will go to 10 Secs left DEN down by 1 pt, inbound to Ty Lawson who, 5′ 11″ will drill in the paint and dunk on Lebron James face who will lay there complaining to the refs he didn’t get his “star-studded treatment” of an offensive foul call on Lawson who in the meantime is staring at Lebron and holding the trophy, while Lebron is dumbfounded they lost to a “star-less” offensive powerhouse in DEN. #DENFORCHAMPS13.

  13. JPS(#LakersWillWin) says:

    This will be heck of a fight tomorrow LAL vs HOU. I think Lakers will win and meet SPURS in the playoffs.
    Cant wait to see HARDEN get revenge to OCK!!!! YEAHHHHHH \m/,

  14. I got this, we got this. Lakers all day! P.S. I’m in talk to re-sign! Get well Kobe

  15. Kingster says:

    Now that T-Mac signs with the Spurs. It will be an exciting match up against Lakers if ever they fall to 7th seed.

  16. LA-ATW says:

    Goal: Basketball probably is all about winnings, but NBA is not just about winnings, it’s more on entertainment. Just like the Lakers have been doing lately. If the Lakers can’t make it to the playoffs run, it’s still fine, at least they entertain the fans. Unlike other teams, perfect e.g vs SA. Fouling Howard! c’mon! Wasn’t entertaining at all.

  17. heatfanhere says:

    ok guys let make it easy OKC vs HEAT….Finals rematch^^

  18. Mamba24 says:

    Lakers on the 7th Seed!

  19. Spurs Fan says:

    So what happens if both the Lakers and Jazz win tomorrow night? Lakers would still get in right?

    • buboy says:

      can you please read the article…what ever happens baranggay ginebra still notch in to the playoffs

    • Big Ticket PH says:

      if the Lakers and the Jazz win their last game of the regular season, the Jazz will take the 8th spot in the West and the Lakers will miss the playoffs this year… prayers to all the victims of the Boston Marathon tragedy…

  20. Kyle Nokes says:

    How I want it to pan out:
    OKC VS. LAL
    SA VS. GS
    DEN VS. HOU
    LAC VS. MEM
    Note:I only want this to happen because I think the Nuggets have a better chance at beating HOU over GS.

  21. El guapo says:

    Jazz will make it to the playoffs

  22. Kobe Tanga says:

    The lakers will not make the playoffs..Kobe’s injury would get worst if he sees the lakers beaten up in the first round..hahaha bwahahah

  23. Kobe Tanga says:

    The lakers will not make the playoffs..Kobe’s injury would get worst if he sees the lakers beaten up in the first round..hahaha

  24. JRy says:

    Wild wild wild WEST…………………
    NBA all things are possible.

  25. danishgambit22 says:

    kobe should win his second mvp! look at his effort to bring the lakers to the playoff! KOBE SHOULD WIN THE MVP!

  26. bout7 says:

    Lakers are about to go on a legendary playoff run… watch out!!!

  27. expulsado says:

    kobe tries to drive towards the basket, torn his achilles then screams while falling down. the defender doesn’t do anything to him. ref hears kobe’s scream then whistle a foul..

    its good to be kobe. one scream, automatic foul from the defender. nice!

  28. alp says:

    to think a few years ago in the first round it was the 1 seeded lakers vs my 8th seeded thunder.. oh how the tables have turned. thunder winning it all this year

    • goominim says:

      Oh how I wish this could be true….. As good as your Thunder are, they will NOT beat the Heat. They will get smacked around like they did last year. This is an area where I actually agree with Charles Barkley. The teams that can beat the Heat are the Spurs and Grizz.

  29. PH boy says:

    Spurs won’t get past the first round because they just got T-Mac and you know what T-mac’s never gotten past the first round! They’ve cursed themselves :)) HAHHAHA

  30. HD says:

    Nevermind its the same thing with the nuggets clippers, It has to do with winning division taking precedence over a season series

  31. HD says:

    This is incorrect, The nets can still catch the Pacers for 3 seed, god how can u mess that up.

  32. rocks says:

    Interesting that no one is talking about if the lakers don’t make the playoffs and the would also lose their lottery pick, interesting

  33. Anthony says:

    im A Laker fan. if Lakers win tomorow (which they should) they will face Spurs.
    if Kobe wasnt injured ohhhweee man oh mannn theres no DOUBT they had a GREAT chance to make it all the way to Western conference Finals where anything could happen! what couldve been.. =/.

  34. mgml says:

    eastern conference is a joke. A sub 0.5 team in milwaukee is in playoff spot already, but lakers with above 0.5 is not yet there. No wonder miami heat won as many as they did coz most of their games are against the eastern conf teams which are not as competetive as the west. Go west, Go lakers !!!

  35. bogs123 says:

    HEAT all the way. it will be a repeat championship. Lebron will get his 4Th MVP, 2ND final’s MVP, 2ND championship ring and 2nd NBA title. I bet!!!

    • goominim says:

      Let me guess? You think you’re team is one of the greatest of all time? Please! That JV League you call the Eastern Conference is a joke! If you guys were in the West I could almost guarantee you wouldn’t be the #1 seed……

  36. skph says:

    Quoting /// If the Jazz get in, they can’t move up higher than No. 8, even if the Warriors and Rockets lose their final games. Both teams would finish with better records than the Jazz. ///

    If Warriors & Rockets lose their final games, the Jazz will not even get into the Playoffs …………

  37. Kyle B. says:

    The bottom line is : Lakers will be 7th seed and beat Spurs in 1st round…Lakers will most likely lose 2nd round which is ok being that they made the playoffs and beat the Spurs..That’s all that matters right now.

  38. Harman Gill says:

    Spurs will lose to the lakers because they signed tracy mcrady

  39. Melody_Pain! says:

    Come on guys.. no dough that the SPURS vs. KNICKS willl face again in FINALS! specially this 2 teams both sign a veterans today!

    • Melody_Pain! says:

      Lakers win on Spurs last Sunday is just happened that they nid to win for 8th spot that’s it.. Spurs already secured the spot for Playoff and the don’t nid to win anymore.. they nid to be healthy…

  40. Celtics says:

    Why is everyone forgetting the Celtics? I mean, I realize that they are in the 7th seed in the east, but every year they get overlooked and every year they do well. Last year ECF? Taking Heat to 7 games? Are we all forgetting that. The Knicks vs. Celtics matchup is going to be intense.

    • goominim says:

      Everyone does forget about the Celtics! That’s why they always perform better than expected. I’ll say this, I’m a Lakers fan and as much as it pains me to say this, I would much rather see the Celts in the finals than to see the Heat there.

  41. BlackDove- says:

    LEAGUE FIXED LOL
    LAKERS GAVE THEIR DRAFT PICK TO THE SUNS AS PART OF THE NASH DEAL! LOSER

  42. MC says:

    Solid write up, Thanks.

  43. Edub says:

    Lakers need to beat Houston so thatb James Harden can face his old team in the playoffs!
    Spurs can and will handle the Lakers in the playoffs. I hope everyone realized that the Lakers are not going anywhere without a closer, except for one in maybe Steve Nash, but Spurs have Parker, Ginobli, Leonard, Green, Duncan can hit big shots, Gary Neal…

  44. Theory or no theory says:

    1st of all- The Lakers will be going to the playoff.
    2nd- The Lakers are not really in a hurry to get a new guard yet. They still have a lot of talents that had been dormant. If the Lakers w/o Kobe can swing the ball around and get open opportunity like they had done several times without him, they can be a very strong team.
    3rd- I am a fan of Kobe and the Lakers for a long time already. You really need to take a step back and stop lashing out at the guy and saying he is a ball hogger and he is selfish. Kobe is not selfish. He just wants to win like everyone else. If you opened up your eyes and watch closely when the Lakers played, you will see that the Lakers were not willing to take a shot themselves. How many time this season had they swung the ball around and gave the ball back to Kobe with around 2-3 seconds left and forcing him to take a bad shot. He has been looking for his teammate very often this season, but they sometimes failed to answer his call to them to step up.
    Lastly- Every player has his playing style and also you can never be good forever as a team or an individual. Just because Lakers can’t get into playoff or win a championship does not mean that it is Kobe’s fault alone. How many times had Kobe bailed the Lakers out during crunch time whether it is during the regular season or the playoffs. Appreciate the guy for what he does. If you want to talk bad about him, then go to the NBA and proved that you are a better player than he is. When you are one of the legends or one of the HoF, you will have the rights to brag about being better then Kobe or that Kobe is a ball hogger. But, if you are not even there, then just be quiet and enjoy the game. If you don’t like his playing style just do not watch the game and do not mention him. If you mentioned his name to ridicule him, that means you acknowledge that he is a good player.

  45. nuggetsNation says:

    You know the Nuggets have won the series against every team in the western conference playoffs. Most of them are 3-1 advantage to the Nuggets. Just wait it will be a OKC vs Den WCF. and a Heat vs Nuggets championship, which by the way over the past three years the Nuggets own that series as well. I would love to See an Old Nuggets ( Knicks) vs. Nuggets Championship after watching Melo choke in the playoffs for so many years.

    • goominim says:

      As much as it would please me to see the Nuggets (of all teams!) beat the Heat, I’m afraid it won’t happen. I don’t think the Nuggets can beat the West’s best in a play-off series (the play-offs are a different season!) They will probably get past the first round, but not much further. Not trying to knock your team, that’s just the way I see it….again, just my opinion. Oh man, how I would love to see someone in the JV League (Eastern Conf. for those of you who don’t know what I’m referring to) beat the Heat!

  46. Dew says:

    Not to mention Dwight needs to hit free throws….GOOD NIGHT BATMAN!!! He has missed more ft this season than Nash his whole career. How many close games do the Lakers win if Howard nails 25% more at the very least! LOL. C’mon MAN!!!

  47. League Fixed says:

    The league will make sure that LA LOSES their last game so that they will have an opportunity to be entered into the draft. Although they should get a pick between 10-15, they will SOMEHOW get a pick in the TOP 5. The whole reasoning behind this is KOBE’s INJURY. Kobe will most likely retire as he really only has 1/2 a season left. The lakers need a draft pick who can keep paying customers coming to the Staples Center. LA will make a trade to get a TOP 1-2 pick (rediculous amounts of money) and pickup some amazing players to replace the BLACK MAMBA.

    HOWS THAT FOR CONSPIRACY THEORIES!!!

    • Dew says:

      LA doesn’t need a draft pick…lol. If Kobe retires, they just sign the next big Free agent. Lakers trade for all their players or sign them. And yes, Lakers obtained Kobe via trade in the draft if anyone doesn’t remember (Cowens is probably the biggest loser in NBA history for his quote saying not needing Kobe Bryant..LOLOL). No need for drafts in Laker land. They are smart and know how to trade up for picks and lure players to Las Angeles. Kobe is not done anyhow, and is determined to come back and not go out like that. Kobe will be around for 2 more seasons with Dwight and whoever else they can muster up to go for a shot. As for LA in the playoffs this year if they make it, will lose first round in 5 or 6 games no matter what or who they play. Probably swept if they have to play OKC. First thing is first, they need a better bench and replacements for Peace and Gasol. Maybe then they will do something.

    • yeaaaah says:

      shh you sleep now

    • Chuck says:

      Except the Lakers don’t have a 1st round pick next season – they traded it already. D’OH!!!

    • Petshop says:

      Luckily we already traded our first round pick to the Suns. Picks 1thorugh 14. If we miss the playoffs the Suns get our pick which is 1 through 14 we get to playoffs Suns get Miamis pick which is 30

  48. rich says:

    Funny thing is the coward SPURS would still face the Lakers no matter hard they try to avoid them. Hell, they even surrendered the top seed to OKC !

    • BrownPaperBag51 says:

      Your not very smart are you. The Spurs need to be healthy not worrying about the overall 1 seed in the west because they can beat anybody one game on the road. Also people saying the Lakers did well against the Spurs on Sunday. They did in one game just think about what Pop will do to them when he gets them in a series where he can study them. Also D’antoni has one only one playoff series against Pop out of about five or six. However, other than these facts the Lakers have a great chance and the Spurs are shaking at the thought of the Lakers. Of course they are shaking with laughter after reading these posts like yours.

      • goominim says:

        I completely agree with you. As a Lakers fan I am torn. The fan side of me wants and hopes (despite the circumstances) the Lakers go all the way. Unfortunately, if the Lakers were to get to the finals (and that’s a HUGE if) I don’t think they could beat the Heat. Let’s face it, the East is such a joke, it’s hard to imagine anyone else from the East in the finals. Now, on the other side (I do want to note that I really love the Spurs as an organization), I think the Spurs can beat anyone. They may be “old” but they have the experience, they have the BEST coach in the league, they KNOW how to beat teams. The real test for them, IMO, is beating the Thunder. If they beat the Thunder, they WILL beat the Heat in the finals. LOL at your last sentence!

  49. nbafan_eversince says:

    Jazz can’t expect Memphis to hold back. Marc Gasol will do his best to help his brother enter the playoffs by beating the Jazz.

    • Laker Hater says:

      I don’t think Marc Gasol cares about what happens to his brothers team, he cares about where he goes with his.

      • Irving says:

        Agree. Marc probably cares about his team only right now. He can’t waste time like that worrying about other peoples team.

  50. LakerNation says:

    Lakers will beat the rocket and then beat the spurs and then the thunder and win the western conference finals and then beat the heat!!!

  51. ChicagoBullsFan242 says:

    for all those people who say the lakers cant win without kobe then your mistaken,i know they can win a game against okc and spurs,maybe without kobe they can spread the floor with Nash of course,and everone knows nash can find anyone for a high percentage look, and lkaers have other scoring options in Howard,Gasol,Jamison, even Meeks and CLarke might get 10 points each on open looks. ps Chicago Bulls Alll Day :D

    • Laker Hater says:

      They can’t do it with a deep team like the Spurs, they got lucky the other night. Steve Blake got hot (which never happens) and they pulled the lucky win. OKC is too quick and too athletic for the Lakers so they don’t stand a chance. And the Bulls will be knocked out the first round :)

  52. Aria says:

    The Lakers are worrying about maintaining the 8th spot (and possibly getting 7th in the process) don’t know how people think a team trying to keep 8 can jump to 6…

    Lakers do have the tie breaker over the teams in 6 and 7 but they can only tie (therefore jump up to) team 7. They still at a worse case scenario for GSW have one less win and one more loss than them. So the Lakers CANNOT get better than 7.

    LAL fans should be hoping that they can make 7 because that would mean them beating Houston…which won’t be easy.

  53. Laker Hater says:

    LA will lose to Houston and Utah will beat the Grizzles. Even if LA were to make it to the playoffs, they’d get dominated by any of the western teams. They can’t handle it without Kobe.

  54. KingGuich says:

    hey fellas lakers will be 7 and houston will turn down to 8 and we will see

  55. Thunder, the, fudge, up! says:

    Nobody wants to match up with OKC’s bigs. If LA keeps Howard in, they foul him. If LA takes Howard out, OKC will run right around LA defense.

  56. […] Playoff Scenarios: Who Can End Up Where […]

  57. Ed says:

    If lakers will win against rockets they will face spurs on playoffs… thats nice!
    GO LAKERS! – LAL fan here

  58. Howard has to arch FREE THROWS of the center of the front rim. NO SPIN ON RELEASE!!DROP Ball SOFTLY OVER FRONT RIM. PRACTICE OVER AN OVER. THAT WILL GIVE YOU THE MUCH NEEDED CONFIDENCE OF YOUR SELF ABILITY!!!YOU CAN DO IT, JUST PUT OLD “POP” PICTURE ON THE SPOT IN THE CENTER OF THE FRONT RIM AND DROP BALL JUST SOFTLY NO SPIN OVER BEHIND HIS HEAD!!!OVER AND OVER. THEN SEE HOW POP WILL DROP OF THE HACKING NO HARD THROWS EVEN IN YOUR ROLLING TO BASKET, HIT INSIDEBOX AND DROP SOFTLY.YOU
    SHOOT TOO HARD!. SOFTLY, OVER AND OVER. “THINK, TAKE YOUR TIME NEVER RUSH. ON OFFENSIVE, NEVER PUT ARMS OUT TO THE SIDE. AUTO OFFENSE FOUL; DOWN BY SIDE OR UP OVER HEAD TO RECEIVE THE BALL TURN AND LAY BALL IN BASKET. GOT TO DO THE ABOVE. NO HARD SHOOTING, SOFTEN YOUR TOUCH!!!!!ONLY. A hard ball is only for a dunk. never for a FREE THROW or a SIDE LAYUP.

    Remember this e-Mail AGAINST THE ROCKETS> NEVER THROW ARMS OUT TO SIDE> SEEN BY UPS AS AN OFFENSIVE FOUL; DOWN BY SIDE THEN UP OVER HEAD FOR A LAY IN DUNKS ONLY HARD NOTHING!
    PLEASE!!!!!!SOFTLY!!!!! NEVER RELEASE BALL WITH A SPIN, IT WILL ONY FLY AWAY!!!REMEMBER ARC AND DROP SOFTLY NO SPIN!!! have faith!!!!!! Then that will end the hacking!
    .GOOD FOR OLD POP. THAT OLD DUDE NEEDS TO SEE HACKING NOT WORKING!~ SHOW THE ROCKETS WHAT YOU CAN DO AT THE FREE THROW LINE. ARCH AND DROP SOFTLY OVER THE FRONT RIM, DO NOT FORGET ON THE 2ND ONE, OVER AND OVER UNTIL SURPIRSED IF ONE MISSES, IF SHORT THAT IS OK, JUST DO NOT OVER SHOOT THE SECOND ONE ARCH OVER FRONT RIM AN DROP, DROP SOFTLY, NO SPIN ON RELEASE. BALLWILL FALL OFF. ARCH SHOOT SOFTLY DROP OVER FRONT RIM. OVER AND OVER. DO NOT FORGET MOVEMENTS!!! I KNOW YOU CAN BE AT LEAST AT 80% FREE THROW SHOOTER. BELIEVE AND PRACTICE AND PRACTICE SOFT SHOTS, NO RUSH AND KNOW YOU CAN MAKE THEM. I BELIEVE IN YOUR ABILITY. JUST DO NOT FORGET TO STAY FOCUS AND ARC BALL OVER CENTER OF FRONT RIM AND D R O P SOFTLY NO SPIN!!!!GO GET THE ROCKETS. YOU HAVE THE ABILITY. IT IS IN YOUR HANDS. YOU ARE # ONE!!!!

    • Mongolico says:

      No matter how much you SCREAM because I am deaf, also I’m not reading…Pufffss..

    • uoykcuf says:

      Yea, Howard just read this and call me. He asked me if you can turn the caps off it’ll more easier to read. Also, he told me he stopped reading after your first caps.

  59. 11111 says:

    D. Rose needs to get back in the playoffs, I’d say Denver-Oklahoma in the West finals, depending on what happens with the Spurs-Lakers

  60. samps says:

    Lakers can move upto 6th. How?
    .
    1> If Warriors loses to Portland (home game advantage for Portland, not if Curry is on fire), Lakers have won the season series (3-1) and will have better Conference record and Lakers beat Rockets, it’ll be tie season series but better conference record for Lakers than Warriors and Rockets….
    .
    But I think Lakers will be happy with 7th as they’ll get short-handed Spurs and can move upto 2nd round where they face OKC (which no one wants)…
    .
    If the Lakers manage to move upto 6th, they’ll face Nuggets and avoid OKC in second round if they manage to get past the energetic Nuggets with them having the home court advantage for 1st round…
    .
    But nothing can be said yet, who knows if Jazz goes all hot handed and drop Memphis and the beard man drop Lakers

    • Seah Jeremy says:

      lakers can’t finish 6th because even if GWS loses their last match they will finish 46-36 compared to lakers record of 45-37. highest la can finish is 7th which is probably for the best.

  61. Jaime says:

    Lakers will beat Houston on Wed night and get the seventh spot, to face San Antonio Spurs in the first round:

  62. MDL says:

    The Utah Jazz is 1 game behind the Lakers, not 1/2

  63. SLim says:

    “If the Jazz get in, they can’t move up higher than No. 8, even if the Warriors and Rockets lose their final games. Both teams would finish with better records than the Jazz.” << if the Rockets lost, Lakers would have won. Jazz can't be No. 8 seed to begin with.

  64. KD Jr. says:

    FInals OKC vs Knicks that is what i think might happen.

  65. KD Jr. says:

    My brackect: Knicks Vs celtics Knicks will win.
    Maimi Vs Bucks Maimi will win for sure.
    Pacers Vs Bulls Bulls might win. But i was hoping that they lose.
    Nets VS Hawks Hawks will win.

  66. chandler says:

    The Lakers will lose tomorrow and jazz will win. Rockets defiantly don’t want to be 8 and they will try hard. Jazz will beat grizzled and prove every one wrong

    • Jazz Fan All the way through. says:

      I agree. With the Jazz, anything is possible, mainly when it comes to a win. Even more now that Al Jefferson is on his big role. GO JAZZ!!!!

  67. 24- MVP says:

    Lakers will win over rocket for todays game , why ? Because will get the 2012-2013 Championship.
    NBA FInals will be NYK vs. LAL ( 2-4 )

  68. miami heat says:

    we will see if LAKERS can DEFEAT SPURS…PARKER and SPLITTER played RIGGED againts the LAKERS….YESTERDAY….

  69. anthony says:

    how can LA Clippers lose 1st round home court advantage when they won the division title at 4th seed?

    • nuggs4life says:

      Only if Memphis has a better record than your clips…they just are guaranteed a top 4 seed but not guaranteed home court advantage. ..

  70. Big Time says:

    These matchups would bring the playoffs alive – i hope this is how the teams end up (basically the current picture):

    – OKC vs LAL (I see Houston beating Lakers in the finale, but Jazz will need to lose for this matchup to happen)
    – SA vs HOU (potential upset)
    – DEN vs GS (either team can win)
    – LAC vs MEM (either team can win)

    • Max says:

      A big time, do not count your “chickens before they HATCH” 6-8 IS very UNSURE at time. Cilps. off and on, so is Rockets, Nuggetts lot of already injuries and so is Lakers SAS is playing slow in order NOT to be # be #1, Let those young so full of shi–
      they cannot be beat and if they are they POUT! KIDS< GOOD< BUT SO immature! R

    • Mike StanLee says:

      Nah, I think it will be
      OKC vs HOU
      SA vs LAL
      LAC vs GOL
      DEN vs MEM
      Still, either makes for an exciting WC playoff picture.

  71. Fefe (Nets) says:

    Hope for a N.8 Jazz

    Nobody talks about ‘em …. Houston can defeat Lakers and even if difficult, Jazz can win over the Grizz

  72. Spurs “by design” in 2nd to avoid the Lakers. It looks like they WILL face the Lakers!!!! Bad news for the Spurs!!

  73. Denzo says:

    as a BULLS fan im nervous about BROOKLYN.. But man if Gibson and Noah come back.. with Kirk, Bellinelli and Nate playing how they are.. I like it. DOnt expect it.. but they can do it.

    • goominim says:

      i don’t know that i would be completely concerned with Brooklyn. if you guys can play somewhat healthy, i think the series is yours.

  74. Manly says:

    I think NBA should consider doing a crossover playoff. Meaning 8 in the east meets 1 in the west. This case we can see an east vs east or a west vs west in the NBA finals. There are far better teams in the west than in the east slugging it out to be in the NBA finals. I am not a fan of Heat but I don’t think there’s a team in the east that can stop them from claiming the eastern conference title this year.

  75. Mike Flanagan says:

    Lakers romp Spurs 4 – 2 Round 1

    Lakers dub Nuggets 4 – 3 Round 2

    Lakers bon voyage OKC 2 – 4 Round 3

    Heat repeat OKC 4 – 2 Finals

    • Dmitri says:

      Lakers most definitely could not beat Denver without Kobe. Denver won the series 3-1 with Kobe playing.

      • Donnie says:

        yes ill admit up front im a Lakers fan. and although i do agree with what you are saying Dmitri.. LA has not played denver WITHOUT kobe, it can be a different outcome. but who knows just gotta wait till the playoffs! All I KNOW IS IM PUMPED FOR IT!

  76. Chimba says:

    just hope Lakers get the W against Rockets, cuz Lakers would hadle Spurs much more easier without Kobe than they would do it against okc, if Lakers get just one win in first two games @SA – believe me – everything is possible!

  77. Zitroen says:

    Spurs are afraid of Grizzlies/Clippers (remember 2011 Playoffs?) that is why they choose #2 seed? They won’t be meeting them until WCF?

    • BrownPaperBag51 says:

      Spurs are afraid of the Clippers huh. Refresh my memory but didn’t they sweep them just last year in the second round. If I’m the Clippers I won’t no part of the Spurs.

  78. Installer-X says:

    My Dream match-ups for the West!
    Thunder vs. Rockets (Harden vs old team!)
    Spurs vs. Lakers (battle of the oldies, where LA have a chance to upset Spurs) LA will play better because ball movement will no longer stop with Kobe.
    Clips vs. Warriors (battle of the run and guns!) with Warriors have a chance to upset as I believe they have beat them a few times during the regular season.
    Nuggets vs. Grizzlies (battle of the no name stars :) Would love to see both teams play nitty gritty basketball

    For the East, Heat will plow over opponents and will be waiting in the Finals.
    Knicks vs. Boston should be interesting though.
    Bulls and Heat in 2nd round will be nice to see at least give some resistance to the Heatles.

  79. Jazz_fan says:

    Also need to point out that even though Grizzlies have clinched no. 5 in West, they still have something to play for on Wednesday. LAC owns the tiebreaker so Grizz home court in first round is on the line. Jazz can’t expect Memphis to hold back. So Grizzlies, Rockets, Lakers, and Jazz desperately need a win, should be an exciting finish.

  80. Lalala says:

    “If the Jazz get in, they can’t move up higher than No. 8, even if the Warriors and Rockets lose their final games. Both teams would finish with better records than the Jazz.”….sounds funny somehow. :)

    • drim says:

      If the Rockets lose their final game then the Jazz don’t get in at all! (Lakers would be 7 and Rockets 8)

    • kobe says:

      right.. :)
      because if Rockets lose they don’t go into the playoff because they vs Lakers
      Conflict sentence..

  81. Kingster says:

    Exciting playoffs this year. For me, west conference is better to watch out.

  82. Petko says:

    San Antonio Spurs @ OKC, western final, again!
    This time, I hope we will win OKC! :)

  83. Tom says:

    Well Lakers are definitely making at least 8th, the refs made that very clear in the recent game vs GS.

    • EvilDead says:

      Tom, go home, your drunk.

      • Deegz says:

        By disagreeing, it shows that you’re drunk

      • expulsado06 says:

        kobe tries to drive towards the basket, torn his achilles then screams while falling down. the defender doesn’t do anything to him. ref hears kobe’s scream then whistle a foul..

        its good to be kobe. one scream, automatic foul from the defender. nice!

    • yeaaaah says:

      Refs are only human, if you think games are rigged i suggest you simply don’t watch

  84. PalMundo says:

    west doesnt matter
    at the end the heat will win the next one.

    • goominim says:

      west doesn’t matter? it must be nice playing in that JV league you guys call the Eastern Conference…….what a joke!

  85. Andrew says:

    Lets hope the Lakers win tomorrow night and get that 7th seed! ESPN is still incorrectly reporting that the Lakers would be the 8th seed with a win smh.

  86. Juan Dela Cruz says:

    Bucks is lucky that they belong to the eastern conference. They should have been elliminated long time ago. Utah and Dallas even have a better record than them. Well, that’s how the ball rolls or bounces

    • skrutz says:

      The playoffs would be so very different if it wasn’t based on conference. It’d pretty much be all West, with a sprinkle of East.

  87. TTKIN says:

    Laker fans are praying for that victory just to face SA and not OKC

  88. Paul Greenwald says:

    Let’s all pray Kobe will be back next season. If not, I will watch basketball no more,,,,:(

  89. gago says:

    Ofcourse Lakers should be in the playoffs you fools… look at their Line up Nash-Kobe-Howar-Gasol…..COME ON…..even hardly getting no. 8 spot… they cant even get the no 8.

    • MNH says:

      Kobe is no longer in the line up wise guy.

      • P-Noy NBA says:

        Hindi ka lang GAGO, TAMAD ka pang magbasa! O talagang isa kang dakilang TANGA? Mag-isip ka muna bago magpost; imposible na yung sinabi mo, BOBO!!!

  90. gago says:

    Kobe is the no1 selfish player in NBA

    • fishinjunki says:

      You need to put down the crack pipe dude, Kobe is the least selfish player in the NBA. He has repetedly put his team above his own health, and well being.

      • skrutz says:

        He’s super selfish. He puts his team above his health, but he believes that he IS the team. It’s amazing what he can do individually, but he shouldn’t have to.

        Plus, earning $30.45M doesn’t leave much room for talented teammates.

  91. gago says:

    Lakers will finish no1 if Kobe wont play anymore…

  92. ??? says:

    Am I the only one who wants to see HOU@OKC in the playoffs?? Harden vs his old team #EPIC

  93. Reggie Evans is an Alien! says:

    How I want things to pan out:
    Chicago finishes 5th – this could lead to a delicious 2nd round match-up with the Heat if they can get past Brooklyn
    Clippers finish 3rd – I’m a Clipper fan and another brutal 1st round match-up with Memphis might be too much.
    Lakers finish 7th – The play-offs aren’t the play-offs without the Lakers, and it would kind of be justice for San Antonio to get the tough match-up after resting so many players
    This would leave Houston in 8th where OKC may fear the prodigal beard!

    • Gameon says:

      Sorry Clippers are NOT getting the 3rd spot there is no way that the Nuggets lost @home to the Suns. Just go ahead and reserve that 3rd spot for the Nuggets.

    • jose says:

      Keep dreaming bro!!!Your nightmare is going to be Big!!!
      Miami champs11 Lebron MVP

  94. Greg says:

    You have made a mistake while reading the article.
    Read it again.
    pay attention to the part where it says that Houston and not the Lakers can get the 6th spot

  95. lorenz2k13 says:

    lakers going the finals for kobe

    • uoykcuf says:

      Lakers going to the finals because there’s no Kobe.

    • @Heat says:

      r u kidding me lakers wont even make it past the first round west is tuff this year and always has been even with kobe or not they will not make it anywhere past the first round. you really think if they make #8 they will beat Thunder or if they make #7 they will beat Spurs but most importantly u really think if they make it to the the 6th spot they will BEAT the NUGGETS like really we all know that nuggets vs thunder west | east miami vs pacers finals dont know but…. miami is not winning again

  96. zeke says:

    No. 8 Lakers (44-37) — No. 8 in West; controls own fate (April 17 vs. Houston); can move as high as No. 6 << They can only move as high as No. 7

  97. Giddi says:

    Great work, the West isn’t easy to understand by just looking in the standings. Just a little mistake, in the summary in the west it reads “Lakers can move as high as No. 6″, it should be No. 7.

    Although I think a IND-CHI first round matchup would be interesting (great intensity, hustle plays but bad offense) I think CHI will move up to the 5 spot by beating Washington and Atlanta losing in NY.

  98. Tiff says:

    Um, Lakers can’t move as high as 6. Impossible. You made a mistake in your article.

    • Adams says:

      They did not say that Lakers can move to the 6 spot. If you read again you can see they say the Lakers can move as hight no. 7.

      They will be No. 8 if: They lose, but the Jazz lose to the Grizzlies, too.
      They will be No. 7 if: They defeat Houston in their season finale.
      They miss the playoffs if: They lose to Houston in their season finale and the Jazz defeat the Grizzlies.

    • AM says:

      There is no mistake, it is said in nowhere that the lakers can finish sixth

  99. W/E says:

    Thats just crazy, this years finale couldnt have a better scenario, cant wait to see whats gunna happen in the end in the West.

    • Lakers vs Celtics says:

      Yep! Can’t ask for a better ending!

    • Jimbo says:

      My Predictions…

      Fans and the NBA commision wants to see Harden vs. Westbrook/ Durant face off and LAL make the playoffs. So, LAL beats HOU tonight.

  100. Drob50 says:

    Spurs again by design. They do not want to face the lakers in the first round. 2nd spot looks good to me..

    • Giddi says:

      Lakers will beat Houston and move up to the 7 spot and face the Spurs in the first round ;)

    • W/E says:

      2nd spot doesnt seem good at all for the Spurs cause if Lakers win against Houston which is highly probable(they will certainly go for it cause they dont wanna face OKC and they have no chance but to win if Jazz gets a win their final game) they will get the 7th seed and they will face the Spurs, one of the teams they could handle in the playoffs.

      • Ivo says:

        Dude, what makes you think the Lakers can ‘handle’ the Spurs? Don’t be silly!

      • Lakers vs Celtics says:

        A transitional Lakers team, and when Pau raises his hands on defensive, dude!

      • EvilDead says:

        They just beat the spurs the other night dude. Check the playoff history, im sure we can handle SA even if they are an amazing team.

      • Dmitri says:

        Lakers most definitely could not beat Denver without Kobe. Denver won the series 3-1 with Kobe playing.

      • Lakers fan says:

        You guys are funny. Doesn’t matter if Lakers meet Spurs(most likely) or OKC, they have 0% to advance to next round with or without Kobe.

      • spanish pantalones says:

        spurs won two titles when they were at #2 spot.

    • KYLE says:

      LA CAN STILL CLINCH SIXTH OR SEVENTH SO IT IS STILL FEASIBLE SPURS VS LA IN FIRST ROUND IDIOT

      • AM says:

        LA cannot clicnh the sixth spot

      • Gameon says:

        oh the Lakers cannot clinch the sixth spot and they definitely wouldn’t want to because that would mean they would face the Nuggets and we know how that would end……….with a Lakers loss in the Mile High City. I forsee a Laker loss in the first round anyway

      • ThatGUy says:

        Lakers, IF they even make it to the playoffs wouldnt want to face any of the top three. Thunder, Spurs or Nuggets would embarras them in the first round. I cant even see the lakers making it to the playoffs they are sorry this year. They lost Kobe and now Nash… whats going to hold them together…deff not Gasol or Howard. If the lakers make it to the playoffs i will be surprised but they will not make it past the first round. Besides Hardin and the Rockets have a reason to win and thats to maintain or take control of the sixth seed and Hardin puts on a show when he has something to play for or prove…we saw that when he played OKC. Bottom line…Lakers out Jazz in.

    • it would be a very exciting finale race for the 8th spot in the west

    • Mike says:

      hoping for Lakers vs. Spurs, and Chicago moves up to 5th, so Miami does not get a too easy walk to the ECF.

      • sam says:

        i want to see the bulls in the 6th spot because i’m a heat fan and as you said, miami will have an easy walk to the ECF… and i also want to see this…

        Noah vs. Hibbert
        Boozer vs. West
        Deng vs. George

        What about that!?!

    • Jimbo says:

      Drob- if Spurs didn’t want to face the lakers in the first round they should have beat them Kobe-less the other night to let the Jazz in. I have a feeling Spurs don’t get past the 2nd round this year.