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With one day left, plenty still to be decided in playoff race

Apr 26, 2012, 8:01 AM EDT

Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James AP

Thursday is it — the final day of the NBA regular season. And fitting with the condensed schedule, there are 13 games.

And there still is a lot to be decided. While we know the 16 teams in the playoffs, who plays whom is not fully set in either conference. David Stern loves this, his schedule makers do not.

Let’s take a closer look.

Eastern Conference:

Series locked in:

Indiana (3 seed) vs. Orlando (6): This became locked in Wednesday when Orlando beat Charlotte. It would have been a bigger story if the Magic lost.

Celtics (4) vs. Hawks (5): This matchup has been set for days but who has home court is still not decided. And no, the Celtics don’t get it just because they are the four seed and won the Atlantic — the team with the better record still gets home court advantage. The Hawks have a one-game lead over the Celtics but the Celtics have the tiebreaker. Thursday night Boston needs Atlanta to lose to Dallas and for Boston to beat the Bucks. If either of those games goes the other way the series starts in Atlanta.

What we find out Thursday:

Chicago is locked in as the one seed, Miami as the two seed. What we don’t know is who they play.

New York and Philadelphia are tied for the seven/eight seeds at 35-30, and New York has the tiebreaker. Which means when the Knicks beat the Bobcats Thursday they become the seven seed. I think saying when is safe there, but if the Knicks were upset and the Sixers beat the Pistons, Philly would be the seven seed. Not likely, however.

So look for:
Chicago vs. Philadelphia
Miami vs. New York.

Western Conference:

Series locked in:

San Antonio (1) vs. Utah (8): When Denver won Wednesday Utah got locked in at the eight. San Antonio would have preferred Denver, but it’s not going to matter much.

Memphis (4) vs. L.A. Clippers (5): While this series is set home court advantage comes down to Thursday — if Memphis beats Orlando they get home court, lose and the Clips get it.

What we find out Thursday:

Oklahoma City is locked in at the two seed, the Los Angeles Lakers are the three seed, those are locked.

Denver gets the six seed and a date with the Lakers if they beat Minnesota or if Dallas loses to Atlanta. However a Mavs win and a Nuggets loss and Dallas is the six seed.

So look for:
Oklahoma City vs. Dallas
L.A. Lakers vs. Denver

  1. sledgehorn - Apr 26, 2012 at 8:30 AM

    As a Sixers fan: I am honestly happy the Sixers are drawing the Bulls instead of the Heat. They probably can’t win anyways, but at least they have beaten the Bulls this season.

  2. gmsingh - Apr 26, 2012 at 8:35 AM

    The Bulls are as big a question mark as Derrick Rose is. If they went all the way I wouldn’t be surprised, and if they lost in the first round I wouldn’t be all that surprised either. All I can say is thank God for their bench players.

  3. juanandonly24 - Apr 26, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    The Knicks match up better with the Bulls than the Heat.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 26, 2012 at 11:49 AM

      No we don’t. The Bulls are deep and don’t even need Rose. They all hustle and they have killed us on the boards every game this year.

      The Knicks can put Shump on Wade (with the refs swaying it obviously), Chandler on Bosh and just let LeBron score and only have to be concerned with closing out on Chalmers, Battier and James Jones. It is the better matchup for New York.

      • juanandonly24 - Apr 26, 2012 at 10:12 PM

        The Knicks actually have a 2nd gear though for the playoffs. A team full of role players doesn’t have that. Carmelo gets even better under pressure, which is the constant atmosphere of the playoffs.

  4. davincizsp - Apr 26, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    Can’t wait to see Melo against LeBrown, hope heat gets a 7 games win

  5. jhalion - Apr 26, 2012 at 10:24 AM

    Knicks beat Heat in 7… Bosh will get destroyed by Tyson just like he did last year, shumpert on wade and melo/ bron will cancel each other out. The depth of our bench will come through in the series.

  6. dysraw1 - Apr 26, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    well lets all hope so anyway, dont forget STAT who i think will be critical in this series

  7. Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 26, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    And Knicks have a deep bench, Miami doesn’t even have one — unless you count those fossils, stiffs and specialists who are one-dimensional.

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