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Sunday playoff scenarios: Knicks can clinch East’s two seed

Apr 14, 2013, 12:24 PM EDT

Raymond Felton, Carmelo Anthony, Jason Kidd AP

A bunch of games on Sunday could have a big impact on playoff seedings — and for the Lakers and Jazz, who makes the playoffs. Let’s take a quick look around the league at what is at stake.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

The big game is Pacers visiting the Knicks — the Knicks win and they lock up the two seed in the East. That’s huge. The Knicks may not have won a playoff series since 2001 but expectations are they win more than one this time. The Pacers will not be an easy out in the second round so having home court would be huge. The Knicks have a three-game lead over the Pacers so they likely get home court anyway, but this win would make a nice statement.

If the Pacers lose and the Nets can beat the Raptors, then Pacers will have a new problem — Brooklyn will be one-game back of Indiana for the three seed. The four seed gets the Heat in the second round and maybe the Bulls in the first round. You’d like to avoid that difficult path.

Chicago faces a Miami team playing it’s big three, but the Bulls need the win to get back into the fifth seed in the East (they would be tied with the Hawks).

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Kobe or no Kobe, the Lakers control their own destiny — win their final two games and they are in the playoffs. But on Sunday night they play a Spurs team that is still fighting for the top seed in the West. A Lakers loss and Utah can retake the eighth seed Monday night. A Spurs loss and they are not going to catch the Thunder (they would be one game back and OKC has the tiebreaker).

Denver will host Portland and with a win the Nuggets will be on the verge of locking up the three seed and holding off the Clippers and Grizzlies. Home court means more to Denver than maybe any team in the NBA.

Houston controls its own destiny, it can be the six seed in the West if they win out — that starts with beating the Kings on Sunday. Honestly, I am rooting for this because and Houston vs. Denver 3/6 matchup in the first round — two teams that want to run — might be the most entertaining series of the playoffs.

  1. thekingdave - Apr 14, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    Diehard Rockets fan, and I want nothing to do with Denver. If we’re going to be eliminated regardless, OKC would be a great matchup for storyline purposes. But I think the state needs SA vs. HOU. The cast of characters may be different, but it brings me back to the 95 WCF when Dream took David Robinson to school. Would be cool to experience again.

    • elcapitanfiscal - Apr 14, 2013 at 7:33 PM

      As a Texan, that would be a sick match up..Dallas is the best city.though

  2. money2long - Apr 14, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    the team that comes out the west would have truly gone through the fire. every single western conference series will be a grudge match.

  3. dls612 - Apr 14, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    Miami will handle the bucks while everyone else wear down each other, every series other than Miami vs Bucks is capable of going 7 ! Boston vs Knicks will be the greater matchup of them all during the first round

    • andrewproughcfe - Apr 14, 2013 at 4:40 PM

      What most analysts are failing to recognize is that Tyson Chandler will shut down Lebron’s new post-up game in a seven game series. Chandler is more important than Melo when they play Miami.

      • melkipershero - Apr 14, 2013 at 9:26 PM

        Howd that go last year?

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 14, 2013 at 8:38 PM

      Knicks in 5. The calvary of big men is coming back Saturday.

  4. elcapitanfiscal - Apr 14, 2013 at 7:26 PM

    I hope the Celtics play the Knicks..Boston is not afraid of them, I think they could make it interesting

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 14, 2013 at 8:38 PM

      Don’t have to be afraid, but they do have to be better. And they are not.

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