The NBA Playoffs are crawling closer with ten teams already qualifying for the postseason. Most teams are within five games till the end of their regular season as the anticipation for the playoffs continues to grow. Three playoff spots are still up for grabs in the Eastern and Western Conferences. Six teams statistically are still alive for the postseason in the East though just four in the running for the Western Conference. Which lucky teams will fill in the final playoff spots this weekend?
Let’s review who could possible pick up big victories on Saturday and make the playoffs
Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets
The Celtics have qualified for the Eastern Conference playoffs. It hasn’t been the season many NBA observers expected from Boston, but now they get to start over again in the postseason. In the meantime, the Nets are still fighting for a playoff berth. Currently the East’s sixth-place team, five teams are hot on the Nets’ heels.
Brooklyn playing at home against The Celtics with a 21-16 home record. Boston is one game below .500 on the road and just 5-5 in their last 10 games.
The last five of the last six games between the two teams have been won by the home team. With Boston already making the playoffs, expect the team enthusiasm to be down. The Nets will win and fortify their postseason bid.
Pick: Brooklyn Nets
Orlando Magic vs. Indiana Pacers
Going back a few weeks ago, one ESPN sports correspondent quantified the Orlando Magic would make the playoffs. It seemed absurd at the time, but Orlando is presently in the No. 8 spot. The Magic could have possibly propelled themselves to the playoffs with a six-game winning streak. Orlando is head to head with the Miami Heat and could still come short for a postseason spot.
They need to beat the Indiana Pacers to reinforce their bid for the playoffs. The Pacers are already in playoff, sitting in fourth place.
Indiana has been virtually unstoppable at home boasting a 28-9 record. But, Indiana has had hard times against the Magic this season coming up short two of three games. Earlier this month, the Magic traveled to Indiana and won. Can they do it once again? It looks probable.
Pick: Orlando Magic
Sacramento Kings vs. Houston Rockets
The Sacramento Kings were not fun to watch in the second half of the season. They played inconsistent and sitting with .500 record finding themselves looking from the outside into the Western Conference playoffs.
The Kings will need a hope and a prayer just to reach the postseason as they are 5.5 games back of the San Antonio Spurs. Sacramento will travel to Houston on Saturday with their playoff hopes dangling by a thread. Houston and James Harden could end Sacramento’s chance at the playoffs.
James Harden is going to win his second straight NBA scoring title and as well as possibly the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award. Does he earn it? Perhaps not, but then again without Harden, Houston would be struggling to get into the playoffs.
The Rockets have taken both games between the each other this and with five of the last six games overall against the Sacramento. James Harden will show up to play again and muscle the Rockets to yet again another victory.
Pick: Houston Rockets