Talk about suspense. It came right down to the wire for the playoff seeds to finally be set in stone and now we prepare for the post season.
Entering the day though I was confident the Houston Rockets would win versus Utah, but the fact they had to rely on San Antonio to lose felt like a lost cause. The Spurs had been the hottest team in the Association, so understandably many expected them to pull out their championship form and take down New Orleans and once again rule the Southwest Division.
Apparently New Orleans and young upstart Anthony Davis didn’t get that memo and he and his suddenly healthier team took down the reigning NBA Champions sending Russell Westbrook and the Thunder fishing early this season. Side Note: Better put your bets in now for next season as I guarantee you Oklahoma City will be on a mission next season to reek revenge.
The combination of the win by Houston and loss by Spurs set most of the seeds, however the West still had to wait for Memphis to finish their game so the entire Western layout could be determined. In the end the Grizzlies won the game pushing the Spurs down to sixth, grabbing the fifth seed and sent Indiana home by virtue of their loss and the Nets win.
Here are the Western Conference Playoff Pairings:
The post season gets underway on Saturday with the Rockets part of the first day of action. The complete schedule for the Rockets first round inter-state series shakes out like this:
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As per nba.com here is a complete schedule of the teams and dates for the first round series.
On Tuesday night with the NBA Game Time Crew back in place (thank goodness, I couldn’t stomach much more of Shaq and was desperate for the natural humor of Charles Barkley and intelligence of Kenny Smith) they discussed who should win the MVP.
Everyone agreed the race between Steph Curry and James Harden was razor thin but gave it to Curry. Barkley said it’s too bad the Rockets couldn’t get the 2 seed or Harden would’ve won. In my opinion he should win it regardless, but Chuck points out an interesting fact; with writers submitting their ballots prior to season end will last week’s slip cost Harden the award?
To that end, catch our team Award Series where we highlight the contenders, likely winners and who we believe should win. The first in the series is here:
Funny how one week and even one game can change the mindset of a team. Last week the Rockets lost a heart breaker in the final seconds to San Antonio. The loss sent them plummeting to the sixth seed after spending the entire season in the upper portion of the seeding. Flash forward to a week with a much different success level given the Rockets won their final 3 games. Those victories pole vaulted Houston back up the ladder to take the Southwest Division Title and the second seed which guarantees them home court through the first two rounds.
Interesting one of the three teams Houston beat this week (New Orleans) is the very team who gave them the assistance needed to claim the division by beating the Spurs.
Entering the post season Houston are as hot as any club having won 10 of their last 13 games with the Spurs and Toronto handing them their only losses.
Check back with us frequently as we provide everything you need leading into the playoffs. Over the next 2 days we’ll have a series preview, a player by player match-up, the history between the teams and the keys to the Rockets beating Dallas to get into the second round.
We here at Space City Scoop Congratulate the Houston Rockets on clinching the Southwest Division and send our best wishes for an expedient thrashing of the Dallas Mavericks en route to the second round. Go Rockets!
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