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Cleveland Cavaliers & The NBA

Playoff scenarios

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Playoff scenarios

Unread postby disappointmentzone » Sun Apr 01, 2007 12:56 pm

On my blog this morning I broke down the playoff scenarios as I see them likely shaking up over the last few weeks of the season. When you go to the schedules it's pretty clear the the win yesterday over the Bulss, while huge, does not come close to ensuring that the Cavs will earn the #2 seed. (The team has basically no shot at catching Detroit and there is good reason why the Cavs should be rooting for Detroit to win out, oddly enough.)

The Cavs have a four very lose-able games left: Minnesota, Detroit, Washington, Miami. Let's say the Cavs finish the season with three more losses, which seems about fair given how the team is playing right now (either winning two of the tough four while blowing one against an easy team; winning one of the tough four; whatever).

Meanwhile the Bulls only have two very lose-able games: Detroit and Washington. The Bulls have been playing pretty good basketball recently and I think it's entirely reasonable that the Bulls lose only one of their remaining games.

If the Cavs lose three and the Bulls lose one then the teams will finish with identical 50-32 records. The teams are tied in the season series, which means that the tie-braker is wins in the division. Which is the point where things get a bit more complex since right now the Bulls are 11-4 in the division (with one more division game to play) while the Cavs are 9-5 (with two more division games to play).

Anyway, things are also complex when you look at the Toronto/Miami/Washington grouping, all of whom still have a (reasonable) shot at the #3 seed. Crucial for the Cavs should they remain in the #2 seed is Miami finishing in the #4 seed.

Again, the way I see things playing out it looks very likely that Miami and Toronto could finish the season tied. Right now their season series is tied 1-1. Toronto plays at Miami on March 3rd. That game would be the tie-braker were the teams to finish with identical records.

There are a lot of permutations, but when I look at the schedules it seems more likely than not that going into the last few games of the season there might not be much more clarity w/r/t the playoffs than there is right now.

Which is all the more reason why it's been so frustrating to watch the Cavs blow off games against far inferior opponents this season.

Just to serve as a point of departure for this thread, here are how I see top six teams finishing in the East:

1. Detroit
2. Chicago (50-32; #2 by virtue of tie-braker over CLE)
3. Miami (46-36; #3 by virtue of tie-braker over TOR)
4. Toronto (46-36)
5. Cleveland (50-32)
6. Washington (44-38)

Cheers.
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Unread postby swerb » Sun Apr 01, 2007 1:12 pm

The Bulls are one of the worst road teams in all of basketball. I'd say that just about every one of their remaining road games is very lose-able.

You think the Cavs lack focus and lose games they shouldn't, especially away from home?

Read some of the online stuff from the Chicago Sun-Times from the last 2-3 weeks.

Bottom line, the Bulls have no way to get easy baskets in a pinch. Their only reliable scorers are jump shooters Hinrich and Gordon.

We have a guy we can go to for easy buckets when we need em. And that was the difference yesterday. I'd be surprised if the Bulls rally to overtake us for the #2 seed.
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Unread postby disappointmentzone » Sun Apr 01, 2007 1:20 pm

I do think the Cavs lack focus and lose games. I think that's one of the biggest problems with the team (I can't tell if you were being sarcastic or not). I realize that we have a player who can seemingly score at will, but then where was he in the final six minutes of yesterday's game? He sure wasn't scoring at will. Instead he was passive, settling for 20 foot jumpers--something people on this team are far too inclined to do. Had the Bulls made one of their three attempts in the final 30 seconds of the game they would have won. Besides, the Cavs had no right winning that game after how they played the 4th quarter.

The Bulls are a better defensive team than the Cavs. They also have only 2 fewer road wins than we do, so I'm not totally sure I'd agree with you that the Bulls are far worse on the road than the Cavs. The difference between us and them is marginal. Over the last 2 weeks they are playing much better basketball than we are and their remaining schedule is considerably easier than ours. The Bulls catching the Cavs is entirely within the realm of possibilities.
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Unread postby leadpipe » Sun Apr 01, 2007 8:33 pm

To clarify Swerb, the Cavs get the least easy buckets in the league. Lebron must earn every hoop he gets. He just happens to be that good. When the Cavs get to the point that they can get easy buckets, then they can win the East.
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Unread postby swerb » Sun Apr 01, 2007 9:08 pm

disappointmentzone wrote:I do think the Cavs lack focus and lose games. I think that's one of the biggest problems with the team (I can't tell if you were being sarcastic or not). I realize that we have a player who can seemingly score at will, but then where was he in the final six minutes of yesterday's game? He sure wasn't scoring at will. Instead he was passive, settling for 20 foot jumpers--something people on this team are far too inclined to do. Had the Bulls made one of their three attempts in the final 30 seconds of the game they would have won. Besides, the Cavs had no right winning that game after how they played the 4th quarter.

The Bulls are a better defensive team than the Cavs. They also have only 2 fewer road wins than we do, so I'm not totally sure I'd agree with you that the Bulls are far worse on the road than the Cavs. The difference between us and them is marginal. Over the last 2 weeks they are playing much better basketball than we are and their remaining schedule is considerably easier than ours. The Bulls catching the Cavs is entirely within the realm of possibilities.

dzone, apologize for the tone of my post, rereading it .... it sounds arrogant. And there was all kinds of sarcasm there. My bad. Forgot to use the damn smilies.

My only point I was trying to make is that given how bad the Bulls have been on the road this year, assuming they'll finish off the season 7-2 with road games still to be played at Tor, Was, Det, and NJ is a little bold.

Chicago scared the living shit out of me at the beginning of the year. Having a chance to watch 2 of their last 3 games, I'm not that impressed with them. Id be surprised if they overtake the Cavs for the #2 seed, though its certainly possible. And Id like the Cavs chances against em in a best of 7 if it came to it.
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