Staff Writer: Ryan Ward
The NBA regular season is quickly coming to an end and there are only six playoff spots left in the league with two spots in the Western Conference and four open spots in the Eastern Conference.
Of course the big name teams in both conferences afforded clinched their divisions and seeds heading forward as the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers and the Cleveland Cavaliers have both clinched the top spots in the conferences and will head into the playoffs with the best chances of making it all the way to the NBA Finals.
Along with the Cavs, the Orlando Magic, Boston Celtics and Atlanta Hawks have all clinched spots in the Eastern Conference. Out West, the Lakers lead the way and the Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Utah Jazz, Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers have all clinch spots and will be headed to the playoffs as well.
In the Western Conference there are only two spots left with the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs are battling it out for the final two playoff spots which they will almost certainly clinch either this week or the next.
The Eastern Conference on the other hand is a completely different situation as there are five teams fighting for their playoff lives coming down the stretch as the NBA regular season comes to a close. The teams are almost certainly going to clinch a playoff spot in the East are the Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks and the Charlotte Bobcats, but only one of the two other teams will be moving forward heading into the postseason.
The Toronto Raptors and the Chicago Bulls will be the last two teams in the East fighting for that final eighth spot with every game from here on out be an extremely important and vital in order for them to take on the Cleveland Cavaliers and the first round of the playoffs.
Obviously, phasing LeBron James and company in the first round is afraid that no team wants in the East, but just making the playoffs instead of heading home is something every team wants to do then opportunity to knock off the best team in the conference in the first round of the playoffs is always something an underdog looks forward to.
Both the Bulls and the Raptors have ugly records right now with only Toronto being even at .500. This is not a new in the Eastern Conference has every single year it seems even teams below.500 can make it in the playoffs and maybe even the second round as the competition from five on down really doesn’t deserve to be in the playoffs anyway.
Even though in seasons past, quite a few seasons in the past, the lower seeds in the Eastern Conference have been nothing for the rest of the league to be afraid of in a seven-game series, but this time around there are few teams that could threaten the best of the best in the conference like the Bucks, Bobcats and the Heat.
Personally, I believe the Chicago Bulls on the better all around team with a brighter future when compared to the Toronto Raptors, but with being a game and a half behind Chris Bosh and company, I’m not quite sure that Derrick Rose can lead his team into the playoffs.