Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Tonight's potential trap

Tonight the Cavaliers head into Philadelphia to take on the Sixers. For the past week, I've been discussing how Philly would have nothing left to play for by the time we faced them, because they'd be officially eliminated from playoff contention.

Saturday night, when the Sixers lost to Orlando, they were "officially eliminated". The following day they went to Detroit and beat the crap out of the Pistons.

At first glance, you'd think that maybe Philly wasn't ready to lay down just yet. But then a deeper look into the box score shows the real story. Amir Johnson played 35 minutes. Ronald Murray played 26 minutes. Jason Maxiell and Carlos Delfino each played 25 minutes. By the way, these guys are all Pistons. Meanwhile, Rasheed Wallace , Rip Hamilton, and Chauncey Billups were on the court for 13, 19 and 22 minutes respectively.

Translation - the Pistons took a nap. Nobody can catch them in the standings, so they gave their stars a rest.

But don't let that fool you, Cavaliers. This game is dangerous tonight. You NEED to bury the Sixers early, then come home tomorrow and do it again against Milwaukee.

There's still a shot to get the second seed, so don't ease up on the gas pedal now.


ESPN is reporting that if Cleveland loses, Chicago locks up the #2 seed.

NOT TRUE! Not completely true, at least.

If Cleveland loses tonight, and wins against Milwaukee, they finish at 49-33.
Should Chicago lose tomorrow, they too will finish at 49-33.

I know, I know, Chicago wins the tiebreaker and gets the #2 slot anyway. Again, not necessarily.

If Toronto wins tonight and tomorrow, they will also finish at 49-33, creating a three-way tie.

The three-way tiebreaker is head-to-head. If these three teams end up tied, the tiebreaker goes to the Cleveland Cavaliers, based on a 5-3 head-to-head record (Chicago is 4-4, Toronto is 3-5).

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