The first playoff matchup of the NBA post season has been set. With their loss yesterday, the Atlanta Hawks have secured a date with the Orlando Magic. This will probably be the least interesting matchup of these playoffs. Both teams have little to no chance of making noise in the playoffs and should be easy outs in the second round. The Atlanta Hawks won the season series three games to one.â†µ
Barring a collapse, the Indiana Pacers will hold on to the eighth seed and be rewarded with a matchup against the Chicago Bulls. The second and third seed are still up for grabs with the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat tied for second seed. The Boston Celtics have games at Chicago and Miami in a game that should determine the second seed.
In the Western Conference, the Los Angeles Lakers suffered a shock loss to the Utah Jazz last night. With the San Antonio Spurs' win last night, the first seed is all but assured as a three and a half game lead with four games remaining is as close to a lock as you can get.â†µ
The Dallas Mavericks have a pivotal matchup against the Denver Nuggets tonight and a loss could open the door for the Oklahoma City Thunder to slide into the third seed. The Mavericks have an easier schedule down the stretch with the Thunder having games against the Nuggets and Lakers remaining. Assuming the Mavericks hold onto the third seed, their first round matchup is still up in the air. The sixth, seventh and eighth seed are separated by one game with Portland, New Orleans and Memphis duking it out respectively. If the Mavericks fall to the fourth seed, they will face the Denver Nuggets.â†µ
Which makes tonight's game pivotal for the Mavericks if they intend on gaining any momentum heading into the playoffs.â†µ