Photo Credit: Sun Sentinal
With few games left in the regular season, the western conference field is set with only seeding being sorted out, meanwhile, the East has a tight race between 4 teams for 3 spots.
6.) Detriot Pistons: 39-37
Remaining Games: @Pacers, Pacers, @Thunder, Hornets, Grizzlies, @Knicks
The schedule has three playoff teams and the Pistons should be able to beat the Pacers at home at least, that gives them a likely 4-2 record if everything goes right, and a good shot at the playoffs.
7.) Brooklyn Nets: 39-38
Remaining Games: Bucks, Raptors, @Bucks, @Pacers, Miami
By far the toughest schedule left will leave the Nets with an uphill battle to get in. Every team they play are in the playoffs (or the Heat who are in this race) and two of which are against the top team in the East. The Nets and DeAngelo Russell have been one of the most fun teams to watch in the NBA and fans will be hoping they can get some wins in this tough stretch, I just don’t see it being likely.
8.) Miami Heat: 38-38
Remaining Games: @Celtics, Celtics, @T-Wolves, @Raptors, 76ers, @Nets
Another team with a tough schedule, but the Wolves is a winnable game, as well as an inconsistent Celtics team. (also notice that all three teams on this list play a top 5 team twice in the last 6 games.) The Heat have been 11-4 in their last 15, and are pushing hard to let Dwayne Wade get one last playoff run. I see the Heat making the playoffs, but the game vs the Nets could decide it. The Heat are 2-1 this year vs the Nets winning the last meeting 117-88.
9.) Orlando Magic: 38-39
Remaining Games: @Raptors, Knicks, Hawks, @Celtics, @Hornets
The Magic are the hottest of these teams winning 7 of their last 8 and have two games vs the bottom of the NBA. The Hornets will have been eliminated when this game is played giving them just 2 games vs playoff opponents. With the Heat and Nets schedule, the Magic should get in without a major slip.