The Dream Shake - a Houston Rockets blog: The Road to the Playoffs

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Road to the Playoffs

Last night San Antonio lost a game that they were in until the fourth quarter against the Phoenix Suns, a team I just so happen to think is not as good as the Spurs. That puts the end of the season in a bit of a free for all as to who the Rockets will play and what playoff spot they will have.

The Western Conference Standings - Record (Conference Record):
1. Hornets 55-23 (33-15) GB -
2. Spurs 53-25 (30-18) GB 2
3. Lakers 53-25 (33-15) GB 2
4. Jazz 52-26 (31-17) GB 3
5. Rockets 53-25 (31-17) GB 2
6. Suns 53-26 (29-20) GB 2.5
7. Mavericks 49-29 (31-17) GB 6
8. Nuggets 47-31 (28-20) GB 8
9. Warriors 47-31 (27-21) GB 8

I'm going to take a stab at how I think each team's final 3 or 4 games will play out. Mind you, this is just a stab and you are just as likely to see the Suns at number 1 right now as you are to see the Hornets,but I'm going at it anyway. (Note: okay, maybe not just as likely, but I think it's possible)

Final Schedules:

New Orleans Hornets (3-1)
4/11 @LA Lakers - W
4/12 @ Sacramento - W
4/15 LA Clippers - W
4/16 @ Dallas - L

San Antonio Spurs (3-1)
4/11 Seattle - W
4/13 @LA Lakers - L
4/14 @Sacramento - W
4/16 Utah - W

LA Lakers (3-1)
4/10 LA Clippers - W
4/11 New Orleans - L
4/13 San Antonio - W
4/15 Sacramento - W

Utah Jazz (2-2)
4/10 @ Dallas - W
4/12 Denver - W
4/14 Houston - L
4/16 @ San Antonio - L

Houston Rockets (4-0)
4/11 Phoenix - W
4/13 @ Denver - W
4/14 @ Utah - W
4/16 LA Clippers - W

Phoenix Suns (2-1)
4/11 @ Houston - L
4/14 Golden State - W
4/16 Portland - W

Dallas Mavericks (3-1)
4/10 Utah - L
4/12 @ Portland - W
4/13 @ Seattle - W
4/16 New Orleans - W

Denver Nuggets (1-3)
4/10 @ Golden State - L
4/12 @ Utah - L
4/13 Houston - L
4/16 Memphis - W

Golden State Warriors (3-1)
4/10 Denver - W
4/12 LA Clippers - W
4/14 @ Phoenix - L
4/16 Seattle - W

If the above were to happen, here is how the records would work out:
Final Western Conference Standings:
1. Hornets 58-24 (36-16) GB -
2. Rockets 57-25 (35-17) GB 1
3. Lakers 56-26 (36-16) GB 2
4. Jazz 54-28 (33-19) GB 4
5. Spurs 56-26 (33-19) GB 2
6. Suns 55-27 (31-21) GB 3
7. Mavericks 52-30 (34-18) GB 6
8. Warriors 50-32 (30-22) GB 8
9. Nuggets 48-34 (29-23) GB 10

A 4-0 spurt would almost guarantee the Rockets the second spot in the playoffs and they would in turn play the Mavericks. I like the match up, hate the idea of playing the Mavericks in Toyota though, the two fan bases just don't mix well unfortunately.

Now say I'm smoking some really good stuff, and my predicted end of the season unbeaten streak doesn't occur. What happens if the Rockets lose all three of the games to the Suns, Nuggets and Spurs but all else above stays the same?

Western Conference - I'm not Nostradamus Scenario:
1. Hornets 58-24 (36-16) GB -
2. Spurs 56-26 (33-19) GB 2
3. Lakers 56-26 (36-16) GB 2
4. Jazz 55-27 (34-18) GB 3
5. Suns 56-26 (32-20) GB 2
6. Rockets 54-28 (32-20) GB 4
7. Mavericks 52-30 (34-18) GB 6
8. Warriors 50-32 (30-22) GB 8
9. Nuggets 49-33 (30-22) GB 9

The Rockets would play the Lakers, a team I think we match up extremely well with. That's actually our dream scenario if you ask me. And I have to admit something, I'm a self proclaimed NBA fan, and I knew the Jazz road record couldn't be great, but I had no idea it was 17-22. Every team should be licking their chops to get a first round, home court advantage over Utah. However, no one wants to play the Jazz, Spurs or Mavericks without having the HCA, with 35-4, 32-7 and 32-7 records respectively, they would most likely dominated a series they had the HCA in. So that wraps up a little mini-analysis. It's been a great season so far, though it would have been better if The Great Wall wasn't sitting out until next season. I stand by my assertion that the Rockets will win at least their first round series.

Go Rockets!

Heads up : If you like scoring, check out the Denver vs. Golden State game tonight at 7PM CST on TNT.


CougarJim74 said...

I know the Jazz have a losing record on the road, but I dont want to play them in the first round. Anybody remember last year?? I think they will have confidence against the Rockets that the Mavs or Lakers won't, being as they've got the same team as last year basically.

Big said...

Umm, a rockets mav's first round would be fine with me. Might get a chance to get you boys back...

Forshizzzle said...

I have a really hard time seeing us beat the Jazz in Utah, but it's certainly possible. I also don't see us losing at Denver, especially if they lose tonight. They're going to be dead men walking at that point, so I think 2-2 or 3-1 is the most likely scenario, with the swing game coming against Phoenix on Friday.

Also, if the Lakers beat the Spurs this week, I think they would have the tiebreaker over the Spurs, due to Conference record (since they would be 2-2 head-to-head). This would push the Spurs to the 3 seed, which would not be a favorable matchup for the Rockets in the first round.

I'd love to see the Rockets finish with the 5 seed and home court against Utah in the first round. We have improved from last year, even without Yao, and may be actually better equipped to guard Boozer with Landry and Scola on the floor. Okur and Kirilenko have taken steps backward this season. It would be a great series I think. Then you could possibly get a matchup with NO/GS winner in the semifinals, which I wouldn't mind seeing either.

Everytime I look at the remaining games, I think that different matchups after every day seem more likely.

Anonymous said...

What have you been smoking? Houston has no chance tonight against the Suns and they have to play Denver in Denver and then the next night they play Utah in Utah. They may beat Denver but there is no way they will beat Utah in a back to back with Denver and Utah. And, remember, they only have one day between Phoenix and Denver. The odds are they will lose three and beat the Clippers on the last day of the season. They will probably wind up sixth and have to play LA or Phoenix in the first round. Looks like it is the first round exit again.

grungedave said...

assuming you are correct anonymous... what is so bad about playing LA or Phoenix in round 1?

We match up well with the Kobes. The Raping Garter Snake wants no part of Battier.

Phoenix is good, but Shaq's Fat Ass won't hold up for 7 games. And he's going to get in Nash's way.

Amaar said...

just so you know there is no way we can go 58-24... we have already lost 25 games