NBA Power Rankings
Wednesday night will be a big one for the East playoff race. Brooklyn will visit Madison Square Garden to take on the New York Knicks, who are trying to catch the Atlanta Hawks for the No. 8 seed. The Hawks are one game up on the Knicks and will host Chicago. The Cleveland Cavaliers are three games back of Atlanta and are on the road to face the Orlando Magic.
Both the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers are also in action, and there's little reason either team should lose. The Heat, who just took over the No. 1 seed in the East, host the Milwaukee Bucks, while the struggling Pacers get a reprieve at home against the Detroit Pistons.
Here's a look at the East playoff race (x - clinched playoff berth, y - clinched division):
|1. y - Miami Heat||51||22||-|
|2. y - Indiana Pacers||52||23||-|
|3. x - Toronto Raptors||42||32||9½|
|4. x - Chicago Bulls||42||32||9½|
|5. x - Brooklyn Nets||40||33||11|
|6. Washington Wizards||38||36||13½|
|7. Charlotte Bobcats||36||38||15½|
|8. Atlanta Hawks||32||41||19|
|9. New York Knicks||32||43||20|
|10. Cleveland Cavaliers||30||45||22|
Over in the Western Conference, the Dallas Mavericks fell to the No. 9 slot after their 122-120 overtime loss to the Golden State Warriors. The Mavs are a half-game behind the Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns, while the Warriors are 1½ games ahead of both the Grizzlies and Suns in the No. 6 spot.
The fifth-seeded Portland Trail Blazers gained a full game on the Rockets thanks to a win over the Los Angeles Lakers. The Blazers are now just 1½ games behind the Rockets, although Portland has lost three more games.
Here's a look at the West playoff race (x - clinched playoff berth):
|1. x - San Antonio Spurs||58||16||-|
|2. x - Oklahoma City Thunder||54||19||3½|
|3. x - Los Angeles Clippers||53||22||5½|
|4. Houston Rockets||49||24||8½|
|5. Portland Trail Blazers||49||27||10|
|6. Golden State Warriors||46||28||12|
|7. Memphis Grizzlies||44||30||14|
|8. Phoenix Suns||44||30||14|
|9. Dallas Mavericks||44||31||14½|