NBA Playoff Standings 2014: Updated Outlook and Championship Odds

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NBA Playoff Standings 2014: Updated Outlook and Championship Odds
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The 2013-14 NBA campaign is rapidly winding down, and a number of teams have already clinched spots in the upcoming playoffs.

However, the battles for the final remaining seeds are immensely intriguing and well worth examining as the current season comes to a close. The outcome of these playoff races will likely have a big impact on how the postseason picture shakes out, especially in the Western Conference.

Keep reading for an updated look at the NBA standings, plus check out the latest news on the current playoff race and take a peek at the odds for each contender to win a title.

NBA Standings as of April 14, 2014
Seed Team W L PCT GB Playoff Odds
Eastern Conference
1 Indiana 55 26 0.679 0.0 100
2 Miami 54 26 0.675 0.0 100
3 Chicago 47 33 0.588 6.5 100
4 Toronto 46 33 0.582 7.5 100
5 Brooklyn 44 36 0.550 10.5 100
6 Washington 42 38 0.525 12.0 100
7 Charlotte 41 39 0.506 14.0 100
8 Atlanta 37 43 0.463 17.0 100
Western Conference
1 San Antonio 62 18 0.775 0.0 100
2 Oklahoma City 58 22 0.725 3.5 100
3 L.A. Clippers 56 24 0.700 6.0 100
4 Houston 53 27 0.663 9.0 100
5 Portland 53 28 0.654 10.0 100
6 Golden State 49 31 0.615 12.5 100
7 Dallas 49 32 0.604 13.5 100
8 Memphis 48 32 0.600 14.5 76.0
Phoenix 47 33 0.587 15.0 24.0

ESPN and NBA.com

2014 NBA Championship Odds
Team Odds
Miami Heat 11-5
San Antonio Spurs 3-1
Oklahoma City Thunder 9-2
Indiana Pacers 11-2
Los Angeles Clippers 8-1
Houston Rockets 18-1
Golden State Warriors 25-1
Brooklyn Nets 33-1
Portland Trail Blazers 33-1
Chicago Bulls 50-1
Toronto Raptors 66-1
Memphis Grizzlies 75-1
Phoenix Suns 75-1
Dallas Mavericks 100-1
Washington Wizards 150-1
New York Knicks 250-1
Charlotte Bobcats 250-1
Atlanta Hawks 300-1

OddsShark.com

Playoff odds courtesy of ESPN’s John Hollinger. Championship odds courtesy of OddsShark.com

 

Updates on Playoff Races

As you can see, most of the playoff spots in both conferences are locked up. However, there is a bitter, three-team war for the final two seeds in the Western Conference.

The New York Knicks were clinging to the scant hope that they'd be able to sneak into the playoffs in the weak Eastern Conference, but the final nail in their postseason coffin was nailed in on Saturday night following the Atlanta Hawks' 98-85 win over the Miami Heat.

It's the first time in Carmelo Anthony's professional career he isn't in the playoffs, per ESPN's Numbers Never Lie:

The New York Daily News' Frank Isola rued what was a major missed opportunity for the franchise. It really is embarrassing that the Knicks weren't one of the eight best teams in the East:

The Dallas Mavericks have a slight advantage at this juncture, needing any combination of wins and losses by the Memphis Grizzlies that add up to three to secure a spot in the playoffs.

Star forward Dirk Nowitzki seems eager to get back after missing the postseason last year, telling ESPN Dallas’ Tim MacMahon:

“It’s just fun to be a part of. The preparation and adjustments from day to day in the playoffs is a blast. It’s actually very taxing mentally and physically, but it’s also the most fun.”

The Mavericks moved into seventh place with a win over the Utah Jazz on Tuesday. Despite a loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday, Dallas has a half-game lead over the Grizzlies.

The Mavs have a hugely important game against the Phoenix Suns on tap this Saturday, a matchup that will determine which of the two competitors earns the tiebreaker over the other.

The Suns dropped out of the top eight in the West with a loss to the Grizzlies on Friday night. It was a massive result for both teams, as Memphis now owns the tiebreaker, per Robert Baum of the Associated Press:

Despite that defeat, head coach Jeff Hornacek deserves plenty of accolades for keeping his relatively inexperienced players focused during this thrilling portion of the season.

Scott Brooks, head coach of the Thunder, had high praise for Hornacek after losing this weekend, as per Matt Petersen of Suns.com:

"You give Coach Hornacek a lot of credit. He has come in here and put a system together and put their players in a position to execute every night…he’s put their team in a position to win night in and night out."

The Suns dropped a heartbreaker to the Mavs on Saturday night. Suns.com's Matt Petersen tweeted out that the defeat has symbolized Phoenix's late-season slide:

ESPN's Marc Stein reported that the players in the locker room were gutted after the loss:

Phoenix will need help from here on out. No longer does the team control its own destiny.

The Grizzlies do, though, and if they win out, they'll overtake Dallas for the seventh seed, per David Aldridge:

Higher seeds in the West have to be hoping that Memphis can get knocked back into ninth place.

According to Sports Illustrated’s Rob Mahoney, the Grizz are one of the most dangerous clubs in the conference and could be a real threat to pull off an upset as a No. 7 or 8 seed.

Mahoney noted that Memphis ranks No. 3 in the league in terms of overall defense and described why it is such a feared team in a seven-game series:

Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph are the NBA’s mortar and pestle — two big, physical inside players who break their opponents down by posting up and boxing out in rhythm. Grappling with either demands energy and strategic resources to the point that it creates a cumulative effect. Their size advantage is one of slow, deliberate gains, with every bump or bruise taking just enough out of the Grizzlies’ opponents to slow their next drive and urge their next defensive mistake. Memphis makes it all add up so that by the fourth quarter every action seems like a chore.

Which team will miss the playoffs?

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While the Grizzlies may not even have a first-round matchup, let alone win it, they could severely hurt a contender’s chances at going deep in the playoffs. They will tire them out and make them work hard for every point, characteristics that they will put on full display over the next five games with their season on the line.

Make sure you tune in to the upcoming games for each of these three Western Conference squads, as they promise to deliver some of the best, most intriguing basketball of the season.

Upcoming Matchups to Watch for Western Conference Playoff Race
Team Opponent Date/Time
Memphis Grizzlies at Phoenix Suns Monday, April 14 at 10 p.m. ET
Dallas Mavericks at Memphis Grizzlies Wednesday, April 16, at 8 p.m. ET

ESPN

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