NBA Standings: Last-Minute 2014 Playoff Seeding Predictions

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NBA Standings: Last-Minute 2014 Playoff Seeding Predictions
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

With just two games remaining in the NBA season for most teams, the playoff picture is beginning to come to fruition.

Several teams have already secured their spots in the postseason, while others are still jockeying for position—some within the playoff ranks, and some on the outside looking in.

The final games of the NBA season will certainly be action-packed and full of drama, which will provide a fitting end to what has been an exciting year.

Let's take a look at the current league standings and predict not only which teams are poised to enter the postseason but also each of their seedings and first-round opponents.

 

Current NBA Standings

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

2014 NBA Standings (through April 13)
Team W L PCT GB CONF DIV HOME ROAD L10 STK
East
Atlantic W L PCT GB CONF DIV HOME ROAD L10 STK
Toronto 47 33 0.588 0.0 31-19 11-4 25-15 22-18 8-2 W 1
Brooklyn 44 36 0.550 3.0 26-24 9-6 28-12 16-24 7-3 W 1
New York 35 45 0.438 12.0 24-26 8-6 18-22 17-23 6-4 W 2
Boston 25 55 0.313 22.0 21-29 5-10 16-24 9-31 2-8 W 2
Philadelphia 17 63 0.213 30.0 12-38 4-11 9-31 8-32 2-8 L 4
Central W L PCT GB CONF DIV HOME ROAD L10 STK
Indiana 55 26 0.679 0.0 37-14 12-4 35-6 20-20 4-6 W 1
Chicago 47 33 0.588 7.5 34-16 11-5 26-14 21-19 8-2 L 1
Cleveland 32 49 0.395 23.0 20-31 7-9 18-22 14-27 5-5 L 2
Detroit 29 52 0.358 26.0 23-29 6-10 17-24 12-28 3-7 L 3
Milwaukee 15 65 0.188 39.5 12-38 4-12 10-30 5-35 2-8 L 1
Southeast W L PCT GB CONF DIV HOME ROAD L10 STK
Miami 54 26 0.675 0.0 34-16 12-3 32-8 22-18 6-4 L 1
Washington 42 38 0.525 12.0 31-19 9-6 21-19 21-19 6-4 W 2
Charlotte 41 39 0.513 13.0 28-22 5-10 24-16 17-23 7-3 W 1
Atlanta 37 43 0.463 17.0 27-23 8-7 24-16 13-27 6-4 W 3
Orlando 23 57 0.288 31.0 17-33 4-12 19-21 4-36 4-6 L 2
West
Northwest W L PCT GB CONF DIV HOME ROAD L10 STK
Oklahoma City 58 22 0.725 0.0 36-15 11-5 33-7 25-15 6-4 L 1
Portland 53 28 0.654 5.5 30-21 13-3 30-10 23-18 8-2 W 4
Minnesota 40 40 0.500 18.0 23-27 7-8 24-16 16-24 5-5 L 1
Denver 36 44 0.450 22.0 20-30 5-11 22-18 14-26 4-6 W 3
Utah 24 56 0.300 34.0 12-38 3-12 16-24 8-32 1-9 L 4
Pacific W L PCT GB CONF DIV HOME ROAD L10 STK
L.A. Clippers 56 24 0.700 0.0 35-15 12-4 33-7 23-17 7-3 W 1
Golden State 49 31 0.613 7.0 29-21 11-5 26-14 23-17 5-5 L 1
Phoenix 47 33 0.588 9.0 27-23 7-8 26-14 21-19 6-4 L 2
Sacramento 28 53 0.346 28.5 15-36 3-12 17-23 11-30 3-7 W 1
L.A. Lakers 25 55 0.313 31.0 13-37 6-10 14-27 11-28 1-9 L 7
Southwest W L PCT GB CONF DIV HOME ROAD L10 STK
San Antonio 62 18 0.775 0.0 38-12 12-3 32-8 30-10 8-2 W 2
Houston 53 27 0.663 9.0 30-20 10-4 32-8 21-19 5-5 W 1
Dallas 49 32 0.605 13.5 29-22 9-6 26-15 23-17 7-3 W 1
Memphis 48 32 0.600 14.0 27-23 3-12 26-14 22-18 6-4 W 3
New Orleans 32 48 0.400 30.0 13-37 3-12 20-19 12-29 2-8 L 8

NBA.com

Standings courtesy of NBA.com.

 

Playoff Seeding Predictions

Rocky Widner/Getty Images

2014 Playoff Seeding Predictions
Team Seed R1 Opponent
East
Indiana Pacers 1 Hawks
Miami Heat 2 Bobcats
Toronto Raptors 3 Wizards
Chicago Bulls 4 Nets
Brooklyn Nets 5 Bulls
Washington Wizards 6 Raptors
Charlotte Bobcats 7 Heat
Atlanta Hawks 8 Pacers
West
San Antonio Spurs 1 Mavericks
Oklahoma City Thunder 2 Grizzlies
Los Angeles Clippers 3 Warriors
Houston Rockets 4 Trailblazers
Portland Trailblazers 5 Rockets
Golden State Warriors 6 Clippers
Memphis Grizzlies 7 Thunder
Dallas Mavericks 8 Spurs

Sean O'Donnell's Predictions

Here's how it's all going down.

The Indiana Pacers will earn the top seed in the East.

On Monday, Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald tweeted that both LeBron James and Chris Bosh would not be playing against the Washington Wizards:

This move practically concedes the No. 1 spot for the Heat but assures them the No. 2 seed.

Toronto and Chicago are in a tight race for the third seed; however, the Raptors own the tie-breaker due to leading the Atlantic Division and face the Bucks and Knicks in their last two games. They'll remain the third seed, and Chicago will come in at No. 4.

Brooklyn has been playing some fantastic basketball lately. The Nets' surge wasn't enough to catch the Bulls but will assure them the fifth seed.

Washington and Charlotte are neck and neck for the sixth seed. The Wizards have the upper hand here due to a remaining schedule that includes a James-and-Bosh-less Heat and the struggling Celtics.

With the Wizards securing the sixth seed, that leaves Charlotte taking No. 7 and Atlanta taking No. 8.

The top of the West is rather easy.

San Antonio has already clinched the top seed in the conference. Despite having two road games remaining, the Thunder will hold on to the second seed by defeating the Pelicans and Pistons.

That puts the Clippers in at No. 3 due to the team's current three-game lead over Houston.

The Rockets currently have the edge on Portland, and they'll keep it after defeating the Pelicans in their final game of the season.

Houston's acquisition of the fourth seed ensures Portland the fifth seed.

The Warriors shouldn't have trouble finishing out their season with a couple wins. They face the Timberwolves at home and the floundering Nuggets on the road. Golden State gets in as the No. 6 seed.

Memphis remains one game behind Dallas in the win column. Although, Memphis travels to face the Suns on Monday night, and then Dallas must travel to square off against the suddenly surging Grizzlies to end its season.

The Grizzlies get the two-game sweep here and move up into the seventh seed.

Dallas falls back into the eighth seed after falling to Memphis, which leaves Phoenix on the outside looking in.

The shift in standings here will have a huge impact on the overall playoff picture.

With the big switch of Memphis taking the No. 7 seed and Dallas taking the eighth, they now swap first-round opponents.

The Mavericks will take on the daunting task of facing the Spurs—a team that no one wants to see right now. San Antonio looks virtually unbeatable, and Dallas will take an early exit from the playoffs.

Memphis has a fighting chance against the Thunder. Oklahoma City's offense is one of the best in the league; however, its porous defense allows for shootouts. The Grizzlies have been putting up some big points lately, and could make this series very interesting.

Looking for a Round 1 upset? Look no further than the No. 4 Bulls against the No. 5 Nets. There's not one team that wants to face surging Brooklyn right now. The Nets are on an absolute tear and will be advancing to Round 2.

Which team has a decent path to the championship?

It sounds like an easy answer, and it is. The Spurs, despite being in the more competitive Western Conference, will benefit from the talented teams below them. Rest assured, many of the West's series will boil down to the bitter end, leaving plenty of teams gasping for breath. San Antonio will be in prime position to take advantage of winded opponents.

Which team has the toughest path?

That would be the Miami Heat. Dwyane Wade is seemingly always questionable, and when this team's not at full strength, it is beatable. There are plenty of surging teams in the East right now that could give Miami a run for its money in the postseason.

As the playoff picture continues to unfold, the only certainty involving the NBA playoffs is that nothing is certain at all.

Hang on to your hats.

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