Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, the sun is beginning to shine, the flowers are blooming and Jack is bringing out the summer shades. The 2011 NBA Playoffs are in the air, and let me tell you, this year's matchups won't be anything short of spectacular.
Though the East is set and ready to go, the West is still very much up for grabs, especially the positioning of the last three playoff teams.
The only secure spot in the Western Conference is the top seed, which is held by the San Antonio Spurs. As you know, the Lakers were "trying" to chase that top spot in these last few weeks, but have failed heavily, losing their last five games.
So instead of securing home court and sealing the second spot, the Lakers are now in a dog fight with the Dallas Mavericks (trailing a half-game for the second spot) and Oklahoma City Thunder (ahead by a half-game for the third spot) for the second, third and fourth seeds in the West.
At this point it is going to be very hard to predict the possible outcomes of how the West might fold out, but it will for sure be great "must-watch TV" in this two-day stretch before heading into the playoffs.
Remaining Games (Top Eight Teams in West)
1. San Antonio Spurs: Los Angeles Lakers (55-25) on April 12 and Phoenix Suns on April 13.
2. Dallas Mavericks: New Orleans Hornets (46-35) on April 13.
3. Los Angeles Lakers: San Antonio Spurs (61-19) on April 12 and Sacramento Kings (24-57) on April 13.
4. Oklahoma City Thunder: Milwaukee Bucks (34-37) on April 13.
5. Denver Nuggets: Utah Jazz (38-43) on April 13.
6. Portland Trail Blazers: Memphis Grizzlies (46-34) on April 12 and Golden State Warriors (35-46) on April 13.
7. Memphis Grizzlies: Portland Trail Blazers (47-33) on April 12 and Los Angeles Clippers (31-50) on April 13.
8. New Orleans Hornets: Dallas Mavericks (56-25) on April 13.
As you can see, this really is as close as it can get when it comes down to one or two games to determine the second, third and fourth seeds in the West.
The regular season may just be about done, but there sure is plenty of fighting left to be settled out in these last two days of the regular season. So gear up for the last set of games Wednesday and get ready to experience one of the most potentially memorable playoffs in NBA history.