With only a week and change left in the NBA regular season, teams are starting to think more about the playoffs. Most teams have clinched their spots, so now it’s just a matter of who will play whom, and what the NBA Odds will be.
Pacers Down; But Not Out Yet
Indiana has been the best fade of any team in the NBA over the last few months of the season. While they could easily turn things around in the playoffs, I don’t think they will. This team has seemingly magically lost almost everything that made them a factor in the East this season.
Roy Hibbert is playing soft. How a guy who is over seven feet tall does not dominate like we all know Hibbert can is beyond me. With virtually no help from their very high-priced big man, the Pacers are left to be a jump shooting team. This not only hurts their offensive efficiency, but it hurts their defense as well. When you don’t have Hibbert getting you east baskets, you have to extend even more energy on the offensive end, which takes away from their defense.
Even though I do think they can turn things on in the playoffs, Indiana might be one of the better fades of the playoffs in the East if they continue like this.
Bulls Title Contenders?
Chicago is 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS in their last five games, and with their easy schedule they have going down the stretch, Chicago could very well run the table and get into the 3rd seed over Toronto. This would be huge for them, because it would ensure they don’t have to play Miami until the Eastern Conference Finals if they get there.
If they do, they could present some trouble to either Miami or Indiana, and even though they don’t have Derrick Rose, and they traded Luol Deng, this team still looks like they could win the East. For the rest of the regular season and into the playoffs, Chicago could be one of the better ATS tails in the NBA Odds.
I have been all over the Bobcats this season, and if all goes well down the stretch they will finish with the best ATS record of any East team this season. While I can’t really trust them that much ATS for the rest of the regular season, Charlotte could make a name for the Bobcats in this their final year before the trademark change back to the Hornets.
Charlotte would face Indiana if the playoffs started today, and it would not surprise me one bit to see the Cats cover more games than the Pacers ATS in that potential series. Charlotte has the size and defense to matchup with the Pacers, and they will almost certainly be undervalued in the NBA Odds like they have been all season.
Charlotte also has something the Pacers do not, a point guard who was a borderline All Star this season. Kemba Walker’s quickness, along with Big Al Jefferson’s post dominance are the exact formula to beat the Pacers if that is indeed the series we see.