Playoff picture gets clearer

The Eastern Conference Playoff teams are set thanks to Atlanta’s surprise win over Miami on Saturday night. That officially eliminated the Knicks from Playoff contention — sending their lottery pick to the Nuggets who will likely send it to the Magic to complete an obligation in the Dwight Howard deal.

Sucks to be New York.

It does not suck to be Indiana, Miami, Chicago, Toronto, Brooklyn, Washington, Charlotte and Atlanta. Those are your Eastern Conference playoff teams.

There remains intrigue on where teams will end up. The Heat’s loss put them into a tie with the Pacers with two games remaining. Indiana is in Oklahoma City right now and then the team will head to Orlando for the finale Wednesday. Miami travels to Washington on Monday and plays Philadelphia on Wednesday.

The Bulls can clinch the third seed with a win over the Knicks today, locking the Raptors into the fourth seed. The Nets are locked in fifth. And the Bobcats and Wizards are tied and battling for sixth. The last four days of the season should provide plenty of intrigue.

In the Western Conference, Dallas secured its trip to the postseason last night with its win. That leaves only one spot in the Playoffs left open. The Grizzlies have a half game lead on the Suns. The Grizzlies finish on the road in Los Angeles against the Lakers tonight and then in Phoenix on Monday. That game is pretty freaking huge. The winner could very well get that final Playoff spot.

The Spurs and Thunder are locked into one and two. The Clippers will be third. Houston has a game on Portland for home court advantage in that Playoff series. Golden State has a one game lead on Dallas for sixth.

There is still some movement that can happen moving forward.

The Playoff picture though looks much clearer as we head to the final days of the regular season.

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily