News, Analysis & UpdatesApril 23, 2007

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It’s Playoff Time!

By Madison Jones

That’s right, the regular season has come to a close and the NBA playoffs have begun. People roll their eyes at over half of the NBA teams making the playoffs, as Orlando, a team that lost two more games than it won during the season, squeaked their way in. However, the regular season is over and irrelevant at this point. It’s win and advance to the next round, or go home and prepare for next year. Who’s backs are to the wall, and who looks like they’ve got an easy stroll in the first round? Let’s take a look and see what’s in store.

The first round matchups are as follows (seeds in parenthesis):

Eastern Conference:

Detroit(1) vs. Orlando(8)
Cleveland(2) vs. Washington(7)
Toronto(3) vs. New Jersey(6)
Miami(4) vs. Chicago(5)

Western Conference:

Dallas(1) vs. Golden State(8)
Phoenix(2) vs. Los Angeles Lakers(7)
San Antonio(3) vs. Denver(6)
Utah(4) vs. Houston(5)

Some of these look like easy ones to predict, but when it’s all or nothing, you never know who will step up and shock the world. As I mentioned before, Orlando made the playoffs while finishing two games under five hundred ball. That’s right; they lost two more games than they won. Personally, I’m not a fan of having this many teams in the playoffs, and I’m definitely not a fan of allowing teams with losing records to still have a chance to win it all. However, from a marketing and financial standpoint, it makes sense, so I accept it with a grain of salt as it’s a business decision and at the core, the NBA is a business. For those that don’t understand, basically, it’s all about money and drawing interest. More games played leads to additional ticket sales, more television time, more merchandise sales for the playoff teams, and so forth. Also, by allowing extra teams to have a final shot at winning it all, the fans get one last straw to grasp for. If your favorite team was the one who squeaked into the playoffs, wouldn’t it be fun for you to get to root and cheer for your team to pull a Cinderella Story and win it all? Of course it would. The odds are unlikely, but that’s part of the fun, and you never know what’s going to happen in the NBA.

So will any of the top seeds get caught napping? Will an underdog smell blood and create an upset? Which teams will rise to the challenge, and which ones will fail? Bottomline, who will advance and keep their dreams alive and who will go home? There’s only one way to find out, and the games will be played, so tune in and see how it all unfolds!

Madison Jones is always lurking in the shadows of the Cafe. When he does venture into the forums, you can find him posting as Madison.
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