The 2012 NBA playoffs are just around the corner and all 16 teams that made it in have clinched their spot.
While there are still a few squads jockeying for position as the season comes to a close, the matchups are likely to remain largely the same as they would if it were to end today.
Let’s take a look at some upsets that could be brewing.
Indiana is surprisingly deep and incredibly tall. They can play good defense and clean up the boards—two critical elements to winning in playoff basketball.
However, they do not have a go-to crunch-time scorer that can get a bucket when they absolutely need one.
Guys like Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant are considered superstars for this exact reason. The closest thing the Pacers have is Danny Granger, but he isn’t what many people would refer to as an elite scorer.
If this team is losing in the waning minutes, they might not have a way to pull ahead.
The Dallas Mavericks eliminated OKC last year in the Western Conference Finals. Now the Thunder run the risk of being sent home in the first round by the same opponent.
The Lakers exposed this team on national television on Sunday, when they completed a miracle, come-from-behind double-OT win.
Simply put, if Russell Westbrook’s shot isn’t falling and he’s refusing to defer, this group is in trouble.
There is no denying that the Clips are a great team. They have the best point guard in the game in Chris Paul and and an emerging superstar in Blake Griffin.
However, coach Vinny Del Negro is simply not a good coach. After back-to-back 41-41 seasons with the Bulls, the team dismissed him and hired coach Tom Thibodeau. Thibs turned Derrick Rose into an MVP and won 62 games in his first season with largely the same talent while battling a rash of injuries.
If Phil Jackson or someone else was coaching the Clippers, they’d be a championship contender. Unfortunately, they have an incompetent strategist on the bench and it’s going to haunt them when they get upset in the playoffs.
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