How many teams will make the Postseason with sub .500 records in the East?
If you guessed two, you would be correct. The Heat and Pacers will battle it out for the one seed without the chance of a threat to either of them.
With the injury to Derrick Rose, the Bulls have been a mess, losing 6 of 7, and are now two games under .500 following a painful triple OT loss against New Orleans Monday night. A team thought to win between 55 and 60 games, may be looking at no more than 42. The funny thing is 42 wins may be good enough for a 5 seed.
The two teams who most thought would be in the upper echelon of the conference, the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets--are in lottery mode. The Nets and Knicks play Thursday night. Any chance the game will end in a tie?
How deep of a hole can a team dig before it becomes insurmountable? We are nearing the first quarter mark (20 games) of the schedule. When will teams start to panic?
If you play in the Atlantic division, that may not be an issue, as the Celtics currently lead the division with an 8-12 record. So from that standpoint, the Knicks and Nets are safe.
However, if there's ever a year to avoid the 7 and 8 seed, this is that year. The Heat and Pacers will maul their first round opponent with little effort.
Of course, the Knicks and Nets can turn their seasons around; it just won't be that easy with all the up-and-coming teams in the East.
I asked how many teams were over .500. Well, there is one team at .500 and that's the Washington Wizards. John Wall has taken that team on his back so far this year and the Wizards are winners of 7 of their last 10.
The aforementioned Celtics were supposed to be in a rebuilding year, but due to the poor starts of both NY teams, the Celtics sit in first place, and Rajon Rondo has yet to play a game this season.
The Detroit Pistons, who in the offseason signed Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings, started out slowly, but now look to be playing better. An impressive win in Miami Tuesday night displayed the talent this team has. If only they can do it consistently.
Other teams like the Hawks, Cavs, Raptors, Magic, Sixers and even Bobcats have proven to be no push over on a given night.
The Eastern Conference is loaded with young talent that isn't ready to win yet, but are good enough to make mediocre teams earn a W.
Due to the cannibalization in the East, we're likely to see a record of teams making the postseason with sub .500 records. We're also likely to see the Pacers and Heat win 65+plus games as a result of the mediocrity.
By the way, in the 1952-53 season the Washington Bullets made the postseason with a 16-54 record. And in the 1985-86 season, Michael Jordan's Bulls made the postseason with a 30-52 record.
It will be interesting to see how many teams in the East do make the postseason with a sub .500 record, and what the worst record will be to make it.