With 20 games left in the season and playoff seedings now becoming a major story line, it’s time to take the occasional look at how the competition is doing.
Last night the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks, both ahead of Boston in the division/East, took losses. The Nets got down big at halftime but rode Deron Williams (27 points, 13 assists) to stay in the game in the second half. They cut it to 5 in the third, but the shots just stopped falling. Spencer Hawes nearly had a triple double (24 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists) in a 106-97 Sixers win.
The Knicks never really had much of a chance in their game against Golden State. Carmelo Anthony played, but he was horribly ineffective, shooting 4-15 and only scoring 14. Chris Copeland was New York’s leading scorer with 15 in a game where they managed to only score 63 points… and only 28 in the second half. Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and David Lee alone combined to score 70 in their 92-63 win.
Here are the standings:
The Celtics are now just 2 games out of the 4th seed. Brooklyn has New Orleans tonight, which should be a win for the Nets. The Hawks, tied for 6th, have Miami.
A Celtics win would move them into a tie for 5th with Chicago, regardless of what the other teams do. Chicago is off tonight. They play in Sacramento tomorrow. The Knicks are off tonight, and in Denver tomorrow. Atlanta faces the Lakers tomorrow in their back-to-back… which will be a tough stretch for them. The Celtics are in an advantageous position schedule-wise, and they need to win these “easy” games to start moving up in the standings.