Wednesday, April 16, 2008

"If it ain't, it'll do til the mess get's here."

If tonight the Jazz beat the Spurs, the Rockets beat the Clippers, and the Suns beat the Trailblazers, Utah, SA, H-town and PHX will all have records of 55-27 and there will be a four way tie in the West. That just hurts my brain to think about, so I've elected Mike Monroe of the San-Antonio Express News to think about it for me instead:

" •Utah would be eliminated from the logjam before the tiebreaker rules are applied and given the No. 3 seed because it won the Northwest Division.

•The tie among the remaining three teams would be broken based on winning percentages in regular-season games among the three.

Phoenix, with a 5-3 record against the Spurs and Rockets, would get the No. 4 seed. The Rockets, 4-4, would get the No. 5 seed. The Spurs, 3-5, would be No. 6.

•Phoenix and Houston would match up in the first round of the playoffs. However, the No. 5 seed Rockets would have home-court advantage over the No. 4 seed Suns. That is because the two tied in their regular season series, 2-2, which is the first tiebreaker in a head-to-head matchup. The Rockets had a better record within the Western Conference, which is the second tiebreaker in a head-to-head matchup when the tied teams aren't in the same division.

•The Spurs and Jazz would match up in the first round, with Utah having home-court advantage based on its 3-1 regular-season record against the Spurs."

If SA, PHX and Houston win, I believe #3 San Antonio will play #6 ranked PHX, and Houston will play Utah, but I'm not positive. Presently, at 54-27, Houston is ranked 5th and PHX is ranked 6th, and being that both are playing western conference opponents I don't believe victories tonight could effect any tiebreaker scenario.

As far as the likelihood of this scenario occurring: The Jazz, although playing well, have not one a regular season game in San Antonio in their last 17 attempts I believe, and although the Spurs haven't been playing excellent ball, I could see a situation in which they buckle down and win one for the hometown crowd. The Rockets clearly have the easiest game, but with Brand back in the lineup and hoping to make a case for himself before his free-agency this off-season, you might see a sleepy/streaky Rockets team get surprised. The Trailblazers, although not a playoff team, are no pushovers and have been playing with a lot of intensity recently as they hope to end this season/start off the next on a good note. So obviously the four way tie is well inside the realm of possibility, although for me I wouldn't call it a likelihood (if you want my frank opinion though, PHX and Houston are gonna win, but so is SA and this is all gonna be mute).

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