western conference playoff wish list

well, with three to five games left to play, the western conference playoff rankings are still up for grabs, although a little stratification is setting in.  the lakers are five games ahead of everyone in the loss column, and have five left to play.  the 2, 3 and 4 teams right now (dallas, denver, phoenix) all have 27 losses, with the 5 (utah) with 28.  then there’s a huge drop-off of two games in the loss column for 6-8 (portland, san antonio, ok city).  looking at the schedule and the standings, i have a clear wish list.  i’d love to see portland beat dallas at portland on friday night.  after that dallas has the clips and sacramento, and then a toughie at home against san antonio to close the season.  if portland (or san antonio) can beat dallas, and if phoenix can win out (a tall order: they play @ok city, houston, denver, @utah), then phoenix would take the 2 spot no matter what else happens (since they’d have dealt denver and utah losses).  my dream scenario has dallas in the 3 spot, with denver and utah beating each other senseless in a first round matchup.  assuming dallas and phoenix can win their first rounders (no guarantee of course), that gives phoenix the best possible chance of getting to the conference finals…

oh…you say, i’m showing my lakers bias?  yeah, i guess so…in that scenario, i frankly think the lakers have a tougher test in the conference semi-finals than in the conference finals.  i admit it…i’d like to see l.a. have to face either denver or utah, not both.  that said, denver is a shadow of its former self right now, probably atttributable in part to the loss of george karl, but also due to kmart’s absence and the birdman’s decline.  well, they do say watch what you wish for…

any way it works out, it should be interesting, and fun…but speaking for myself, i want to see as many phoenix games as possible, and that’s not just because i think the lakers can handle those guys, but because i think they are still one of the most enjoyable teams in the league to watch.  they play hoops, not wrestling, and in the playoffs, i prefer watching hoops to watching wrestling.

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