I'm sitting in a boring hour and a half lecture right now, so I figured I'd take a look at the remaining schedules for us, ORL, NJ, and IND and see how it looks for us.
IND, MIN, TOR, MEM, @MIL, @DET, @PHI, BOS, @WAS, MIA.
Wow, I hadn't realized that Orlando had such an easy schedule. Sure, there are a couple of tough ones at Detroit and Washington and the season finale against Miami. But Memphis, Milwaukee (esp. with all the injuries) Philly, and Boston are four of the worst in the league and Indiana, Minnesota, and Toronto are all eminently winnable games. Given Orlando's spot in the standings and pretty easy upcoming schedule, they've got a great shot at making the playoffs this year.
Predicted Outcome: 6-4
@DET, PHI, ATL, @CHI, WAS, @WAS, @CLE, NY, @IND, @NY, CHI.
Jersey's schedule is pretty tough. Away games at Detroit, Chicago, Washington, and Cleveland, home games against Washington and Chicago will all be tough wins. Then, there are the three crucial games to finish out the season: a pair against us, and one at Indiana. This schedule could definitely hurt the Nets. I'd be surprised if the Magic don't overtake them before it's all said and done.
Predicted Outcome: 4-7
@ORL, SA, DET, @CHA, BOS, @PHI, @MIL, @MIA, NJ, @ATL, WAS.
Indiana's schedule is definitely a mixed bag. Tough ones against the Spurs, Pistons, Heat, and Wizards and easy ones against the Bobcats, Celics, Sixers, Bucks, and Hawks. What could hurt the Pacers significantly is that a lot of those easy games are on the road, and the tough ones are at home. So day-in and day-out they'll either be playing on the road, or a tough team at home. That could wear on them, as they won't be really getting any nights off. Given how they've been playing as of late, they could totally break down over this last stretch
Predicted Outcome: 4-7
@DAL, @NOK, PHI, MIN, @MIL, DET, @CHI, @NJ, @TOR, NJ, @CHA.
Our upcoming schedule is not easy by any stretch of the imagination. It's tough to see us winning more one or two of the games at Dallas, Chicago, Toronto, and NJ, or against Detroit and NJ @MSG. We'll need to buck the trend of this season and really get the job done against the also-rans, and then work our magic against the top teams if we want to have any chance. The home and home against New Jersey looms as a huge opportunity. It's easy to see a scenario in which we are within two of Jersey when that starts. We'll each have the home-and-home, plus two more. They'll have Indiana and Chicago, we'll have Toronto and Charlotte. If we can somehow win both of those games, we've got a great shot to overtake Jersey. But would anyone be surprised to see us able to clinch a playoff spot with a win over Charlotte and then get blown out by 25 (Matt Carroll 27 pts., 7-11 3PFG)? Nah, me neither...
Predicted Outcome: 5-6 (but honestly, who the fuck knows with these guys??)
So, where would that leave us? If all my predictions come to pass, these will be the final standings:
8. New Jersey...37-45
9. New York...36-46
It's gonna be tight. I know it seems like we should give up and that a playoff spot is out of the question, given the kind of ball we've been playing, but it's tremendously in reach. I suspect we'll go into those final four games within reach of a spot. For the first time in a while, the last games of the season are actually going to matter in NY. We might not be a title contender, but at least hoops matters at MSG again.