White Hat Sports Headlines

Friday, April 4, 2008

The Road to the Playoffs

Here it is, the finale of The Road to the Playoffs special. In case you missed them, you can catch part one of the Eastern Conference breakdown here, and for the Western Conference you can see part one here, and part two here. Onward we go.

5. Washington Wizards (final projection 42-40): This team can be a dangerous team if they can put it all together. They definitely have the talent to be a contender in the East, and they have shown that they can compete on any given night without Gilbert Arenas, and with him they are that much better. Their key is going to be how healthy they truly are. Arenas has missed most of the season, Caron Butler missed significant time, and Antawn Jamison is also now hurt. If they are all healthy come playoff time they can really be a factor in the playoffs. If not, they could be a first round exit.

6. Atlanta Hawks (final projection 40-42): This is a team that has really impressed me lately. I said at the trade deadline they needed a point guard, and I think they got the best available one at this point in Mike Bibby. He is only 28, and this is a young team that can definitely challenge in the playoffs. I still think they are a year or two away, but they have a great nucleus of young talent and should at least be a very frustrating opponent for either the Celtics or the Pistons. I honestly think if they can get the 7 seed they have a legit shot of taking down the Pistons, but against the Celts they just are too young. Either way, I think they can take a game or two regardless of the opponent.

7. Toronto Raptors (final projection 42-40): I just don't see them with enough talent to get it done in the playoffs. They have a great player in Chris Bosh, and two good guards in T.J. Ford and Jose Calderon, but after that they are pretty thin. Most of the foreign players on the roster haven't played up to expectations this season, and it has hurt them. I could see them being a tough first round exit, but nothing more.

8. Philadelphia 76ers (final projection 41-41): This is a team that has overachieved a lot this season, and I don't see them winning more than one game come playoff time. They have a decent team talent wise, but they will be facing experienced teams in the first round. They do have some really raw guys that could be really good in a few years, and they have a legit superstar in the making in Andre Iguodala. I could see them making some noise in the playoffs if Louis Williams can play consistently, otherwise it could be 4 and out.

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