Cohen: I Wouldn't Be Shocked If...
Cohen's Analysis: At this stage, it seems safe to conclude that Miami, New York, Brooklyn, Boston, Chicago and Atlanta will qualify for the playoffs. That suggests there are two spots open.
There will be four teams vying for playoff opportunity, Indiana, Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Orlando.
If Danny Granger doesn’t return soon for the Pacers, they may be in some trouble as their schedule becomes more grueling. If the Bucks begin to slip and feel Monta Ellis won’t stay when he can become a free agent in the summer, perhaps they would consider trading him at the deadline. And if Andrew Bynum remains out, you have to believe the Sixers will rapidly decline.
The Magic have to hope two of those aforementioned three opponents deteriorate if they want to be playing in late April/early May.
It wouldn’t shock me if Orlando and Philadelphia are tied going into the final game of the regular season and the outcome of their respective games will determine who marches forward and who goes home.