Heat is on Cavs' playoff seeding
Thanks, Denver, we owe you one.
One right in the nose.
A day after the Nuggets demolished the Cavs on the Q Arena floor on national television, holding LeBron James scoreless in the final period in the process, they choked away a victory over the Detroit Pistons.
Choked as in both-hands-around-the-neck-with-a-chicken-bone-stuck-in-the-throat choked. Up by three with 1.5 seconds to go AND POSSESSION, the Nuggets treated the inbounds pass like a greased pig. Rasheed Wallace scooped it up, hit a 60-footer to tie the game, then led his Pistons to a 113-109 overtime victory.
So that gives the Pistons one more up on the Cavs, a full three-game lead for the Eastern Conference's best record with just 12 games to go. Let's say the Cavs win 10 of 12 to finish the season, which we know won't happen anyway. The Pistons could still win the division just by winning at the same pace they're winning at right now.
Oh, well, at least LeBron bought himself a bicycle company.
Of course, the more pressing issue now is that the Cavs are just a game up on the Bulls for third in the East after Chicago's victory over Portland Monday. Saturday's game in Chicago will go a long way toward deciding who gets to play a losing team in the first round of the playoffs and who gets to play perhaps, say, the defending champion Miami Heat. Whoever finishes second will get someone from the Orlando Magic-New Jersey Nets-New York Knicks mix, sub-.500 teams all.
The Cavs currently own that second seed and if the season ended right now would be playing the 33-38 Magic in the first round. But the Bulls are seeded fifth at the moment, which would pit them against the Toronto Raptors. Toronto and the Heat are the other two division leaders and are pretty much destined to finish third and fourth in the playoff seedings. Right now the teams are tied at 38-32; if Toronto wins the tiebreaker that will push the Heat to fourth.
And there the Cavs might be sitting and waiting as the fifth seed. Just what they want in the first round, a matchup with a revitalized Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O'Neal.
Expect nothing less. Not with a five-game road trip coming up. Not with a visit from those Heat to The Q next week. Not with a Cleveland team. Nope, this is looking more and more like a seed planted in the Dust Bowl.
And don't forget, the Nuggets lost to the Bulls on a last-second shot last week as well. Thanks, Denver, we REALLY owe you one!