The 2012 NBA Eastern Conference playoff race isn't quite as exciting as the one taking place out west, but there is still plenty of intrigue and interest at the bottom of the bracket. The Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Indiana Pacers and Atlanta Hawks are all jockeying for premium position, while the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks and Milwaukee Bucks are fighting over the final two spots.
For a look at the updated standings, conference records, Hollinger playoff odds and the next three games for the top-10 teams in the East, take a look beyond the jump.
The Bucks have a huge matchup on Monday at Madison Square Garden, and they get another chance to improve their record against teams above .500 when the play the Hawks later in the week. The Knicks have been playing better basketball under Mike Woodson, but they face a difficult stretch of games over their next three. After battling Milwaukee on Monday, they draw the Orlando Magic and Atlanta Hawks next.
Heading into Sunday's games, Milwaukee is 1.5 games out of the No. 8 slot and 3.5 games away from No. 7. If the Bucks want any chance to catch Boston, they need to get some wins this week, because the Celtics get favorable matchups against the Wizards and Bobcats. Check out the playoff landscape below and then tell us what you think in the comments.
|Eastern Conference Playoff Standings|
|W||L||PCT||GB||CONF||Hollinger Odds||Next Three Games|
|1||x - Chicago Bulls||40||10||0.800||-||29-7||100.0%||vs. DEN, at ATL, vs. DET|
|2||Miami Heat||35||11||0.761||3||27-6||100.0%||at OKC, at IND, vs DAL|
|3||Orlando Magic||31||18||0.633||8 ½||24-12||99.9%||at TOR, at NYK, vs. DAL|
|4||Philadelphia 76ers||27||21||0.563||12||20-11||99.6%||at SAS, vs. CLE, at WAS|
|5||Indiana Pacers||28||19||0.596||10 ½||18-15||99.2%||vs. MIA, at NJN, vs.WAS|
|6||Atlanta Hawks||29||20||0.592||10 ½||23-11||97.7%||vs. UTA, at MIL, vs. CHI|
|7||Boston Celtics||25||22||0.532||13 ½||20-12||80.2%||vs. WAS, vs. CHA, vs. UTA|
|8||New York Knicks||24||25||0.490||15 ½||17-15||66.1%||vs. MIL, vs. ORL, at ATL|
|9||Milwaukee Bucks||22||26||0.458||17||16-17||56.9%||at NYK, vs. ATL, vs. CLE|
|10||Cleveland Cavaliers||17||28||0.378||20 ½||9-22||0.3%||vs. PHX, at PHI, vs. DET|