NBA Standings Update: Eastern Conference Playoff Odds Hold For Knicks, Drop For Celtics

The 2012 NBA Standings show that the 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, Indiana Pacers and Atlanta Hawks are all jockeying for premium position, while the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics are battling for the Atlantic Division title and the Milwaukee Bucks and New York Knicks are fighting over the eighth seed.

Fans of the Milwaukee Bucks are probably going to be upset at math John Hollinger after Friday night. The Bucks defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Celtics knocked off the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Sixers dropped a game to the Washington Wizards and the New York Knicks lost to the Atlanta Hawks. That type of night would suggest the Celtics and Bucks were primed for a bump in the odds category, right?

Not really. Sort of. [Note: It appears they publish different changes overnight to the odds, which I don't fully understand, so these are the latest updates]. I plan on tracking the recent changes in the odds down the stretch in this nightly update. Here is the current landscape:

Seed Team W L PCT GB Hollinger Odds Odds One Day Ago Odds Two Days Ago
1 x - Chicago Bulls 42 11 0.792 - 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
2 Miami Heat 37 13 0.740 3 ½ 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
3 Orlando Magic 32 20 0.615 9 ½ 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
4 Boston Celtics 29 22 0.569 12 91.1% 88.1% 84.2%
5 Indiana Pacers 30 20 0.600 10 ½ 98.3% 98.7% 99.7%
6 Atlanta Hawks 31 22 0.585 11 99.6% 99.5% 99.7%
7 Philadelphia 76ers 28 23 0.549 13 97.0% 99.3% 99.2%
8 New York Knicks 26 26 0.500 15 ½ 63.0% 77.1% 70.6%
Milwaukee Bucks 24 27 0.471 17 51.3% 37.1% 46.5%

The final weeks of the NBA's regular season is the ultimate opportunity to Monta Ellis, Brandon Jennings, Mike Dunleavy, Ersan Ilyasova, Beno Udrih, Drew Gooden and the rest of the Bucks to prove GM John Hammond right by leaping the star-studded Knicks and jumping into the playoff bracket. It may come down to a tie-breaker situation, so I will include the tie-breaker rules here (via NBA.com):

a. Two Teams Tied

b. More Than Two Teams Tied

(1) Better winning percentage in games against each other.

(1) Better winning percentage in all games among the tied teams.

(2) Better winning percentage against teams in own conference.

(2) Better winning percentage against teams in own conference.

(3) Better winning percentage against teams eligible for playoffs in own conference (including teams that finished the regular season tied for a playoff position).

(3) Better winning percentage against teams eligible for playoffs in own conference (including teams that finished the regular season tied for a playoff position).

(4) Better winning percentage against teams eligible for playoffs in opposite conference (including teams that finished the regular season tied for a playoff position).

(4) Better net result of total points scored less total points allowed against all opponents ("point differential").

(5) Better net result of total points scored less total points allowed against all opponents ("point differential").


Here is a look at the relevant tie-breaker information, in case it comes into play:

Tie-Breaker Info
Team vs. Celtics vs. Knicks vs. Bucks Conference Record
Boston Celtics -- 2-1 2-0 22-12
New York Knicks 1-2 -- 1-2 19-16
Milwaukee Bucks 0-2 2-1 -- 18-18

Finally, here are the remaining schedules for the Celtics, Knicks and Bucks:

Remaining Schedules
Milwaukee Bucks New York Knicks Boston Celtics
@ Cleveland WIN @ Atlanta LOSS @ Minnesota WIN
Memphis Cleveland Miami
@ Washington @ Indiana San Antonio
Cleveland @ Orlando @ Chicago
Charlotte Chicago @ Indiana
Portland @ Chicago Philadelphia
Oklahoma City @ Milwaukee @ Miami
New York Washington Atlanta
@ Detroit Miami @ Toronto
Indiana Boston @ New Jersey
@ Washington @ New Jersey @ Charlotte
@ Indiana @ Cleveland @ New York
New Jersey @ Atlanta Orlando
Toronto LA Clippers @ Atlanta
Philadelphia @ Charlotte Miami
@ Boston Milwaukee

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