As requested by CRZ in his YouTube videos (that I was way behind in watching). Eastern Conference
New York Knicks
New Jersey Nets
Oklahoma City Thunder
Los Angeles Clippers
San Antonio Spurs
Los Angeles Lakers
Golden State Warriors
New Orleans Hornets
I have not been following the Bucks at all, because I've decided that there is no chance that they will compete for the championship (at least with Herb Kohl as the owner), but it's an embarrassment to see a team 3 games below .500 as the last playoff team.
Sub .500 playoff teams isn't new to the NBA in recent years, but yeah, it'll look especially bad if the East has the final two seeds at .500 or worse while the West currently has TWELVE teams with at least an even record. Who would you rather see in the tournament --- the stiff Bucks, or an exciting team like the T-Wolves, Rockets or Grizzlies?
It's almost impossible to predict the playoffs at this juncture, though, given this ridiculous schedule. If a team loses its star to injury for even a week, that could spell four losses. You have to think several of these teams (especially the older ones) will simply start to wear down.
"It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone." --- Bart Giamatti, on baseball
It would be an absolute travesty if the Grizzlies don't make the playoffs this year. Their record doesn't back this up but they've looked every bit as good as the top 2 or 3 teams in the West.
Hawks only being a 5-seed right now is annoying. They haven't done themselves any favor with their current losing streak, but if they had home court advantage I'd take them in a 7-game series over anybody in the league. ANYBODY.
John Hollinger on ESPN.com has an interesting take on this, adjusting for the differences in the game from the 60s to today: Of all the differences between Bryant's game and Chamberlain's, this one is perhaps the biggest.