Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mavericks Anticipate Motivated Hawks In Finale

With the Celtics defeating the Heat Tuesday night, the Hawks must either win their season finale Thursday against the Dallas Mavericks to secure home court advantage in the first round, or Boston must lose in its finale to the Milwaukee Bucks. The Hawks already put an end to the Clippers' chances of winning the Pacific Division. Now the Hawks must face a Dallas squad that still has a chance to overtake the Denver Nuggets for the 6th seed in the West.

ESPNDallas.com's Jeff Caplan wrote yesterday that Dallas coach Rick Carlisle anticipates playing a Hawks team that will be motivated to win.
"There's a very good possibility that they [the Hawks] will be very motivated to play and win that game," Carlisle said. "Either way, we've got to go into it with the idea that it's an important game for us; how we compete, we want to win. The Hawks have had some injury issues. There's a chance they'll get [Al] Horford back for our game and so we're going to see a team out there that in all likelihood will be very motivated." 
So the Hawks will have no opportunity to rest before the start of the playoffs this weekend. On the positive side, should Al Horford decide to play in Thursday's game against the Mavericks, he will get a taste of meaningful basketball before the playoffs begin. Horford told Yahoo.com's Marc J. Spears that he will play against Dallas, although the AJC is reporting that the decision to play Horford has not been made.

4 comments:

Santhizar said...

I'm a bit confused by the idea that the Hawks are still fighting for seeding. Am I missing something about the rules?

Taken from the NBA Playoff Tie-break rules on NBA.com:

"Teams 1 to 4 in each conference are the three division winners and the team with the next best regular-season record, with the seeding of these four teams determined by regular-season record. The playoffs seedings of Teams 5 to 8 are based upon regular-season record. Ties are broken pursuant to the rules set forth below..."

Boston, Miami, and Chicago are the three EC division winners, and Indiana is 3 games ahead of us for the title of "next best team by regular-season record"...that sounds to me like those are the 1-4 regardless of the Hawks having a better record than Boston. Can someone explain?

Unknown said...

Santhizar-

The team with the best record always has homecourt advantage even if they would be the higher seed. So that's why finishing ahead of Boston has been so important to the Hawks.

Santhizar said...

So you're saying Atlanta could be the 5 on paper and still have home court over the 4 (Boston)? It'd be a bit pointless to call the Celts the 4, then...

Buddy said...

Santhizar this is the bizaar system the NBA has come up with. Winning your division ensures you have a top-4 seeding but not home court advantage. For example, if Boston had a much worse record and would be seeded 7th based on won-lost record, but gets the 4th seed by virtue of winning their division, it would be the difference between playing the Hawks and playing the Heat in the first round.

As it happens this year, the Celtics would be the 5th seed on thee basis of won-lost record so winning the division and getting the 4th seed does not change their first round matchup... it would be the Hawks either way. But home court advantage is independent of seeding. Home court advantage in any playoff series goes to the team with the better record.

In the event the teams in the series have identical records, tie breaks are applied. This will be the case if the Hawks lose to Dallas and the Celtics beat Milwaukee. They will have identical records to finish the season and the Celtics will get home court by virtue of winning the season series over the Hawks.