Playoff watch: Bucks primed to move up this week

The Milwaukee Bucks are looking to make the postseason in back-to-back years for the first time in 14 years. The Bucks are currently in good position to make the postseason, but nothing’s written in stone just yet.

With the season ending in a month (April 11), here’s the latest look at Milwaukee’s playoff chances and the week ahead.

 

IF THE SEASON ENDED TODAY

Milwaukee would be in the playoffs, but as the No. 8 seed having to play top-seeded Toronto, which would have home-court advantage. The Raptors knocked the Bucks out of last year’s postseason in six games.

 

STANDINGS

The first two seeds in the Eastern Conference are all but locked up. The Bucks are one of six teams realistically battling for the third through eight seeds. Detroit is a playoff hopeful, but in the number nine spot are five games behind Milwaukee in the standings. Indiana, the current No. 3 seed, is only 3 1/2 games up on Milwaukee. There’s a lot of potential movement in the final month of play.

Here’s the how the playoff race currently shapes up including game remaining (GR) for each team:

TEAM W L PCT GR
Toronto 49 17 .742 16
Boston 46 21 .687 15
Indiana 39 28 .582 15
Cleveland 38 28 .576 16
Washington 38 29 .567 15
Philadelphia 36 29 .554 17
Miami 36 31 .537 15
Milwaukee 35 31 .530 16
Detroit 30 36 .455 19

 

THIS WEEK

It’s a tough week for the teams who would have home-court advantage as things currently stand. The Pacers play three Eastern playoff teams while the Cavaliers play three games all on the road (however, two are against non-playoff teams). Washington, in the No. 5 slot, will face three likely playoff teams, although two of those are at home.

Indiana: Tuesday – at Philadelphia; Thursday – vs. Toronto; Saturday – at Washington

Cleveland: Tuesday – at Phoenix; Thursday — at Portland; Saturday — at Chicago

Washington: Tuesday — vs. Minnesota; Wednesday — at Boston; Saturday — vs. Indiana

Philadelphia: Tuesday — vs. Indiana; Thursday — at New York; Friday — vs. New Jersey

Miami: Monday — at Portland; Wednesday — at Sacramento; Friday — at L.A. Lakers

Milwaukee: Monday — at Memphis; Wednesday — at Orlando; Saturday — vs. Atlanta

Detroit: Tuesday — at Utah; Thursday — at Denver; Saturday — at Portland

 

THE BUCKS PERSPECTIVE

If Milwaukee is to make a move in the standings, this is the week to do it. The three teams the Bucks face are all vying for positioning in the lottery not the postseason. However, two of those games are on the road, where Milwaukee is just 14-17 this season.

Two of the teams Milwaukee will play have already been eliminated from the playoffs — Memphis, which owns the worst record in the NBA (18-48) and Atlanta (20-47), which has the third-worst record. Orlando has the same record as Atlanta but is alive for the postseason only through potential tiebreakers. By Wednesday, the Magic could be guaranteed in the lottery as well.

This season, the Bucks are 2-0 against both the Hawks and Magic and won their only matchup over the Grizzlies.

 

PLAYOFF ODDS

The website playoffstatus.com currently calculates Milwaukee’s playoff chances for each seed as the following:

3 – 1 percent

4 – 3 percent

5 – 6 percent

6 – 11 percent

7 – 23 percent

8 – 54 percent

Out – 2 percent