Thunder's playoff chances improve
Bad news for the New Orleans Hornets could bring good news for the Thunder.
Hornets point guard Chris Paul, the best quarterback in the game, will miss at least one month after undergoing knee surgery because of a partially torn meniscus. This adds even further intrigue to the Western Conference playoff race.
The top three playoffs spots seem secure in the LA Lakers, Denver and Dallas. Going into Monday night’s games, only 3.5 games separated the No. 4 and No. 11 seeds.
In order, the other top playoff candidates are: Utah, Portland, San Antonio, Phoenix, New Orleans, the Thunder, Memphis and Houston. What that order will be upon Paul’s return is anybody’s guess, but the Hornets figure to slip the most.
While the Hornets have been cursed with the injury to Paul, the Thunder remains blessed as perhaps the league’s healthiest team. The Thunder’s five starters amazingly have combined to miss just two starts all season. Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Jeff Green and Thabo Sefolosha are each 47 for 47, while Nenad Krstic has started 45 of 47 games.
How would the Thunder would hold up for a month without Durant? That’s the void the Hornets are about to experience.
If the Thunder is able to stay healthy, it could begin to separate itself from other contenders and finish in the top eight spots. Today is Feb. 1. It’ll be interesting to see where the Thunder stands March 1.
But keep in mind, the Thunder’s regular-season finish line is April 14, not March 1. There will still be 24 games remaining one month from today.
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