Hornets Daily Playoff Primer

From now until the start of the playoffs, we will continue to provide daily updates on where the Charlotte Hornets are currently stand in their road to the NBA Playoffs, and looking at what their magic number is to clinch, as well as looking ahead to the key games left on the schedule and providing updates on the Eastern Conference and Southeast Division standings.

Magic number: 1, a Charlotte win or Chicago Bulls loss that equals up to one, would give the Hornets its third playoff appearance since the NBA returned to Charlotte in 2004, it’s second in the last two seasons, and their 10th appearance overall in Charlotte NBA basketball history.  The Hornets got it down to one last night thanks to a 100-91 win over the Philadelphia 76ers at Time Warner Cable Arena to sweep the season series from Philadelphia.  In addition, they did manage to capture the Southeast Division lead temporarily, when the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Atlanta Hawks in overtime 110-108, but with Miami winning on the road in Sacramento, it is now a virtual tie for 1st in the Southeast Division race, while Boston on the other hand, became the first team to beat the Golden State Warriors at home this season, knocking out the Warriors 109-106.

Key games to watch: Detroit Pistons @ Chicago Bulls(8:00 p.m); Miami Heat @ Portland Trail Blazers(10:00 p.m.): Like last night, Hornets fans may need to pay attention to these two games, especially the Bulls visit to Detroit to square off against the Pistons, knowing that a Chicago loss on the road at Detroit tonight could wrap up a playoff berth for Charlotte, with a possible chance to be all alone in the Southeast Division by themselves at the end of the night, depending on the outcome of Miami’s game on the road in Portland, and in yesterday’s playoff primer post, we did say that the race for the Southeast Division title could possibly come down to the last day of the regular season, and the Hornets are somewhat finding themselves in a prime position to potentially win its first-ever division title since joining the NBA in 1988-89.

Remaining games left for Hornets: 7(2 home vs. BKN and ORL; 5 away at CLE(tomorrow), TOR, NYK, WAS, and BOS)

Eastern Conference Standings:

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers: 54-22; Clinched Central Division
  2. Toronto Raptors: 51-24; Clinched Atlantic Division
  3. Miami Heat: 44-31
  5. Atlanta Hawks: 45-32
  6. Boston Celtics: 44-32
  7. Detroit Pistons: 40-36
  8. Indiana Pacers: 39-36

In the Hunt:

  1. Chicago Bulls: 38-37
  2. Washington Wizards: 37-39

Southeast Division Standings:

  1. Miami Heat: 44-31
  2. CHARLOTTE HORNETS: 44-31; Tied for 1st with MIA for division lead; Tied for 3rd in Eastern Conference standings
  3. Atlanta Hawks: 45-32
  4. Washington Wizards: 37-39
  5. Orlando Magic: 32-44; Eliminated from playoff contention