NBA Standings 2013: Playoff Picture Changes with Less than a Week of Basketball Remaining

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Apr 14, 2013 12:04 PM EDT
NBA Standings 2013 Playoff Pictures Hawks Pacers
Indiana Pacers forward Paul George (R) moves with the ball while being defended by Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith during the second half of their NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Indiana March 25, 2013. REUTERS/Brent Smith"

The 2013 NBA Standings have flipped in the Eastern Conference as the Chicago Bulls have surrendered the fifth seed to the Atlanta Hawks following a loss over the weekend. That completely changes the playoff picture in that division. As for the West, still are things tight in the race for first place while the race for sixth place is also still up in the air. Here are the standings and most intriguing races entering Sunday morning. 

The Chicago Bulls lost to none other than the Toronto Raptors on Friday night, surrendering their hold on fifth place. This is good news for the Brooklyn Nets who are 1-3 against the Bulls in the regular season and in fourth place, meaning they would have to face Chicago in the first round had they remained in fifth place. However, the Nets are still not sure they will face the Hawks in the playoffs. Atlanta got past the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday taking fifth place and setting up a possible first round matchup with the Nets. 

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The Hawks and Bulls are half a game away from each other. Both teams share pretty similar records except the Bulls have three games remaining in their schedule, which will either tie them with the Hawks or push them half a game further. The Bulls see the Miami Heat, Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards in their last three games. For the Hawks, they have to win the final to two games and hope the Bulls lose one of their games if they want to advance as the fifth seed. The Bulls own the season series 2-1. 

Over in the West, if the Oklahoma City Thunder can't win their remaining games, then the San Antonio Spurs have a chance to take first place. The Thunder have two games remaining on their schedule, while the Spurs have three games to go as OKC holds a .5 game lead over San Antonio. They split the season series 2-2, but OKC owns the tie breaker since they had a better record against the conference. 

The major question now with Kobe Bryant out is if the Los Angeles Lakers have enough in their tank to win without him. They hold a one-game lead over the Utah Jazz for the final playoff spot in the conference. The Lakers see the Spurs and the Houston Rockets, while the Jazz have the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Memphis Grizzlies.

These are the current NBA Standings before Sunday's action takes off with just four days of basketball regular season remaining. 

Crediit: Nba.com
Crediit: Nba.com

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