Okay, so how is everyone on the Melo'drama final turn?
I, for one, am ecstatic! First of all, I really like the idea of having the Nuggets calmly slip out of the playoff race. I don't care how many "valuable pieces" they got in return for Melo. Before they work out the chemistry issues they will be long out of the playoff picture. I know, maybe I am getting ahead of myself, but the West is extremely tough and even this year and all the teams fighting for playoff spots (including the Suns, who by the way play one more game against Nuggets and zero more games against the Knicks) just got a whiff of fresh blood.
IMO - Denver is officialy out of the playoff picture - Melo is out and so is Chancey - without them, this team needs to figure it out, and that takes time, and time is not on their side 2 minths before the start of the playoffs.
Secondly, New York is going to start winning A LOT OF GAMES. And whaddaya know - teir schedule includes games vs. NOH, Utah, and twice vs. Memphis. As I see it - there is an opening for the Suns and the promise land might be there at 42-43 wins.
NOH will lose more than they win until Okafor comes back, Utah will not rebound from losing The Coach fast enough, and Memphis schedule got a little tougher just now. They are also playing NOH a lot which helps our cause.
As for now, I imagine the Suns as pretty much an 8th spot favorite, maybe if we play really well, we can climb to 7th. My bet - denver and utah will not make the playoffs. NOH will drop to the 8th spot and we will fight Memphis (and lose) for number 6.
However - what has to happen - we have to start winning all the games against sub-0.500 team - and get a few big wins against contenders and take advantage of the teams coming off a back-to-back - just like the game against the post-Lakers Hawks on wednesday.
My call - we go 16-12 or 17-11 the rest of the way which gives us 43-44 wins. IMO that will be enough to make the playoffs (if only to get hammered in the first round by Mavs/Spurs/Lakers...)