Q: A 7th or 8th place finish gives the Nets the power to choose whether they prefer to face the first or second seed in the first round. – Leonard, Cornelius, NC
A: In theory, yes. But it is a very dangerous game to play in the play-in round. If the Nets close at No. 7 or No. 8, a win in their opening play-in game (No. 7 versus No. 7 seed for No. 8) could cost them the No. 2 Bucks in the first round. But, say, as you suggest, preference number 1 would be to withstand the heats. In that case, the Nets, throwing the number 7–8 game, would have a win or home game for Number 8 (versus the winner of Numbers 9–10). I highly doubt that Brooklyn would want to put themselves in such a precarious position because all their team has gone through this season. At this stage, the Nets only need to secure a playoff spot. The Tanking Play-in Opener is playing with fire. Anyway, we’ll have to wait until Sunday’s results to see how the seeding pans out for the East play-in round.
Q. OMG, Victor Oladipo didn’t get any time to play. – Jeria.
A: I’m not sure this should come as a surprise, as the Heat opted to play Friday night’s game against the Hawks with their primary rotation. This is not where Victor Oladipo stands at the moment. It will be interesting to see if he is ready to play with the Heat’s B-team in Orlando on Sunday. A moment like this might be considered humbling, but it could also be the last chance to make a pre-playoff impression.
Q: I can’t help but be amazed by the difference from top to bottom between the outfits of the Lakers and the Heat. Being a heat fan for years this makes me quite happy. -Rolando, Borrego Springs, Calif.
A: Whether or not you buy into the notion of culture (capital C), some organizations simply have a solid foundation that creates sustainability. Or you could be the Lakers or the Knicks.