At the start of the season most users of PD anticipated we would be a sub .500 team with others predicting we'd be right around .500 I'm sure you all would agree that this team definitely has the ability to be much better than our current record says. We have ran with the best in the league and beat the best on a coupel occasions. As it stands though half way through the season we are at 15-26. With how things have gone thus far, I for one would be very pleased if this team could finish .500 That would require us to go 26-15 the rest of the way. Let's take an in depth look at the remaining games on the schedule.
I'll just start by naming all the teams that we will no longer play in the second half of the season:
Golden State, Lakers, New Jersey, New Orleans, and Phoenix. Of those teams, if I look at the standings right now it appears Golden State is the only one that is not formidable. Not having to play the Lakers, Suns, or Hornets again is huge.
Now for the teams we will only play once more. I will call these teams Group A: Houston, Memphis, Boston, Denver, Sacramento, Clippers, Utah, Dallas, Oklahoma City, and Detroit. There are some very tough teams in that lineup. Off the surface it could be expected that we go 4-6 against those teams. I believe that we can go 6-4 with wins over Memphis, Sac-town, the Clippers, OKC, Detroit, and a win over either Houston or Dallas. Thus 6-4
Next is the teams we play twice for the remainder of the season. I will call these teams Group B: San Antonio, Orlando, Miami, New York, Minnesota, Portland, Toronto, Philadelphia, Washington, Cleveland, and Atlanta. This obviously makes up the most daunting portion of our remaining schedule. There are some very tough teams in that group. Assuming we drop both games to the Spurs, Magic, and Cavs, that leaves 16 games up for grabs. I believe we will split games with the Blazers, Hawks, Heat, and Sixers. I don't see any reason why we can't win both games against the rest of the teams. That would leave us with a 12-10 record against those teams.
Lastly is the teams we play three times. They will be called Group C. We only play Chicago, Charlotte, and Milwaukee three times for the remainder of the season. None of those teams are powerhouses, granted the season is only half over at this point and any of them could presumably catch fire. I may be thinking a little optimistic here but I don't see why we can't go 8-1 for those nine games with our only loss coming to the Bucks. All three of those teams are currently just a couple games ahead of us in the standings. If we can play the way we have against the elite teams in the league then we should have no problem disposing of these three teams.
If all goes as I have predicted, our second half record would be 26-15; Group A: 6-4, Group B: 12-10, Group C: 8-1. I plan to keep an updated post on how we are doing against each of these teams as compared to my prediction. There could be instances where we beat some teams I did not expect and lose to some teams I planned on beating. But I believe that breaking the schedule down as I have above makes it appear a little less daunting to finish .500
I invite you guys to please share your thoughts and opinions on how you believe we will fair against each group I have listed above (hence labeling them Group A, B and C to make it easier when discussing each group in your post). I'm sure each of you have your own spin on how you think we will finish and I just figured taking a look at the schedule as I have broken it down above makes for a more realistic prediciton.