A look at the NBA playoff picture
A look at where things stand in the NBA playoff picture, with seven days remaining in the regular season:
Frank Vogel had a good Wednesday.
Indiana's coach gave his starters a day off, watched his backups beat Milwaukee, and climbed back atop the Eastern Conference standings. Next stop: Miami, which lost at Memphis and is now a half-game behind the Pacers. The East rivals play Friday night in Miami with the winner getting the inside track to the No. 1 seed on that side of the bracket.
Toronto and Chicago stayed tied in the race for No. 3 with victories, Charlotte passed Washington for No. 6 by topping the Wizards, Cleveland was eliminated by Atlanta's win over Boston, Brooklyn essentially locked itself into No. 5 with its loss at Orlando, and New York's chances got bleaker when the Hawks won.
Oklahoma City and the Los Angeles Clippers will almost certainly enter the playoffs seeded No. 2 and No. 3 in some order, meaning they'll be on track to meet each other in the Western Conference semifinals. And the way those clubs went at each other Wednesday night served as a reminder that such a series could be outstanding.
The race for No. 4 got tighter, with Portland within 1
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