NBA Playoff Picture: Scenarios For A Rockets Miracle Run

The Houston Rockets are on fire lately, but it hasn't seemed to matter much. After winning five of their last six, the Rockets have gained...no ground on the teams they are chasing. Over the last two weeks, the Denver Nuggets have essentially clinched their spot in the playoffs by going 5-2, while the teams the Rockets had realistic dreams of catching have continued their stellar play as well.

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Tim Duncan's well-timed injury has enabled menacing games against the Spurs to turn into cakewalks for the Grizzlies, Trail Blazers, and Nuggets. Portland has gone 5-2 in it's last seven games. Tonight? It faces the Spurs again. The Grizzlies looked to be in trouble with a rough stretch of games last week, but reeled off wins against the Spurs, Celtics, and Jazz to run it's record in the last two weeks to 5-2 as well. 

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In fact, one might argue that the best bet for the Rockets to make the playoffs could be overcoming #7 seed New Orleans rather than #8 seed Memphis. The Hornets just lost David West for the season, and they've only managed to go 4-3 over the last two weeks. They are also the only team that the Rockets are chasing that they have a game left with.

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After last night's devastating loss in Miami, the Rockets are down to just a 22.6% chance of making the playoffs in the Hollinger Playoff Odds. They will need to play near flawless ball the rest of the way if they want their chance at the possibly Duncan-less Spurs in the first round. 

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