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Question of the Day: Which teams will finish the NBA season with the second and third best records? [Updated]

February 25, 2011 |  2:12 pm

Question_450 Writers from around the Tribune Co. weigh in on the topic. Check back throughout the day for more responses and feel free to leave a comment of your own.

Zach McCann, Orlando Sentinel

The San Antonio Spurs are far and away the NBA’s best team this regular season. But behind them, the league is very, very muddled.

As the Miami Heat keeps searching for their identity, they’re going to keep winning games during the final third of the season and lock up the East’s top seed.

And the Los Angeles Lakers, who oftentimes treat the regular season less seriously than Kobe Bryant treats the All-Star game, will still win enough games to cruise to the second seed in the Western Conference.

That’s why those two teams will finish with the second- and third-best records in the NBA.

The Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls will be close behind, but the Celtics’ old age -– they’ll surely rest their guys in the latter portion of the season -– and the Bulls’ youth will hold them back.

[Updated at 2:45 p.m.:

Shandel Richardson, South Florida Sun Sentinel
With the San Antonio Spurs running away with the league’s best record, their closest competitors will be the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks.

This is not a knock against the Boston Celtics, but they will likely put it on cruise control for the remainder of the season. It’s a wise move with the Celtics veteran trio of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen needing all the rest they can get before the playoffs.

Besides, the Celtics have already proven they can turn it on when needed. The Heat, meanwhile, have something to prove in earning the top seed in the Eastern Conference. Look for them to go full throttle during the last two months of the season.

The same can be said about the Mavericks, who should be able to hold off the Los Angeles Lakers for the No. 2 spot in the Western Conference.]

Photo: Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

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