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The Race for the #1 Seed -- A Look at the Week Ahead -- 2/23

Now that the Cavs, Magic and Celtics are all across the mid-way point of their schedule, the race for the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference is officially on.  Each Sunday I will look at the upcoming opponents for each team so that all of us know what is to come for the week and how it might impact the 'Race'

Th_cle_2_mediumCleveland Cavaliers(43-11) -- 4 Games(1 Home, 3 Road)

The Cavaliers went into the All-Star break a team in need of some rest.  They looked worn down, especially up front.  They had lost 2 of 3 and people were starting to raise questions.  Well, after the break, all seems to be back on track.  The Cavs have won 3 straight coming out of the lay-off and appear to be getting healthy.  With a tough stretch upcoming(6 games in 10 days), health is going to be key.  Here is what the Cavaliers have to look forward to this week --

2/24 - Vs. Memphis    (15-40)
2/26 - @ Houston       (35-21)
2/27 - @ San Antonio (37-17)
3/01 - @ Atlanta           (32-23)

Th_bos_mediumBoston Celtics(45-12) - 4 Games(2 Home, 2 Road)

Kevin Garnett is out for a few weeks, but the Celtics didn't look like they missed him too much in dismantling the Suns in Phoenix last night.  That said, it is going to be tough for the Celtics to maintain long term success without Garnett.  They still hold a games played advantage over the Cavs, having played 3 more games than Cleveland to this point.  That means a bit more rest for Boston.  That rest doesn't come this week, however, unless you consider a game against the Clippers as rest.

2/23 - @ Denver         (37-19)
2/25 - @ LA Clippers (13-43)
2/27 - Vs. Indiana       (24-34)
3/01 - Vs. Detroit         (27-27)

Th_orl2_mediumOrlando Magic(41-14) -- 4 Games(3 Home, 1 Away)

The Magic might be without Jameer Nelson for the rest of the season, but they were able to add Rafer Alston at the deadline.  They also keep winning, despite the injury woes and as long as Dwight Howard is dominating the paint they are not going to go away.  Like the Cavaliers, the Magic play 3 of 4 on the road this week, though the schedule isn't nearly as difficult.

2/24 - @ Chicago        (25-31)
2/25 - @ New York      (23-32)
2/27 - Vs. Detroit          (27-27)
2/28 - @ Philadelphia (27-27)