By Keith Antigiovanni
After 6 weeks the playoff standings are becoming much more clear particulary in the Eastern Conference where only 8 teams are above .500 while the 11 teams in the Western Conference are competing for the 8 postseason tickets in April.
In the Southwest division the San Antonio Spurs (18-9) have won 6 straight and are 2.5 games in the lead, The defending NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks (15-11) are again trailing their arch-rivals. The Houston Rockets (14-11) and Memphis Grizzlies (13-13) are also in the playoff picture.
The Pacific division is a surprise with the Los Angeles Clippers (15-8) 2 games in front of the Los Angeles Lakers (14-11). The Clippers have the 3rd best record in the West behind the Thunder and Spurs.
The Oklahoma City Thunder (20-5) lead the Northwest division and the West meanwhile the rest of the division (Denver, Portland, Utah and Minnesota) are still in the race.
The Southeast is still competitive with defending East champion Miami (19-7) on top followed by Atlanta (17-9) and Orlando (16-10).
The Bulls (22-6) are 3.5 games up on the Indiana Pacers (17-8) and have the best record in the East and entire NBA.
The Philadelphia 76ers (18-8) lead the Atlantic, four games over the Boston Celtics (14-10).