As the NBA regular season nears its end, the playoff picture is becoming clearer, but there is still plenty of jostling for position in the Western Conference. The 5-9 seeds in the West are up for grabs on the final day of the season, making for a thrilling finish to the regular season.
The Utah Jazz have clinched the top seed in the West, while the Phoenix Suns are in second place. The Los Angeles Clippers sit in third place, followed by the Denver Nuggets in fourth. The Dallas Mavericks and Portland Trail Blazers are in fifth and sixth place respectively, but their positioning is not yet set in stone.
The race for the 7-10 seeds is where things get interesting. The Los Angeles Lakers, who are battling injuries to key players, are currently in seventh place, but they could fall to the 8 or 9 seed on the final day of the season. The Golden State Warriors, Memphis Grizzlies, and San Antonio Spurs are all vying for the final two spots in the play-in tournament.
So, what are the tiebreakers and seeding scenarios for the Western Conference? The NBA uses several tiebreakers to determine playoff seeding, including head-to-head record, divisional record, conference record, and point differential. If two teams are tied, the tiebreaker goes to the team with the better head-to-head record. If three or more teams are tied, the tiebreaker goes to the team with the best winning percentage in games among the tied teams.
As for the seeding scenarios, the top six seeds have already been determined, but the Mavericks and Trail Blazers could swap places if Dallas loses and Portland wins on the final day of the season. The Lakers could also fall to the 8 or 9 seed if they lose to the New Orleans Pelicans and the Warriors and Grizzlies both win.
The play-in tournament is another wrinkle in this year’s playoff picture. The 7 and 8 seeds will face off in a single elimination game, with the winner advancing to the playoffs as the 7 seed. The loser will face the winner of the game between the 9 and 10 seeds, with the victor advancing as the 8 seed in the playoffs.
As for the schedule, the final day of the regular season is May 16, with all 30 teams in action. The Lakers will face the Pelicans, while the Warriors will take on the Grizzlies in a game that could decide who gets the 8 seed. The Spurs will face the Suns, the Mavericks will take on the Timberwolves, and the Trail Blazers will square off against the Nuggets.
In conclusion, the NBA playoff picture is heating up in the Western Conference, with several teams jockeying for position in the final days of the regular season. Tiebreakers and seeding scenarios will come into play, and the play-in tournament adds even more drama to the mix. This is shaping up to be an exciting finish to the regular season, and fans should be in for a treat as the playoff picture becomes clearer.