Sports

NBA playoff picture: Lakers eliminated; Nets control destiny for 7 seed; Jazz, Bulls, Raptors clinch top six

News Post || News Now:

The Los Angeles Lakers have officially been eliminated from postseason contention after losing to the Suns on Tuesday — which puts the Lakers three games back of the No. 10 Spurs, who beat Denver on Tuesday, with three games to play, and San Antonio owns the tiebreaker. 

Also in the West, the Jazz jumped Denver for the No. 5 seed and clinched a playoff berth with their win over Memphis on Tuesday. 

In the East, the Nets moved up to the No. 8 seed with their win over the Rockets coupled with Atlanta’s loss to the Raptors. The win sealed a playoff spot for Toronto. The Bulls also clinched a playoff spot by way of No. 7 Cleveland’s loss to Orlando. 

We’re going to be keeping close tabs on the playoff race with daily updates the rest of the way. Below is where things stand entering play on Wednesday, April 6.

Ads

NOTE: Our SportsLine model, developed by predictive data engineer Stephen Oh, simulates the entire season 10,000 times and is constantly updating to reflect changing circumstances to produce the most unbiased and precise projections imaginable

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Phoenix has clinched the No. 1 overall seed. 

  • Current first-round matchup: TBD (play-in results)  

The Grizzlies have clinched the No. 2 seed. 

The Warriors remain one game up on No. 4 Dallas with three to play. Golden State has clinched a top-four seed. 

  • Projected seed: 3
  • Current first-round matchup: Nuggets
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 4 MavericksDallas has clinched with 3-1 head-to-head advantage

4. Dallas Mavericks 

The Mavericks are one game back of No. 3 Golden State with three to play. No. 6 Denver cannot catch Dallas. No. 5 Utah could pass Dallas if it finishes 3-0 and Dallas finishes 0-3, which is to say one more Dallas win or one more Utah loss will seal a top-four seed for the Mavs. 

  • Projected seed: 4
  • Current first-round matchup: Jazz
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 3 Warriors: Dallas has clinched with 3-1 head-to-head advantage
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 5 Jazz: Dallas currently owns via conference record (season series tied 2-2)
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 6 Nuggets: Dallas has clinched with 2-1 head-to-head advantage

5. Utah Jazz 

The Jazz clinched a top-six seed with their win over Memphis on Tuesday. They are one game up on Denver in the loss column with three to play, and the Jazz have the tiebreaker. Utah is two games back of Dallas (Utah currently controls the tiebreaker as division leader). 

  • Projected seed: 6
  • Current first-round matchup: Mavericks
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 3 Warriors: Warriors have clinched via 3-1 head-to-head advantage
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 4 Mavericks: Dallas currently owns via conference record (season series tied (2-2)
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 6 Nuggets: Jazz have clinched with 4-0 head-to-head advantage
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 7 Timberwolves: Jazz have clinched via 3-1 head-to-head advantage

6. Denver Nuggets 

The Nuggets fell to the Spurs on Tuesday and are now one game back of the No. 5 Jazz in the loss column with two to play, and the Jazz have the tiebreaker. The Nuggets cannot catch No. 4 Dallas. The Nuggets could fall into the play-in if they lose their final two games and Minnesota wins its final two. 

  • Projected seed: 5
  • Current play-in matchup: Warriors
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 3 Warriors: Nuggets have clinched via 3-1 head-to-head advantage
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 4 Mavericks: Dallas has clinched with 2-1 head-to-head advantage
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 6 Jazz: Utah has clinched with 4-0 head-to-head advantage
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 7 Timberwolves: Timberwolves have clinched via 3-1 head-to-head advantage
RELATED:  Man Utd's Mason Greenwood faces more questions from detectives as new statement made

CURRENT PLAY-IN TEAMS

7. Minnesota Timberwolves

The Timberwolves lost to the Wizards on Tuesday but they still have a glimmer of hope alive for a top-six seed. With Denver’s loss to San Antonio, Minnesota trails the Nuggets by two games with two to play and the Wolves control the tiebreaker. 

  • Projected seed: 7
  • Current play-in matchup: Clippers
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 6 Nuggets: Timberwolves have clinched via 2-1 head-to-head advantage

8. Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers are locked into the No. 8 seed. 

  • Projected seed: 8
  • Current play-in matchup: Timberwolves
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 9 Pelicans: New Orleans has clinched with 3-0 head-to-head advantage

9. New Orleans Pelicans

New Orleans leads the No. 10 Spurs by just one game in the loss column with four to play, and the Spurs have the tiebreaker. New Orleans cannot finish any higher than the No. 9 seed. 

  • Projected seed: 9
  • Current play-in matchup: Spurs
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 10 Spurs: San Antonio has clinched via 3-1 head-to-head advantage

10. San Antonio Spurs

The Spurs clinched a play-in berth on Tuesday with their win over the Nuggets and the Lakers loss to Phoenix. San Antonio can still catch the No. 9 Pelicans, whom they trail by one game in the loss column with three left and the tiebreaker in hand. The Spurs can’t finish any higher than the No. 9 seed. 

  • Projected seed: 10
  • Current play-in matchup: Pelicans
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 9 Pelicans: San Antonio has clinched via 3-1 head-to-head advantage

EASTERN CONFERENCE


usatsi

The Heat have a magic number of one to seal the No. 1 seed, with a three-game lead against Boston and Milwaukee and three games to play. The No. 4 Sixers cannot pass Miami, which has sealed that tiebreaker as either a division winner or with a better conference record. 

  • Projected seed: 1
  • Current first-round matchup: TBD (play-in results)
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 2 Boston: Celtics have clinched via 2-1 head-to-head advantage
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 3 Milwaukee: Heat currently own via conference record (season series 2-2, both teams leading division)

The Celtics would need to win their final three games and have Miami lose its final two games for Boston to claim the No. 1 seed. The Celtics are in a three-way tie with the No. 3 Bucks and No. 4 Sixers. 

If it ends in a three-way tie, Milwaukee would currently have the edge with a 4-2 combined record against the Celtics and Sixers. Boston would land at No. 3 with a 4-3 record against the Bucks and Sixers, and the Sixers would end up No. 4 with a 3-4 record against the Bucks and Celtics. BUT, Milwaukee and Boston still have one game left on Thursday, so that will obviously impact these records. So stay tuned. 

  • Projected seed: 2
  • Current first-round matchup: Cavs vs. Hawks play-in winner
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 1 Miami: Celtics have clinched via 2-0 head-to-head advantage with one matchup left
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 2 Milwaukee: Celtics lead season series 2-1 with one game remaining
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 4 Philadelphia: Celtics currently own with better Atlantic division record (head-to-head tied 2-2)
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 5 Toronto: Boston currently owns as Atlantic division leader
RELATED:  Eddie Betts reveals details of 'weird' and 'disrespectful' Adelaide training camp

With three to play, the Bucks are tied with the No. 2 Celtics and No. 4 Sixers; they still have one game vs. Boston left in a game that could seal the tiebreaker for Boston. If it ends in a three-way tie between the Bucks, Celtics and Sixers, Milwaukee would currently have the edge with a 4-2 combined record against the Celtics and Sixers. Boston would land at No. 3 with a 4-3 record against the Bucks and Sixers, and the Sixers would end up No. 4 with a 3-4 record against the Bucks and Celtics. But as stated above, Milwaukee and Boston still have one game left on Thursday, so that will obviously impact these records. So stay tuned. 

  • Projected seed: 3
  • Current first-round matchup: Bulls
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 1 Miami: Miami currently owns via conference record (season series 2-2, both teams leading division)
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 3 Boston: Bucks trail season series 2-1 with one game remaining
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 4 Philadelphia: Bucks have clinched via 2-1 head-to-head advantage
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 5 Toronto: Raptors have clinched via 3-0 head-to-head advantage

The Sixers are tied in the loss column with the No. 2 Celtics and No. 3 Bucks. If it ends up in a three-way tie between the Celtics, Bucks and Sixers, the Sixers would end up as the No. 4 seed no matter who wins the game between Milwaukee and Boston on Thursday because they are only 3-4 against those two teams, and Boston and Milwaukee cannot dip to that low of a win percentage among the three teams involved.

If the Sixers and Celtics finished tied, being that they’re both in the Atlantic Division and the season series is tied 2-2, the next tiebreaker would be division record, which Boston has cinched (9-7 vs. 6-9 for Philly). 

  • Projected seed: 4
  • Current first-round matchup: Raptors
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 1 Miami: Miami currently owns via conference record (season series tied 2-2, both teams leading division)  
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 2 Boston: Boston has clinched via Atlantic division record
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 3 Milwaukee: Bucks have clinched via 2-1 head-to-head advantage
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 5 Toronto: Raptors lead season series 2-1 with one head-to-head remaining

5. Toronto Raptors  

The Raptors clinched a playoff spot with their win over the Hawks on Tuesday. Toronto is one game up on the No. 6 Bulls with three games left for each (Chicago owns tiebreaker). 

  • Projected seed: 5
  • Current play-in matchup: 76ers
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 2 Boston: Celtics currently own as Atlantic division leader
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 3 Milwaukee: Raptors have clinched via 3-0 head-to-head advantage
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 4 Philadelphia: Raptors lead season series 2-1 with one head-to-head remaining
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 6 Chicago: Chicago has clinched tiebreaker via 3-1 head-to-head advantage
RELATED:  Rafael Nadal defends Grand Slam record in epic four-hour French Open win vs Novak Djokovic

6. Chicago Bulls

The Bulls have clinched a playoff spot and cannot rise above the No. 5 seed. They trail the No. 5 Raptors by one game with three remaining for each. SportsLine projections have Chicago finishing as the No. 6 seed. 

  • Projected seed: 6
  • Current first-round matchup: 76ers
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 5 Toronto: Chicago has clinched tiebreaker via 3-1 head-to-head advantage

CURRENT PLAY-IN TEAMS

The Cavaliers lost to Orlando on Tuesday and are just one game up on No. 8 Brooklyn and No. 9 Atlanta with two to play. One of those games is against the Nets, who would pass Cleveland with a head-to-head victory that would also seal the tiebreaker for Brooklyn. Atlanta also owns the tiebreaker over the Cleveland. The Cavs cannot rise into the top six.  

  • Projected seed: 8
  • Current first-round matchup: Nets
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 8 Brooklyn: Nets lead season series 2-1 with one matchup remaining
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 9 Atlanta: Hawks have clinched via 3-1 head-to-head advantage
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 10 Charlotte: Cleveland currently own via conference record (season series tied 2-2)

8. Brooklyn Nets 

The Nets jumped to No. 8 on Tuesday with their win over Houston and Atlanta’s loss to Toronto. The Nets are tied with the Hawks but have sealed the tiebreaker. Each team has three games left. Brooklyn is one back of No. 7 Cleveland, which it plays on Friday, If they win that game, they would seal the tiebreaker over Cleveland, meaning the Nets control their own destiny for the No. 7 seed. 

  • Projected seed: 7
  • Current play-in matchup: Hornets
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 7 Cleveland: Nets lead season series 2-1 with one matchup remaining
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 9 Atlanta: Nets have clinched via 2-1 head-to-head advantage
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 10 Charlotte: Hornets have clinched via 2-1 head-to-head advantage

The Hawks fell to the Raptors on Tuesday and are now tied with the No. 8 Nets, who have clinched the tiebreaker. Each team has three games remaining. The Hawks lead the No. 10 Hornets by one game and currently own the tiebreaker via conference win percentage, but that is far from decided (each team has 25 conference losses at the moment; Charlotte has three Eastern Conference games remaining and the Hawks have two). 

  • Projected seed: 9
  • Current play-in matchup: Cavs
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 8 Brooklyn: Nets have clinched via 2-1 head-to-head advantage
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 10 Charlotte: Atlanta currently owns via conference win percentage

The Hornets are one back of the No. 9 Hawks and No. 8 Nets. Charlotte has clinched the tiebreaker over Brooklyn and could still earn the tiebreaker over Atlanta via conference record (each team has 25 conference losses at the moment; Charlotte has three Eastern Conference games remaining and the Hawks have two). 

  • Projected seed: 10
  • Current play-in matchup: Nets
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 7 Cleveland: Cavs currently own via conference record (season series tied 2-2)
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 8 Brooklyn: Hornets have clinched via 2-1 head-to-head advantage
  • Tiebreaker vs. No. 9 Atlanta: Hornets currently own via conference record (season series tied 2-2)

Latest Sports Breaking News Today Headlines Check Below Links

Today News Post || USA News || NFL News || NHL News || NBA News || MLB News || Sports News Today

Source

Tags
Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button
Close