Playoff Picture: March 30th
By sarahhecht Posted in: playoffs
This game is big. Actually, it’s huge.
The result of tonight’s game in New Orleans could see a big change in playoff implications for the Trail Blazers.
With only one full game separating the Trail Blazers and the Hornets, Portland has a lot to lose. In our current 6th seed we’re matched up to play the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs. If we lose tonight we’ll fall to 7th and matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I’d rather face the Mavs in the first round. What do you think? (Keep in mind these standings are not final, they’re matchups as of today/tonight.)
Here’s the nitty-gritty on tonight’s game in New Orleans:
- Portland win: remain in 6th place, take a two game lead over New Orleans
- Portland loss: fall to 7th place, we tie with New Orleans, they hold the tiebreaker 3-1
Last night's scores and effects:
The Houston Rockets crushed the New Jersey Nets 112-87
in New Jersey. The Rockets are executing exactly like they need to. Their win moved them a half a game closer to the playoffs. Memphis is only two full games ahead of Houston now and I’m sure they’re feeling the pressure.
The Golden State Warriors narrowly succumbed to the Oklahoma City Thunder 114-115
in Oklahoma City. The Thunder have already clinched a playoff berth and they currently sit in 4th in the Western Conference. Golden State has been eliminated from playoff contention.
The Phoenix Suns lost to the Sacramento Kings 113-116
in Sacramento. The gap to the playoffs is getting larger for the Suns. They’re sitting in 10th at four and a half games out of the playoffs. The Kings have been eliminated from the playoff race.
Tonight’s games with Western Conference potential playoff teams:
Houston Rockets (39-35) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (38-36)
It’s another important game for the Rockets who are currently sitting in 9th place in the Western Conference. A win will push them further toward their goal of making the playoffs. If Memphis loses and Houston wins the gap will only be one full game.
Golden State Warriors (32-43) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (41-33)
With the Rockets quickly closing on them, the Grizzles need a win tonight to keep some distance. They’re currently holding 8th place in the West and only have a two game lead over Houston. A loss coupled with a win by the Rockets would close the gap to only one full game.
Portland Trail Blazers (43-31) vs. New Orleans Hornets (42-32)
The Trail Blazers currently hold the 6th seed and are one full game ahead of the Hornets in 7th. A win for Portland will result in the gap being widened to two full games, while a loss will see the Trail Blazers fall into 7th place and the Hornets jump to 6th.
Sacramento Kings (21-52) vs. Denver Nuggets (44-29)
The Nuggets are currently sitting in 5th place in the Western Conference with a one and a half game lead over the Trail Blazers. Denver will stay in 5th with a win or a loss, but a loss coupled with a Portland win would close the gap between them to only half a game.
Oklahoma City Thunder (49-24) vs. Phoenix Suns (36-37)
If the Suns don’t get a win tonight they could fall to five full games behind Memphis and the final playoff spot. Oklahoma City is on a four game winning streak so Phoenix has their work cut out for them. Win or lose the Thunder stay in 4th in the Western Conference.
Dallas Mavericks (52-21) vs. LA Clippers (29-45)
Win or lose Dallas will stay in 3rd in the Western Conference. They’ve already clinched a playoff berth but their positioning is still up in the air. They sit one full game behind the LA Lakers and a win tonight would close the gap to only half a game.
Here are the playoff match-ups as of today:
(Tables courtesy of NBA.com)