Playoff Picture: April 3rd
By sarahhecht Posted in: playoffs
Here we go again. Another tough game with movement potential for the Trail Blazers.
Portland takes on the Dallas Mavericks in the Rose Garden tonight. Could this be a potential preview of the first round of the playoffs? I hope so.
At this point in the season every team needs to win every night. It’s no different in this matchup.
The Trail Blazers need to win for two reasons.
- Portland clinches a playoff berth with a win and a Houston loss
- Portland could moved to 8th with a loss and a New Orleans win
Here are tonight’s movement scenarios:
- Portland wins- Portland stays in 6th
- Portland loses, New Orleans loses- Memphis moves to 6th and Portland to 7th after the conference record tie breaker is used
- Portland loses, New Orleans wins- Portland, New Orleans and Memphis are tied with identical records and winning percentages
- tiebreaker applied is the “better winning percentage in all games among the tied
teams” (via the NBA Operations Manual 2010-2011)
- Portland is (2-4) vs NOLA and Memphis
- NOLA is (5-3) vs Memphis and Portland
- Memphis is (4-3) vs Portland and NOLA
-final standings with this outcome: New Orleans in 6th, Memphis in 7th, Portland in 8th
It’s another night in this extremely tight playoff race when we absolutely need a win.
What do we need to do to secure a victory?
Last night's scores and effects:
The Minnesota Timberwolves lost to the Memphis Grizzlies 89-106
in Memphis. The Grizzlies pushed to a four-game winning streak and 7th place in the Western Conference with their win. The New Orleans Hornets were bumped down to the 8th seed.
The Dallas Mavericks were stunned by the Golden State Warriors 92-99
at Golden State. The Mavs remain in 3rd place even with the loss. They now sit two and a half games behind the LA Lakers in 2nd place in the West.
The Oklahoma City Thunder were toppled by LA Clippers 92-98
in Los Angeles. The second stunning loss of the night didn't hurt the Thunder in the standings. Oklahoma City maintained their 4th place position in the Western Conference. They lead Denver in 5th by three and a half games.
Today’s games with Western Conference potential playoff teams:
Phoenix Suns (37-38) vs. San Antonio Spurs (57-19) on ABC
The Spurs desperately need to win. They’re on a 6-game losing streak and need to start to gain some momentum heading into the playoffs. The Spurs will clinch their division with a win coupled with a Dallas loss. They sit in 1st in the West with the LA Lakers trailing by only a game and a half. For Phoenix, a loss coupled with a New Orleans win eliminates them from playoff contention.
Denver Nuggets (46-29) vs. LA Lakers (55-20) on ABC
Both teams are on winning streaks. The Lakers have won nine in a row and the Nuggets are at five in a row. The Lakers currently sit at 2nd in the West with the Nuggets behind them in 5th. Denver needs this win to clinch a playoff spot. The Nuggets could also clinch with a Houston loss.
Atlanta Hawks (44-32) vs. Houston Rockets (40-36)
A Rockets loss could help two Western Conference teams clinch playoff berths. Denver and Portland are pulling for an Atlanta victory. The Rockets sit in 9th in the West and are trailing 8th place New Orleans by three full games. They need a win to keep their playoff hopes realistic.
Indiana Pacers (35-42) vs. New Orleans Hornets (43-33)
The Hornets, who were bumped into 8th place in the West last night, could move in the standings again. A win would move them into 7th place, while a win coupled with a Portland loss would move them into 6th due to a three-way tie. (See above for the three-way tie scenario.)
A Hornets win paired with a Phoenix loss would eliminate the Suns from the playoff race.
Dallas Mavericks (53-23) vs. Portland Trail Blazers (44-32)
The Trail Blazers, currently in 6th place in the West, could clinch a playoff spot with a win and a Houston loss. Portland needs a win tonight to stay ahead of Memphis and New Orleans who are both within one game. A Portland loss paired with a New Orleans win would see the Trail Blazers fall to 8th place. (See scenarios above.)
Here are the playoff match-ups as of today:
(Tables courtesy of NBA.com)