Playoff Picture: April 5th
By sarahhecht Posted in: playoffs
Clinching a playoff berth will be cause for celebration tonight in the Rose Garden.
The Trail Blazers magic number
sits at one. This means that with a Houston loss and/or a Portland win the Trail Blazers are officially headed to the playoffs.
There’s one small kink in this scenario. Because the math used for the magic number includes an additional -1 for holding the season series over Houston, and tiebreakers are only assessed when necessary, “technically” Portland will only clinch tonight with one of the following outcomes:
- Portland win AND Memphis win
- Houston loss
You’re probably thinking, what? Huh? That doesn’t make sense. A stand-alone Portland win won’t result in clinching playoff berth because this scenario is still in play:
- Portland loses remaining games
- Houston wins remaining games
This could result in a four-way tie with Portland, Memphis, New Orleans and Houston. Depending on the outcome of the final Memphis vs. New Orleans game and the tiebreakers that result, this could bump Portland from the post-season.
I know this isn’t likely to play out, but you should know the reasoning behind the “Portland win AND Memphis win” requirement.
What are your thoughts on this crazy complication?
Last night's scores and effects:
UCONN was the bell of the ball last night with a 51-43 win over Butler. Due to the NCAA Championship there were no NBA games.
Today’s games with Western Conference potential playoff teams:
San Antonio Spurs (58-19) vs. Atlanta Hawks (44-33)
San Antonio sits atop the Western Conference. A win or a loss will keep them in 1st. With the Lakers making a push for the top seed the Spurs need a win to keep the distance between them at two and a half games.
LA Clippers (30-47) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (44-33)
Trail Blazers fans should be rooting for Memphis tonight. (See above for explanation.) The Grizzles hold the 8th spot in the Western Conference. A win over the Clippers will move them into the 7th seed and could lead to the Trail Blazers clinching a playoff berth. A win coupled with a Portland loss would see Memphis jump into the 6th seed.
Sacramento Kings (22-54) vs. Houston Rockets (41-36)
Down with the Rockets. A Houston loss guarantees a playoff berth for the Trail Blazers. The Rockets sit in 9th in the West trailing Memphis by three full games. A win will keep their playoff dreams alive, but just barely.
Oklahoma City Thunder (50-26) vs. Denver Nuggets (47-29)
You can’t go wrong with a matchup between the 4th and 5th seeds in the West. Oklahoma City will remain in 4th and Denver will stay in 5th regardless of the outcome of this one. The excitement comes from the potential playoff preview.
Golden State Warriors (33-44) vs. Portland Trail Blazers (45-32)
Let’s add another “W” to the eight-game Rose Garden winning streak. Portland needs a win to maintain 6th in the West. A win could see the Trail Blazers clinch a playoff berth. (See scenarios above for more details.) A loss coupled with a Memphis win would see the Portland fall to 7th, New Orleans pushed to 8th and Memphis jump to 6th.
Utah Jazz (36-41) vs. LA Lakers (55-21)
Los Angeles continues their push for 1st in the Western Conference. A win or a loss will keep them in 2nd. They sit two and a half games behind San Antonio. Wins by both teams will keep the gap the same. A Spurs win and a Lakers loss will increase the gap to three and a half, while a Spurs loss and a Lakers win will close the gap to one and a half.
Here are the playoff match-ups as of today:
(Tables courtesy of NBA.com)