NBA playoff races and magic numbers update for April 15, 2015
The Celtics clinch, the Heat are done, and we set up the final night in the NBA regular season.
Here are the playoff scenarios entering play Wednesday, April 15.
Locks: Atlanta Hawks (No. 1 seed, Eastern Conference, home court throughout conference playoffs)
Cleveland Cavaliers (playoff berth, Central division, 2-seed LOCKED, home court in first two rounds)
Chicago Bulls (playoff berth, home court in the first round)
Toronto Raptors (Atlantic Division championship, top-four seed, tiebreaker advantage over non-division winners, home court in the first round)
Washington Wizards (playoff berth, 5-seed LOCKED)
Milwaukee Bucks (playoff berth, 6-seed LOCKED)
Boston Celtics (playoff berth, 7-seed LOCKED)
(1) Atlanta Hawks vs. (8) Indiana Pacers
(2) Cleveland Cavaliers vs. (7) Boston Celtics
(3) Chicago Bulls vs. (6) Milwaukee Bucks
(4) Toronto Raptors vs. (5) Washington Wizards
No. 1 seed: As long as the Hawks are in the conference playoffs, they'll have home-court advantage. Incredible season.
No. 2: The Cavaliers have clinched the Central Division, the 2-seed, and will have home court in the first two rounds. Amazing turnaround and quite the homecoming for LeBron James.
Nos. 3-5: Toronto's loss Tuesday puts the Bulls up a full-game headed into the final night of the season for the third seed. Whoever comes out of it will face Milwaukee, the loser hosts the Wizards for Game 1 this weekend.
The Wizards are in and locked as the fifth seed.
Bulls win, Raptors win: Bulls 3rd, Raptors 4th
Bulls win , Raptors lose: Bulls 3rd, Raptors 4th
Bulls lose, Raptors lose: Bulls 3rd, Raptors 4th
Bulls lose, Raptors win: Raptors 3rd, Bulls 4th
No. 6: Milwaukee locked the sixth seed Sunday. They'll face the Raptors or Bulls. From worst to ... well, sixth in a weak conference. Fear the deer!
Nos. 7-8: The Celtics secured the 7th seed with a win vs. the Raptors Tuesday. They'll head to Cleveland this weekend to see an old friend.
Indiana's win maintains their control of their destiny. They played in a double-overtime game vs. the Wizards that was one of the more painful games I've ever watched, but they came away with a win. Here are the scenarios:
If the Pacers win vs. Memphis and the Nets win, the Pacers are the eighth seed.
If the Pacers win and the Nets lose, the Pacers are the eighth seed.
If the Pacers lose and the Nets lose to Orlando, the Pacers are the eighth seed.
If the Pacers lose and the Nets win vs. Orlando, the Nets are the 8th seed.
The Heat are eliminated from playoff contention with the Indiana win.
Relevant games Wednesday: Magic at Nets, Pacers at Grizzlies
Locks: Warriors (playoff berth, division title, No. 1 overall seed LOCKED, Western Conference)
Grizzlies (playoff berth)
Rockets (playoff berth)
Clippers (playoff berth, no worse than fifth, homecourt in the first-round)
Blazers (playoff berth, Northwest division, top-four seed)
Spurs (playoff berth)
Mavericks (playoff berth, 7th seed LOCKED)
(1) Golden State Warriors vs. (8) New Orleans Pelicans
(2) San Antonio Spurs vs. (7) Dallas Mavericks
(3) Los Angeles Clippers vs. (6) Memphis Grizzlies
(4) Portland Trail Blazers vs. (5) Houston Rockets
No. 1 seed: The Warriors have home court throughout the playoffs, including the Finals should they represent the West.
Nos. 2-6: We got a little bit of clarity on Monday.
The Rockets and Clippers won, while the Grizzlies lost. The Grizzlies are eliminated from division-title contention, and cannot gain the No. 2 seed. It's a pretty stunning collapse from a team that looked certain to finish in a top-three spot only two weeks ago. But their late schedule, injuries and the Spurs have conspired against Memphis.
The Clippers cannot finish sixth, the best they can finish is second. They clinched no-worse-than-third with their win over the Suns Tuesday.
The only way the Grizzlies can move up is if the Rockets lose their last game and Memphis beats Indiana at home. The only way the Spurs don't finish with the two seed is if they lose and the Clippers or Rockets win. But if the Spurs lose and the Clippers, Rockets, and Grizzlies win, San Antonio falls to the sixth seed.
Here. I made a chart. A tasty, tasty bloodbath chart. Click to enlarge.
We know Portland's going to be the four, and they'll start the playoffs on the road.
Grizzlies: vs. Pacers
Rockets: vs. Jazz
Spurs: vs. Suns, at Pelicans
Relevant games Wednesday: Pacers at Grizzlies, Spurs at Pelicans, Jazz at Rockets
No. 7: The Mavericks are locked into the 7th seed and can rest starters.
No. 8: OKC and the Pelicans won, so this thing's going down to the final day. Pelicans win on Wednesday vs. the Spurs, and they're in. If they lose and the Thunder win, the Thunder are in. If the Thunder lose to the Wolves, the Pelicans are in. That's it. We'll find out Wednesday who's going to Golden State and who's going home.
Relevant games Wednesday: Spurs at Pelicans, Thunder at Wolves
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