The National Basketball Association is heading into it’s final weekend of the regular season. The season has been wild and crazy, and we expect nothing less in the final days of the regular season. With a bunch of huge games on the schedule, let’s take a look at the playoff picture, as the teams play their final four games of the season.
The Toronto Raptors are the top seed in the Eastern Conference, and will wrap that up with another win or a Boston loss. The Raptors will have home court advantage, where they are 32-7 at home. The Boston Celtics are going to be the 2nd seed. Remember, Boston is without their top scorer Kyrie Irving for the rest of the season.
Things get interesting with the third – fifth seed. Keep in mind – the third and fourth seed will get home court advantage. The Cleveland Cavaliers and Philadelphia are just 1/2 game apart heading into the weekend. Cleveland holds the advantage, with Indiana 1.5 games behind the 76ers.
The Miami Heat, Washington Wizards and Milwaukee Bucks are all going to the postseason. But, the seeding is up for grabs. The 8th seed, obviously gets Toronto, and the 7th seed will get Boston. Miami is one game up on the Wizars and the Bucks heading into the final week.
If the postseason started today the Eastern Conference would be: Toronto vs. Milwaukee; Boston vs. Washington; Cleveland vs. Miami and Philadelphia vs. Indiana.
Outside of the top two teams in the Western Conference – it’s a mess. There is a bunch that could happen in the final week of the season out of the Western Conference. The Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors are the top two seeds respectively. The Rockets could finish the regular season with 67 wins if they win out. Golden State is 5-5 in their last 10 games as the defending champions.
After that – we have a mess. Portland is third in the Western Conference with 3 games to go. The Trail Blazers are 2 games ahead of Utah. So, Portland will likely be the third seed, but the loss of Damian Lillard is a major concern for the home team.
Utah, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, New Orleans, Minnesota and Denver are all within 2 games of each other. The Clippers are in trouble; two more games back with 3 games to go.
The Utah Jazz are the fourth seed, one game ahead of the Spurs and the Thunder. The 7th seeded Pelicans are coming off a win over the Grizzlies, and are 1/2 game back. Minnesota, who lost to Denver on Thursday are actually tied with the Nuggets now, with Minnesota holding the slight tiebreaker.
If the postseason started today out of the West: Houston vs. Minnesota, Golden State vs. New Orleans, Portland vs. San Antonio and Utah vs. Oklahoma City.
Listed below are some of the best games of the weekend in the NBA, all with playoff implications for both teams.
Cleveland at Philadelphia
Indiana at Toronto
New Orleans at Phoenix
Minnesota at Los Angeles Lakers
Denver at Los Angeles Clippers
Oklahoma City at Houston
New Orleans at Golden State
Portland at San Antonio
Utah at Los Angeles Lakers
Oklahoma City at Miami
Memphis at Minnesota
Sacramento at San Antonio
Portland at denver
New Orleans at Los Angeles Clippers