clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

End of the Regular Season Primer

A very, very interesting night in the NBA with a lot on the line for ten teams.


Out of the eight potential playoff matchups only two have been decided. We know we're going to get the Heat who are going to play Milwaukee. We know also that the Knicks are going to be playing the Celtics. There is only one playoff spot left to grab, it will go to either the Los Angeles Lakers or the Utah Jazz.

If the Lakers win, they are in. If they lose to the Rockets tonight then they better hope that the Jazz lose to the Grizzlies or they are out.

It actually might be more productive to do a game by game scenario breakdown over writing a convoluted paragraph after convoluted paragraph.

Boston Celtics at Toronto Raptors
Don't expect anything too drastic to come out of this. Boston has already secured the 7th seed in the East and will probably be resting Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. Toronto has been rather hot lately and I would expect them to pull this one out. Unless Jeff Green scores 55 and has 19 rebounds.
Up for grabs: Nothing.

Detroit Pistons at Brooklyn Nets
I fully expect that Nets to rest just about everyone tonight in preparation for their playoff battle with... Well we won't know until after the Bulls and Hawks complete their respective games tonight.
Up for grabs: Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Atlanta Hawks at New York Knicks
The Hawks are currently sitting in the sixth seed in the East. If they want to play the Nets (a better matchup) and if they lose they automatically stay in the sixth seed and play the Indiana Pacers. Knicks have nothing on the line in this game.
Up for grabs: Fifth or sixth seed in the East.

Cleveland Cavaliers at Charlotte Bobcats
The only real reason to watch this game is to see Kyrie Irving because it's going to be almost six months before you ever see him again.

Up for grabs: Ping-pong balls

Orlando Magic at Miami Heat
To not be outdone by the Nets the Heat are going to be resting quite a few players tonight. Expect Rashard Lewis to play quite a few minutes tonight.
Up for grabs: Rashard's potential high scoring game of the decade.

Philadelphia 76ers at Indiana Pacers
Indiana is locked into the three seed and Philadelphia is wondering if they can just forfeit.
Up for grabs: The chance for some team to have Andrew Bynum rides their bench in a suite next year.

Washington Wizards at Chicago Bulls
If Chicago wins this game (which they should, but that doesn't mean anything) and they are the fifth seed and play the Nets on Saturday afternoon. Washington can then move on to vacation plans and getting healthy for next year and yet another lottery pick in June.
Up for grabs: A Bulls-Heat second round playoff chance.

Utah Jazz at Memphis Grizzlies - On ESPN at 5PM
This is the first game of the day that is playoff life and death. Utah cannot afford to lose this game. The Jazz lose and their season is over and no more Gordon Hayward for us. They win and they become the biggest Rockets fan in the world. Grizzlies need a win to have a shot at home court in the first round. They are pretty much locked into the fifth seed, but having a better record than the Clippers would give them home court in the first round.
Up for grabs: Utah - potential 8th seed. Memphis - Home court in first round.

New Orleans Hornets at Dallas Mavericks
The Mavs finally got to shave and New Orleans can amnesty Austin Rivers (worst player statistically in NBA history).
Up for grabs: Greivis Vasquez locking in the Most Improved Player of the Year award.

Minnesota Timberwolves at San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio will not be resting anyone tonight. Instead they are going to be playing everyone including Manu Ginobili and the freshly acquired Tracy McGrady. They have some chemistry issues to address by integrating Ginobli and McGrady into the line up.
Up for grabs: San Antonio - Chemistry and Minnesota - David Kahn's job.

Milwaukee Bucks at Oklahoma City Thunder
Durant is sitting out this one tonight. Thunder already have the one seed in the West secured and Milwaukee starts a date with the Heat this weekend.
Up for grabs: Beer and popcorn in OKC.

Phoenix Suns at Denver Nuggets
Denver needs a win to secure the third seed in the west and a potential date with the Rockets or Warriors in an ABA style first round playoff match-up. If the Nuggets lose and Clippers win later in the night they would end up playing the Grizzlies.
Up for grabs: Third or fourth seed in the West.

Los Angeles Clippers at Sacramento Kings
In what could be the final game in Sacramento the Clippers are in need of a win to potentially slide up into the third seed in the West with a Denver loss. Sacramento is playing in what assuredly is going to be it's final game in it's current incarnation.
Up for grabs: Third, fourth and fifth seed in the west. Confused yet? Just wait. It gets better.

Golden State Warriors at Portland Trailblazers
Portland is playing for next year, while the Warriors are playing for the sixth seed. Warriors need a win to put themselves into the sixth seed and a date with the Nuggets or Clippers in the first round. Also a good final chance to check out Damian Lillard if you haven't already.

Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Lakers - On ESPN at 7:30PM
With Houston losing to Phoenix last night this game got a lot more interesting. If the Lakers win they are in and jump the Rockets into the seventh seed and Utah is formally eliminated from the post season. If the Rockets win they secure at least the 7th seed. If the Warriors lose (games going on simultaneously) the Rockets could slide up into the 6th seed.

Up for grabs: The 6th, 7th or 8th seeds in the West.

You got it? Questions?

Projected matchups


Oklahoma City (1)
Houston (8)


Los Angeles Clippers (4)
Memphis (5)

(3) Indiana
(6) Atlanta

Denver (3)
Golden State (6)

(2) New York
(7) Boston

San Antonio (2)
Los Angeles Lakers (7)