FanPost

Sched Ahead - Weekend Edition *Update 2*

JSSCOT PROJECTIONS:

1	Los Angeles	55-21	59.6
2	Utah		50-27	53.4 (up from 3rd)
3	Dallas		50-27	53.9 (down from 2nd)
4	Denver		50-27	53.2
5	Phoenix		50-27	52.5
6	Oklahoma City	47-28	51.1
7	Portland	47-30	50.0
8	San Antonio	46-29	49.7

Dallas Utah in a dead heat right now, with Denver/Phoenix just a game back in the projections. 2 through 5 could all still be up for grabs on April 14, which should put to rest any ideas of Portland trying to manipulate their seeding to get the match-up they want. 6 through 8 is similarly tightly packed, with OKC having the slight edge both projection-wise and in the loss column. Last night's loss was a clarifying one for Portland's chances. Any realistic ideas of making the 4 or 5 seed essentially died along with our offense and defense in the second half in Denver. To pass either Denver or Phoenix would require said each of those teams to lose 4 more times than we do the rest of the way. Pretty remote at this point.

REMAINING GAMES - WEST

 

DAL

UTA

PHO

DEN

OKC

SAS

POR

4-Apr

MIN

@LAL

5-Apr

6-Apr

OKC

@UTA

@SAC

7-Apr

MEM

@HOU

SAS

@OKC

DEN

@PHO

@LAC

8-Apr

LAL

9-Apr

@POR

@NOH

@OKC

PHO

MEM

DAL

10-Apr

@SAC

SAS

@DEN

11-Apr

HOU

@GSW

@LAL

12-Apr

@LAC

MEM

@POR

MIN

OKC

13-Apr

@GSW

DEN

@PHO

14-Apr

SAS

PHO

@UTA

MEM

@DAL

GSW

Phoenix-Denver on the 13th could be for homecourt in a first round matchup between those two teams.
OKC could drop 2 or 3 games before their trip here on the 12th, though that game could still easily decide which of the two teams gets the higher seed. The Spurs made it through some of their tougher games better off than expected, putting them right in the thick of things for the 6 spot - we'll know a lot more after their next two games.

TIE-BREAKERS

I'll wait a few more days to get into 3 and 4 way tiebreakers, but for now let's look at the 2-way ones:

DAL/UTA - If both, neither, or just Utah win their division, then Utah wins (season series 2-1). If only Dallas wins its division, then the Mavericks win.
DAL/PHO - Dallas wins (season series 2-1)
DAL/DEN - Dallas wins (season series 2-1)
UTA/PHO - If Utah wins NW OR wins final meeting, Utah wins; If Utah doesn't win NW AND loses final meeting, Phoenix will win by virtue of a better in-conference record
UTA/DEN - Denver wins (season series 3-1)
PHO/DEN - If Denver wins NW OR wins final meeting, Denver wins (W/L Pct. against Western playoff teams). If Phoenix wins final meeting AND Denver does NOT win NW, Phoenix wins.
PHO/OKC - Winner of final meeting will own tiebreakers (2-1 season series)
DEN/OKC - OKC must win every remaining divisional game to win tiebreaker (MIN, @UTA, DEN, @POR) A loss in any one of those games gives Denver the tiebreaker.
OKC/POR - Winner of final meeting will own tiebreaker (Portland by virture of 3-1 season series, OKC by virture of division record)
OKC/SAS - San Antonio wins (season series 3-1)
POR/SAS - Portland wins (season series 3-0)

One three-way tiebreaker worth noting is Portland/OKC/San Antonio. We have already won that tiebreaker regardless of what happens in our final game against the Thunder. San Antonio would finish second.

WEEKEND GAMES:

Friday, April 2
Utah at Lakers - Lakers win going away.  Dallas gets and Phoenix now lead Utah and Denver in the loss column
Phoenix at Detroit - Suns win handily, increasing their chances at the 3 or even 2 seed.
Orlando at San Antonio - Spurs win at home, drawing into a dead heat with Portland for the 7 spot.  the Spurs closing schedule has been brutal, but they've been winning far more than predicted. It's going to be a battle

Saturday, April 3
OKC at Dallas - Big win for OKC in Dallas, keeping the Thunder 2 ahead of Portland and 1 ahead of Portland in the loss column. Dallas drops into a 4-way tie for 2nd, with all teams at 50-27
Phoenix at Milwaukee - Phoenix ends their win streak with a loss to the Bucks, also dropping them into the aforementioned tie.
Clippers at Denver - Denver's win vaults them into the 4-way tie...
Portland at Sacramento - The Blazers ride 20-point efforts from 4 starts, and 15 rebounds from the other, to a 4th quarter win.  an APB has been issued for the Blazer Bench.

Sunday, April 4
Minnesota at OKC - Can't imagine the Thunder losing, but who knows
San Antonio at Lakers - here's where we'd like to see Los Angeles get some mojo back.  But maybe they don't want to play the Spurs in round one, and thus throw the game?  Or do they send a message to their possible opponent?

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