FanPost

Sched Ahead Daily Update - Post 4/7 Edition

WEDNESDAY NIGHT GAMES:

1) Nuggets 98 at Thunder 94 - OKC gives up a late 12 point lead and Durant can't hit the game-tying shot (no foul this time), putting Denver back in control of the NW and vaulting both Portland and San Antonio ahead of OKC.

2) Jazz 96 at Rockets 113 - Utah gets off to a slow start after the barn burner last night, and never makes a game of it, dropping from 2nd to 5th in less than 24 hours

3) Grizzlies 84 at Mavericks 110 - Dallas with a wire to wire easy win over the packing it in Memphis team, and Dallas takes control of the race for 2nd place

4) Trail Blazers 93 at Clippers 85 - Portland nearly blows a 21 point second half lead as Steve Blake leads a spirited charge against his former team, but the Blazers hold on and vault from 8th to 6th in the standings, where they control their own fate.

5) Spurs 101 at Suns 112 - Phoenix puts themselves in a homecourt situation while knocking San Antonio into a 3-way tie with Portland and OKC.

JSCOT PROJECTIONS:

                  Current Projected
1.  Los Angeles    55-22   58.76
2.  Denver         51-27   53.82
3.  Dallas         51-27   53.65
4.  Utah           51-28   53.25
5.  Phoenix        51-27   52.90
6.  Portland       48-30   50.33
7.  San Antonio    48-30   50.269
8.  Oklahoma City  48-30   50.266

TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS PROJECTIONS:

We've had some fanposts intermittently making "taking care of business" types of projections, but with 5 games or fewer remaining for each team, it makes sense to have some daily updates along this line. Basically, CAT 4 games are the only types of games any of these playoff teams "should" be losing, and thus, the assumption for these "taking care of business" projections is that each team wins all of its remaining games except for CAT 4 games (away games against teams above .500). I'll apply tiebreakers as accurately as I can.

                  Current   Projected Record     Cat.4 Games Remaining
1    LA Lakers     55-22     59-23                1: @DEN
2*   Dallas        50-27     54-28                1: @POR
3*   Denver        50-27     54-28                1: @PHO
4*   Utah          51-28     54-28                0
5    Phoenix       50-27     53-29                2: @OKC, @UTA
6**  Portland      48-30     51-31                1: @LAL
7**  OKC           48-30     51-31                1: @POR
8    San Antonio   48-30     50-32                2: @DEN, @DAL

* Denver beats Utah for NW division (3-1 season series). Dallas then beats Denver based on 2-1 season series
** Portland win by being projected to beat OKC in final meeting, thus winning season series 3-1

REMAINING GAMES - WEST

 

DAL

UTA

PHO

DEN

OKC

SAS

POR

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

TIE-BREAKERS

2-way tiebreakers

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 Dallas wins.
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)
DEN/OKC - Denver wins tiebreaker (divisional record)
OKC/UTA - OKC 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)
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)

3-way tiebreakers

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. We'll wait on other ones for a few more days.

PREVIEW OF TONIGHT'S GAMES

Lakers at Nuggets - back to back for Denver, coming home from a big win in Oklahoma. The Lakers are still looking to break their mini-slump, and a signature win in a tough venue would be a good message to send. Anyone wanting to avoid Denver in round one should hold their noses and root for the Lakers.

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