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Every Potential Playoff Scenario for the Portland Trail Blazers

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Portland's first-round playoff opponent is still up in the air, but you can figure out the possibilities here.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

With one game remaining in the regular season, the middle of the Western Conference playoff bracket is a mess. We know the Portland Trail Blazers hold the 4th seed and will not earn homecourt advantage in the first round. We do not yet know who they will play.

Portland's game against the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday is inconsequential, but the following games will all affect the bracket:

Tuesday, April 14th

Los Angeles Clippers @ Phoenix Suns

Wednesday, April 15th

Houston Rockets vs. Utah Jazz

San Antonio Spurs @ New Orleans Pelicans

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Indiana Pacers

For your convenience, here is a list of scenarios that could unfold over the next 48 hours, compiled by Blazer's Edge reader erastus25 with small additions from our staff. Who will the Blazers play? Check it out.

Blazers play the Rockets if...

  • Spurs, Grizzlies, Clippers, and Rockets all win.
  • Spurs, Clippers, Rockets win; Grizzlies lose
  • Spurs and Clippers win; Grizzlies and Rockets lose
  • Spurs win; Clippers, Grizzlies, Rockets lose
  • Spurs, Clippers, Grizzlies, Rockets lose
  • Clippers win; Spurs, Grizzlies, and Rockets lose

Blazers play the Grizzlies if...

  • Spurs, Clippers, Grizzlies all win; Rockets lose
  • Clippers, Grizzlies, Rockets win; Spurs lose
  • Spurs and Grizzlies win; Clippers and Rockets lose
  • Clippers and Grizzlies win; Spurs and Rockets lose
  • Grizzlies and Rockets win; Spurs and Clippers lose
  • Grizzlies win; Spurs, Clippers and Rockets lose

Blazers play the Clippers if...

  • Spurs, Grizzlies, Rockets win; Clippers lose
  • Spurs and Rockets win; Clippers and Grizzlies lose

Blazers Play the Spurs if...

  • Rockets win; Spurs, Clippers, and Grizzlies lose
  • Clippers and Rockets win; Spurs and Grizzlies lose


With a win the Spurs can lock up the SW division and guarantee the 2 seed.

Memphis can finish no higher than 5th.

The Clippers cannot finish 6th.

Houston and San Antonio can finish in any position.

A 4-way tie would be broken by first determining the SW division champion (SA) and then applying the tie-breaking criteria to break the tie between the remaining teams (i.e. Clippers over Grizzlies over Rockets).


The most likely outcomes would seem to be either all teams winning, or all teams but San Antonio winning. In those scenarios the Blazers would play the Rockets or Grizzlies, respectively.


If a graph is more your style, here you go. Read win and loss combinations from left to right. The resulting seeds follow.


For your reference, a rundown of tiebreakers follows the sign-off. Thanks again to erastus25 for the work!

--Dave / @DaveDeckard@Blazersedge


Potential Tiebreakers:

Clippers over Spurs:

  • 2-2 head to head
  • Clippers win by conference record

Grizzlies over Spurs:

  • 2-2 head to head
  • Grizzlies win by conference record

Spurs over Rockets:

  • Spurs won head to head 3-1

Clippers over Grizzlies:

  • 2-2 head to head
  • Clippers win by better record against Western Conference playoff opponents

Clippers over Rockets:

  • 2-2 head to head
  • Clippers win by better conference record

Grizzlies over Rockets:

  • 2-2 head to head
  • Grizzlies win by division record

3-way tiebreakers (only possible scenarios included):

Spurs over Clippers over Rockets

  • Spurs (5-3) have better record in games played between these teams than Clippers (4-4), and Clippers have better record than Rockets (3-5)

Spurs over Grizzlies over Rockets

  • Spurs (5-3) have better record in games played between these teams than Grizzlies (4-4), and Grizzlies have better record than Rockets (3-5)

Clippers over Grizzlies over Rockets

  • Rockets last because of conference record
  • Clippers over Grizzlies by record against conference playoff opponents

(Thanks to this article for tiebreaker help.)