Monday, April 11: Dallas Mavericks defeat Utah Jazz. Thanks to the Mavs' victory, the Blazers' playoff opponent will not be determined until Wednesday. The likeliest scenario is a fifth-seed date with the Clippers, but the sixth and seventh seeds are still in play. But the Blazers own their destiny: If they beat the Nuggets Wednesday night, they'll finish in fifth. But by the time that game tips off, they may already have the fifth seed clinched if Dallas and Memphis have lost.
Tuesday, Blazer's Edge will have a big update to walk through with all the possible remaining playoff scenarios.
UPDATE (April 10, 3:00 PM): It's honestly starting to feel like none of the teams in the bottom half of the Western Conference actually want to make the playoffs. The Dallas Mavericks lost to the Los Angeles Clippers Sunday afternoon; the loss brought the Mavs record to 41-39 and handed control of the fifth seed back to the Portland Trail Blazers. If the Blazers win their regular season finale on Wednesday against the Denver Nuggets they will move into secure a 4/5 playoff match-up with the Clippers.
Here's a rundown of each team's current situation:
Portland Trail Blazers: Control their own destiny. If the Blazers beat the Nuggets on Wednesday, will win the fifth playoff seed. Portland can also claim fifth if both Dallas and Memphis each lose at least one more game. A single loss by either the Grizzlies or Mavericks clinches the No. 6 seed for Portland. As a worst case scenario, the Blazers could also fall into seventh place, and a date with the Spurs, if they lose on Wednesday and the Grizzlies win their remaining games.
Dallas Mavericks: Sunday's loss hurt. They're 1.5 games behind the Blazers, but do hold the tiebreaker against Portland and Memphis. Thus, they can steal the fifth seed if they win their remaining games and both Portland and Memphis loses once more. If all three teams win out the Mavs will finish seventh
Memphis Grizzlies: A tough road ahead. They finish the season at the Clippers, and at Golden State. If they somehow win out, they'll finish no worse than sixth. Memphis loses the tiebreaker to both Portland and Dallas, placing them at a disadvantage
Utah Jazz: Irrelevant, but... With 40 losses, they can no longer tie the Blazers. However, they're still in a fight with Dallas and Houston. Utah can help the Blazers Monday by beating the Dallas Mavericks, which would guarantee the Blazers the sixth seed.
Full standings and tiebreak scenarios follow:
Full playoff tie-breaking procedures can be found here. The most important statistic is head-to-head record. If the two teams finish tied, they will be positioned by the second tiebreaker - conference record.
Updated Tiebreak Scenarios (April 10):
Head-to-head ties: Dallas holds the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Blazers, so the Blazers need single win or Dallas loss to clinch at least the sixth seed. The Blazers do hold the tiebreaker over the Grizzlies by virtue of their better conference record. Thus, the Blazers can stay ahead of the Grizzlies if they win out.
Three-way ties: Three-way ties will be broken by winning percentage in games played among the three teams.
If Portland, Memphis and Dallas finish the season with identical records, Dallas wins the tiebreaker. Portland will finish second in the tiebreak, and therefore take the 6-seed.