The NBA’s playoff picture should be far clearer by the end of Tuesday night. However, the Blazers could be in very different positions based on just a few results Who should you root for? Well, it depends on what you want. Here’s the schedule of relevant games this evening:
Nuggets at Jazz | 6:00 pm PDT
Rockets at OKC | 6:30 pm PDT | TNT
Blazers at Lakers | 7:30 pm PDT
I want the Blazers to grab the third seed
Portland has a relatively slim shot at the third seed, and requires one specific path. Here are your rooting interests:
Root for Oklahoma City to beat Houston. The Rockets must lose in order for Portland to take the third seed via tiebreaker.
Root for Denver to beat Utah. That may be tough after the last two games, but Denver must win at least one more game for Portland to have a shot at the third seed. They play the Wolves Wednesday, so all is not lost if the Nuggets lose.
Root for the Blazers to beat the Lakers. Isn’t this a state law?
If these things happen, Portland could grab the third seed Wednesday night with a win over Sacramento.
I want the Blazers to clinch home court advantage
Very easy! Portland is on the verge of doing just that. Here’s who to root for:
Root for the Nuggets to beat the Jazz. The Blazers can’t catch the Nuggets, so they’re irrelevant. But if the Jazz lose, the Blazers are guaranteed home court. However...
If the Jazz win, root for the Blazers to beat the Lakers. This is still a fun thought.
I Want the Blazers to get as much rest as possible
Rest is nice before the playoffs. Is that the most important thing for you? Here’s what you want:
If you don’t care about the third seed, root for Denver and Houston. If both teams win, the Blazers would clinch home court advantage during their game against the Lakers. Portland’s key players could sit the fourth quarter in LA, and the entire game Wednesday.
Remember, if you care about the third seed, early rest is impossible. If Houston loses, Portland must win both Tuesday and Wednesday to grab the third seed.
What about the sixth seed, if Portland can get the third seed?
If the third seed is a possibility after tonight, we’ll give you new rooting interests tomorrow. If the sixth seed isn’t clinched today.
How can I test various scenarios?
Our own Eric Griffith posted a spreadsheet calculator Monday. Just choose the results and watch what happens!