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Blazers Get Edge with Win Percentage Tie-Breaker in Orlando

The NBA will use win percentage as a tie-breaker after the eight qualifying games, giving the Trail Blazers a slight advantage over the other teams vying for a play-in spot.

Portland Trail Blazers v Miami Heat Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The NBA’s return from hiatus is on the horizon and the rules that will dictate the seeding for the re-tooled postseason are coming into focus. On Saturday, it was revealed that win percentage will decide which teams will advance if a tie occurs after the eight-game qualifying window, a stipulation that gives the Trail Blazers a slight advantage over the other teams vying to earn a chance to challenge the Grizzlies for the final traditional postseason spot in the Western Conference.

ESPN’s Tim Bontemps detailed the scenario in that could unfold in the Western Conference.

So, for example: the Trail Blazers, Pelicans and Kings are currently tied for ninth place in the Western Conference standings and are each eight games under .500. The Trail Blazers, however, have played 66 games (29-37) and the Pelicans and Kings have played 64 (28-36). As a result, Portland is one one-thousandth of a point ahead of both the Pelicans and Kings in winning percentage heading into Orlando.

Because the NBA chose to use winning percentage to break ties, if Portland has the same record as either New Orleans or Sacramento in Orlando — and, thus, the same number of games at or under .500 for the season — Portland will finish ahead of them, despite having been swept by the Pelicans this season and having tied Sacramento.

Here is a look at the current standings for the five teams competing for the final spot in the Western Conference.

  • Grizzles | Record: 32-33 | Win Percentage: .492
  • Trail Blazers | Record: 29-37 | Win Percentage: .439
  • Pelicans | Record: 28-36 | Win Percentage: .438
  • Kings | Record: 28-36 | Win Percentage: .438
  • Spurs | Record: 27-36 | Win Percentage: .429

After the conclusion of eight games, the team sitting in the No. 9 spot must be within four games of the No. 8 seed to force a play-in series.