Another six games bless tonight’s NBA slate and playoff implications are apparent across both conferences.
Let’s take a look at tonight’s action and how the standings can be affected:
Eastern Conference Play-In
The Wizards sit two games behind the Chicago Bulls for the 10th spot in the Eastern Conference. Whichever result happens tonight against the Magic could have long implications on whether or not the Wizards make the play-in tournament.
The Hawks hold the East’s No. 8 seed but sit just 0.5 game behind 9th-place Toronto Raptors and one game behind the Bulls. Atlanta needs to take care of business at home against the league-worst Pistons.
Eastern Conference Playoff Race
The Cavs are sitting comfortably in fourth place, four games behind the Philadelphia 76ers for third and three games ahead of the New York Knicks for fifth. Meanwhile, the Nets are just one game ahead of the Miami Heat for the No. 6 seed, the final safe spot before the play-in tournament.
Both Conferences Implicated
The Celtics are 0.5-game ahead of the 76ers for the No. 2 seed in the east. Meanwhile, the Kings are one game behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the No. 2 seed out west. Tonight’s winner will have a firmer grasp on a better playoff position.
Western Conference Playoffs/Play-In
The Clippers hold a 38-34 record, good enough for the No. 5 seed. A win will put them in a tie for the No. 4 seed with the Phoenix Suns, which could give them homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Thunder is coming into town tied with the No. 8 seed, but sit one game back of the No. 6 seed, which would make the team safe from the play-in and 0.5-game ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers, who are out of the playoff picture at No. 11 in the conference.
Western Conference Play-In
The Pelicans sit a full game back of the No. 10 seed, but a win against the rebuilding Spurs at home could put them back in the playoff picture.