The NBA season ends in just a matter of hours, and while all the playoff teams have been determined, there are still a few little pieces of business to sort out. A few games tonight matter as seeding and matchups are still to be determined in both conferences. Here are the key games:
- Dallas Mavericks @ Atlanta Hawks, 8pm ET
- Denver Nuggets @ Minnesota Timberwolves, 8pm ET
- Orlando Magic @ Memphis Grizzlies, 8pm ET
- Milwaukee Bucks @ Boston Celtics, 8pm ET
- Philadelphia 76′ers @ Detroit Pistons, 8pm ET
- New York Knicks @ Charlotte Bobcats, 8pm ET (TNT)
First note: Every game starts at 8pm so teams can’t scoreboard watch and tank in order to get a better playoff matchup. Ok, now the what-if’s:
A Dallas win and Nuggets loss flips them in the standings. Dallas owns the tiebreaker against Denver, and would become the sixth seed in the West and face the LA Lakers. Denver would fall to seventh, and face the Oklahoma City Thunder. A Dallas loss would keep them in the seventh slot.
A Memphis loss would cost them home court in the first round against the LA Clippers. That 4/5 matchup is set, but the Memphis loss would move them into a tie with the Clippers, a team they dropped two of three to in the regular season.
Back to the Dallas-Atlanta game… a Hawks win would give them home court in their 4/5 matchup with the Boston Celtics. The Celtics need to win their game against Milwaukee tonight to have a chance. They, like the Memphis/Clippers matchup, own a tiebreaker against the Hawks. A Celtics win combined with the Hawks loss would move them into a tie, giving Boston home court courtesy of the tiebreaker.
Philadelphia and New York go into tonight tied and with New York owning the tiebreaker there. So if both win or if both lose, the Knicks hold on to the seventh seed for a date with the Miami Heat in the first round. That would leave Philly in eighth and preparing for the Chicago Bulls. Philadelphia needs a win AND and Knicks loss to move into seventh. IF they care to move up in to seventh in that “pick your poison” scenario.
Of course, it is worth mentioning, as you have probably heard by now, a Charlotte loss tonight clinches them the worst ever losing percentage in NBA history. I don’t know what that means for the game, but it’s something that exists.