NBA Playoff Image, Standings, Magic Numbers: Lakers Projected For Prime-four Seed; Warriors Grip Play-in Spot – NewsOpener

We’re underneath a month out from the shut of the 2020-21 NBA common season. The final day of video games is Could 16. Thus far, the Utah Jazz are the one staff to have clinched a real playoff spot, that means a top-six seed, whereas the Houston Rockets and Minnesota Timberwolves are the primary two groups to have been formally eradicated from postseason rivalry

Fast reminder on this season’s new playoff format: The highest six seeds in every convention are in, with the ultimate two seeds up for grabs through two play-in match sequence. In every convention, No. 7 will play No. 8, with the upper seed having to win one sport whereas the decrease seed must win two. The winner of that 7 vs. 8 sequence will get the No. 7 spot, with the loser awaiting the winner of the 9 vs. 10 play-in sequence to resolve the No. 8 seed. 

Under is what the playoff image appears like getting into play on Monday, April 26. Groups are listed so as of present seed together with the SportsLine projected ending seed and totally different magic quantity eventualities. A “playoff spot” means a top-six seed. This submit will proceed to replace for the rest of the season as we preserve observe of those races right down to the wire. 

NOTE: Our SportsLine mannequin, developed by predictive knowledge engineer Stephen Oh, simulates your entire season 10,000 instances to supply essentially the most unbiased and exact projections potential.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

(Present playoff groups)

Utah Jazz (No. 1 seed)

As said above, the Jazz turned the primary staff to clinch a playoff spot, because of Portland’s loss vs. Memphis on Sunday. Utah has the league’s greatest report at 44-16 and the sixth-easiest remaining schedule. It additionally presently holds a two-game lead over No. 2 Phoenix within the loss column. 

  • Magic quantity to clinch top-four seed: 3
  • Power of remaining schedule: twenty fourth
  • Projected seed: No. 1

The Suns fell to the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday evening, however preserve a one-game lead over the Clippers (within the loss column) for the No. 2 seed. Catching Utah for the No. 1 seed is inside vary. The Suns play the Jazz on Friday, they usually have already clinched the tiebreaker having gained the primary two head-to-head conferences in opposition to Utah this season. Phoenix can’t end exterior the second play-in sequence at worst. 

  • Magic quantity to clinch playoff spot: 2
  • Magic quantity to clinch top-four seed: 6
  • Power of remaining schedule: eighth
  • Projected seed: No. 2

Los Angeles Clippers (No. 3 seed)

The Clippers have gained 4 straight and 9 of their final 10. They’re on Phoenix’s heels for the No. 2 seed, only one sport again within the loss column with the tiebreaker clinched through a 2-0 lead on the three-game season sequence. The Clippers play the Suns this Wednesday in a sport that can go a great distance towards figuring out the potential No. 2 seed. The Clippers have additionally clinched not less than a spot in a play-in sequence. 

  • Magic quantity to clinch playoff spot: 1
  • Magic quantity to clinch top-four seed: 4
  • Power of remaining schedule: nineteenth
  • Projected seed: No. 3

The Nuggets, who’ve additionally clinched a spot in not less than a play-in sequence, are 4 video games up on the No. 5 Los Angeles Lakers within the loss column and lead the season sequence 1-0. Denver has one sport left in opposition to the Lakers. It additionally has yet one more matchup on Saturday with the Clippers, who maintain a two-game lead within the loss column over the Nuggets. The Clippers-Nuggets season sequence is presently tied 1-1, that means that closing head-to-head will decide the tiebreaker. As you’ll see beneath, our SportsLine projection truly has the Nuggets falling behind the Lakers to the No. 5 seed. 

  • Magic quantity to clinch playoff spot: 5
  • Magic quantity to clinch top-four seed: 8
  • Power of remaining schedule: tenth
  • Projected seed: No. 5

Los Angeles Lakers (No. 5 seed)

Anthony Davis is again and LeBron James ought to comply with comparatively quickly. The Lakers have a delicate schedule during the last week and our SportsLine projections have them occurring a run to finish the season and leaping Denver for the No. 4 spot, which might give the Lakers home-court benefit in a 4-5 first-round sequence vs. the Nuggets. The Lakers and Nuggets play subsequent Monday, which is able to resolve the tiebreaker with the season sequence presently tied 1-1. 

That stated, there’s quite a lot of hypothesis constructed into that forecast. In the intervening time, the Lakers have misplaced three straight and sit in fifth place  within the West. They maintain only a one-game lead over No. 6 Dallas within the loss column and are three video games within the loss column from falling right into a play-in sequence. Technically, they don’t management their very own future for a top-four seed. 

  • Magic quantity to clinch play-in sequence: 4
  • Magic quantity to clinch playoff spot: 9
  • Power of remaining schedule: 18th
  • Projected seed: No. 4

Dallas has made a transfer of late, profitable three straight to leap the Portland Path Blazers for the present No. 6 seed. Two of these wins got here vs. the Lakers, narrowing the hole, as talked about above, to 2 video games within the loss column for the No. 5 seed. Dallas additionally owns the tiebreaker over the Lakers through a 2-1 edge within the head-to-head season sequence. 

  • Magic quantity to clinch play-in sequence: 5
  • Magic quantity to clinch playoff spot: 12
  • Power of remaining schedule: twenty ninth
  • Projected seed: No. 6

(Present play-in groups)

Portland Path Blazers (No. 7 seed)

The Blazers have misplaced 5 straight and eight of their final 10 to fall beneath Dallas and into the present play-in image. As you’ll see beneath, our SportsLine projections have them falling even decrease. The Blazers don’t management their very own future for a top-six seed as they path the Mavericks by two video games within the loss column. The excellent news in the event that they do personal the tiebreaker over the Mavs through a 2-1 season-series benefit with no head-to-head matchups remaining. 

  • Magic quantity to clinch play-in sequence: 6
  • Power of remaining schedule: sixth
  • Projected seed: No. 9

The Grizzlies are tied with No. 7 Portland within the loss column however have performed one fewer sport so far, which is why they path within the standings by share factors. Memphis has gained two straight, and it simply so occurs each these wins had been over Portland. That provides Memphis the tiebreaker with yet one more sport remaining between the 2 groups set for Wednesday. Our SportsLine projections have the Grizzlies rising by season’s finish. 

  • Magic quantity to clinch play-in sequence: 8
  • Power of remaining schedule: twenty eighth
  • Projected seed: No. 7

Within the loss column, the Spurs are one sport again of No. 8 Memphis and one sport up on the No. 10 Warriors. San Antonio has no remaining video games in opposition to both of these groups and has misplaced the tiebreaker to each through head-to-head. The Spurs even have the league’s hardest remaining schedule in line with opponent win share. 

  • Magic quantity to clinch play-in sequence: 9
  • Power of remaining schedule: 1st
  • Projected seed: No. 10

Golden State Warriors (No. 10 seed)

The Warriors have gained seven of their final 10 to strengthen their grip on a play-in spot. Coming into play on Monday, Golden State has a four-game lead within the loss column over No. 11 New Orleans and a six-game lead over the No. 11 Kings, whom they beat on Sunday evening. The Warriors have a back-to-back in opposition to the Pelicans subsequent Monday and Tuesday and might just about seal their play-in spot with a sweep. As you’ll see beneath, our SportsLine projections have the Warriors shifting as much as the No. 8 seed and enjoying Memphis within the first play-in sequence. 

  • Magic quantity to clinch play-in sequence: 6
  • Power of remaining schedule: twenty fifth
  • Projected seed: No. 8

(Clinging to play-in life)

  • New Orleans Pelicans (No. 11 seed) — 4 losses again of Golden State
  • Sacramento Kings (No. 12 seed) — Six losses again of Golden State
The Warriors have their sights set on a play-in spot.
Getty Photos

EASTERN CONFERENCE

(Present playoff groups)

Brooklyn Nets (No. 1 seed)

The Nets have Kevin Durant again and have gained two straight to leap Philly for the East’s present No. 1 seed. However that lead is tenuous — only one sport within the loss column and the Sixers personal the tiebreaker. Brooklyn has clinched not less than a spot within the first play-in sequence and is one win from clinching a top-six seed. Our SportsLine projections have Brooklyn finally securing the highest seed, which might virtually actually enable it to keep away from Milwaukee within the second spherical. 

  • Magic quantity to clinch playoff spot: 1
  • Magic quantity to clinch top-four seed: 4
  • Power of remaining schedule: thirteenth
  • Projected seed: No. 1

The Sixers have misplaced 4 straight. They’ve gone from what appeared like a comparatively comfy lead over Brooklyn for the No. 1 seed to main the No. 3 Milwaukee Bucks by simply two video games within the loss column. As talked about above, falling out of that high seed is an enormous deal. If present seeds maintain, the East’s No. 1 seed would get the winner of Atlanta/Boston within the second spherical whereas the No. 2 seed would more than likely must play the Bucks within the convention semis. The excellent news is Philly has the league’s softest slate from right here to Could 16. 

  • Magic quantity to clinch playoff spot: 3
  • Magic quantity to clinch top-four seed: 5
  • Power of remaining schedule: thirtieth
  • Projected seed: No. 2

Milwaukee Bucks (No. 3 seed)

The Bucks have an actual shot at leaping Philly for the No. 2 seed, which might imply home-court benefit in a possible second-round matchup. The Bucks are two losses again of Philly and personal the tiebreaker through a 3-0 season-series sweep. Milwaukee additionally has the league’s fifth-easiest schedule down the stretch. 

  • Magic quantity to clinch playoff spot: 5
  • Magic quantity to clinch top-four seed: 8
  • Power of remaining schedule: twenty sixth
  • Projected seed: No. 3

Knicks fever is in full pressure. They’ve gained 9 straight, their longest streak since 2014, and if the playoffs had been to start out as we speak they might be internet hosting a first-round sequence on the Backyard. The Knicks are tied with the No. 5 Hawks report clever, however sit above them as a result of they’ve swept the season sequence 3-0. The dangerous information is the SportsLine projection has New York dropping two spots by season’s finish partially attributable to its robust remaining schedule. 

  • Magic quantity to clinch play-in spot: 3
  • Magic quantity to clinch playoff spot: 9
  • Power of remaining schedule: fifth
  • Projected seed: No. 6

Atlanta Hawks (No. 5 seed)

The Hawks are flying excessive. They’ve gained seven of their final 10 and are 20-7 underneath Nate McMillan. Likelihood is Atlanta isn’t going to catch Milwaukee for the No. 3 seed, however a top-four seed is true there and is, in actual fact, anticipated to be obtained through SportsLine projections. As talked about, the Hawks are tied with the No. 4 Knicks, who maintain the present edge by proudly owning the tiebreaker having swept the Hawks 3-0 on the season. Atlanta’s lead on No. 5 Boston is 2 video games in line with report, nevertheless it’s successfully three video games as a result of Atlanta owns the tiebreaker over Boston through a 2-1 season-series mark. 

  • Magic quantity to clinch play-in spot: 4
  • Magic quantity to clinch playoff spot: 8
  • Power of remaining schedule: twenty third
  • Projected seed: No. 4

The Celtics are two losses again of the No. 4 Knicks and No. 5 Hawks getting into play on Monday. Boston has a 1-1 head-to-head report in opposition to the Knicks, and the 2 groups play on the ultimate day of the common season. That’s the upside. The draw back is the Celtics are tied with the No. 7 Warmth, whom they play twice over the season’s closing week. These two video games may very effectively decide who secures a top-six seed and who has to battle by way of not less than one play-in sequence. Our SportsLine projections have Boston ending at No. 4 and dealing with the Hawks within the first spherical. 

  • Magic quantity to clinch play-in spot: 6
  • Magic quantity to clinch playoff spot: 9
  • Power of remaining schedule: twenty third
  • Projected seed: No. 5

Miami Warmth (No. 7 seed)

The Warmth are comparatively safe to finish up with not less than the No. 9 seed, as they’re 4 losses up on the No. 10 Washington Wizards. They’d clearly like to remain at No. 7, which carries with it the benefit of solely having to win one play-in sport to safe a playoff berth. It’ll be tight. Miami holds a one-loss lead over the No. 8 Charlotte Hornets, who’ve already sealed the tiebreaker. The 2 groups play as soon as extra this Sunday. 

  • Magic quantity to clinch play-in spot: 6
  • Magic quantity to clinch playoff spot: 10
  • Power of remaining schedule: twenty second
  • Projected seed: No. 7

Charlotte Hornets (No. 8 seed)

As talked about above, the Hornets management their very own future to move Miami for the No. 7 seed. They path the Warmth by one loss and have yet one more head-to-head matchup to make up that floor with the tiebreaker already of their pocket. SportsLine projection has the Hornets sticking at No. 8 and having to beat Miami twice within the first play-in sequence to safe a postseason berth. 

  • Magic quantity to clinch play-in spot: 8
  • Magic quantity to clinch playoff spot: 12
  • Power of remaining schedule: twenty first
  • Projected seed: No. 8

The Pacers have gained three straight and are nonetheless inside vary of avoiding a play-in sequence, simply two losses again of No. 6 Boston. First issues first, the Pacers wish to move Charlotte for No. 8, which might preserve them from having to win two play-in sequence. They solely path the Hornets by one loss, however SportsLine doesn’t see it occurring, largely as a result of Charlotte owns the tiebreaker with a 2-1 head-to-head benefit, which equates to an efficient two-game hole within the standings. Indiana doesn’t management its personal future for a top-six seed. 

  • Magic quantity to clinch play-in spot: 8
  • Power of remaining schedule: fifteenth
  • Projected seed: No. 9

Washington Wizards (No. 10 seed)

The Wizards have gained eight straight to crawl into the underside of the play-in image. They maintain a two-loss lead over the No. 11 Chicago Bulls, however Chicago owns the tiebreaker. In addition they maintain a two-loss lead over the Toronto Raptors, who additionally personal the tiebreaker with one head-to-head matchup remaining. The Wizards have one sport left in opposition to Indiana. If they’ve designs on shifting as much as No. 9, that sport might be a must-win, however the extra urgent concern is holding off Chicago and Toronto. 

  • Magic quantity to clinch play-in spot: 11
  • Power of remaining schedule: sixteenth
  • Projected seed: No. 10

(Exterior wanting in)

  • Chicago Bulls (No. 11 seed) — Two losses again of No. 10 Washington
  • Toronto Raptors (No. 12 seed) — Two losses again of No. 10 Washington



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