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Playoff Watch Thread - let’s see how this all shakes out

The season is coming down to the wire. Tonight’s games will decide who the Warriors play in the first round, as well as pretty much every other team in the West

NBA: Golden State Warriors-Championship Celebration
it’s a long road back to something like this. Can the Warriors do it again?
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Wow. What a crazy finish to a crazy regular season! From a rash of injuries to some hilarious gifs, this has been yet another epic season - even if it was one that beat the Warriors up a bit. Golden State coasted across the finish line in neutral last night, and will fittingly spend tonight just sitting around waiting for the playoffs to start.

All we know as of now is that the Rockets and Warriors are locked into the #1 and #2 seed, respectively. Beyond that? It gets nuts.

The docket

There are 12 games being played tonight, many of them with significant playoff implications. Oddly, just two of them were slated to be televised: The Bucks and Sixers out East, and the Jazz and Blazers in the West - both on ESPN. Thankfully (if you have it) NBATV announced earlier this afternoon that they picked up the Nuggets versus Timberwolves game as well.

For my money, that Jazz and Blazers game is going to be must-watch. A couple of the most robust up-and-comers going toe to toe with serious playoff repercussions. Although a close second will the that Nuggets and Wolves game - the rare case of the winner making it into the playoffs, while the loser is done for the season. This game also has the most direct effect on our potential first round matchup, but more on that later.

Beyond that, here’s the full list of games with playoff seeding implications from

The Cavaliers host the Knicks, The Wizards visit the Magic, the Heat host the Raptors, the Bucks visit the 76ers, The Pelicans host the Spurs, the Jazz visit the Blazers and the Thunder host the Grizzlies.

Whew lad. It’s going to be a bonkers night in the NBA!

Cool, cool... So who are the Warriors going to play?

One of the only upsides from last night’s butt whooping is that the Warriors did achieve a shred of clarity in regards to the post season by eliminating any consideration of the Thunder or Jazz ending up with the 7th seed. But that still leaves four viable options. JSona posted this summary of what the odds are for each potential first round opponent. Bottom line is that we are pretty much looking at a dead heat between three teams (with an outside shot that it could be the Pelicans):

32.0% chance: San Antonio Spurs

31.8% chance: Minnesota Timberwolves

29.3% chance: Denver Nuggets

6.9% chance: New Orleans Pelicans

Now, the cool part about all of this madness is that we will actually have a whole lot of clarity before the kids are in bed (assuming you are all me, and/or live on the West Coast.

The scenarios, as simple as I can make them

There’s a weird color-coded graphic floating around out there, but I hate it because it’s information over-load. Too much data and not enough accessible information - so let’s just spell it out.

The Pelicans are pretty much a no-go. The main kicker for them is that the entire premise of them landing at #7 requires the tanking (and mostly dead) Memphis Grizzlies beating OKC. With OKC fighting hard for position, this is just about as likely as Nate Parham writing an article about how under-rated Andris Biedrins was. In other words, don’t hold your breath.

If the Nuggets win, they are the 7-seed. This is really the most straightforward out of all scenarios. So again, you may want to tune into this Nuggets vs. Wolves game on NBATV at 5 pm.

If the Wolves win that game, then it opens up a couple of permutations that will be decided by the Spurs and Pelicans game. If the Spurs lose that one, then they’re our opponent; if not, then the Wolves will fall into the 7th spot.

Simple right?

Am I allowed to insert random music into these things?

Here’s my favorite clown, rocking out with tonight’s theme song “Under Pressure”

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