Happy Sunday. Happy Easter. He is risen. He is risen, indeed.
The record was 1-1 and slightly positive yesterday after the two +120 parlays split. We’ll take that, and we’ll try to build on it today heading into the play-in and playoffs. But first, let’s take a look at the current standings and what’s at stake today.
There’s not a whole lot at stake in the East until we get pretty far down the standings.
1) The Bucks are the 1 seed. The Heat, Hawks, Raptors, and Bulls all remain as first round possibilities for Milwaukee, who can face either the Knicks or Cavs in the second round. They won’t have more clarity on the first round until April 14, when the loser of the 7/8 game (Heat-Hawks) hosts the winner of the 9/10 game (Raptors-Bulls) with the right to play the Bucks on the line.
2) The Celtics are the 2 seed. The Heat and Hawks are the first round possibilities for Boston, who will play the winner of Sixers/Nets if they advance to the second round. Miami hosts Atlanta on Tuesday; the winner plays the Celtics.
3) The Sixers are the 3 seed. They’ll face the Nets in the first round, and then they’ll face a very tall task in taking on the Celtics without home court advantage.
4) The Cavs are the 4 seed will get the Knicks in the first round, and the Bucks will likely await if they can get to the second round.
5) The Knicks are the 5 seed and will face the Cavs in the first round.
6) The Nets are the 6 seed and will take on the Sixers in the first round.
7) The Heat will be the 7 seed in the play-in. They’ll open the play-in Tuesday night with a home game against the Hawks. Winning that one gives them the 7 seed in the playoffs and a date with Boston. Losing puts them in another home game Friday night – this time for the 8 seed with the winner of the Raptors-Bulls game.
8) The Hawks will be the 8 seed in the play-in. Atlanta will visit Miami for the right to face the Celtics on Tuesday night. If they lose, they’ll host either the Raptors or Bulls on Friday night for the right to face the Bucks.
9) The Raptors will be the 9 seed in the play-in. They get Chicago in Toronto on Wednesday night in a win-or-go-home game and, with a win, visit either Miami or Atlanta on Friday night with the 8 seed – and a chance to take on the Bucks – on the line.
10) The Bulls will be the 10 seed in the play-in. That means they’ll be going on the road to Toronto on Wednesday and then, if they win, visiting the loser of the Heat-Hawks game on Friday. So Chicago will need to win two road games to get into the playoffs and face the Bucks.
11) The Wizards currently hold the 8 spot in the lottery. With the Rockets on the schedule today, they might not get the chance to finish any lower. Things probably depend on how restful the Knicks (play Pacers today) and Heat (Magic) decide to be in their final games. If the Wizards lose, they can finish with the 6 spot in the lottery with Pacers and Magic wins. They can grab the 7 spot with just one of the two happening. If they win, or if both the Pacers and Magic lose, they’ll go into the lottery at #8.
12) The Pacers are sitting in the 7 spot in the lottery. They get the 8 spot with a win and a Wizards loss. They keep the 7 spot if the Magic lose, regardless of what else happens. They could also keep the 7 with a win, a Wizards win, and a Magic win. They can move up to 6 with a loss, a Magic win, and a Blazers loss. If both the Magic and Blazers win, along with a Pacers loss, they can grab the 5 spot. If its just the Pacers and Blazers tied, the Pacers lose the tiebreaker and thus finish in better lottery position. But if it’s the Pacers, Blazers, and Magic tied, the Pacers win the three-way tie and thus finish in the worst lottery position of the three.
13) The Magic hold the 6 spot in the lottery. They keep that spot with one more loss, unless the Blazers win today, in which case Orlando would move up to the 5 spot with a loss. Falling in the lottery pecking order requires both a win and Wizards and/or Pacers losses. Let’s make a little table here to summarize the details…
|Wizards win, Pacers win, Magic win||8||6||7|
|Wizards win, Pacers win, Magic lose, Blazers lose||8||6||7|
|Wizards win, Pacers win, Magic lose, Blazers win||8||5||7|
|Wizards win, Pacers lose, Magic win, Blazers lose||8||7||6|
|Wizards win, Pacers lose, Magic win, Blazers win||8||7||5|
|Wizards win, Pacers lose, Magic lose, Blazers lose||8||6||7|
|Wizards win, Pacers lose, Magic lose, Blazers win||8||5||7|
|Wizards lose, Pacers win, Magic win||7||6||8|
|Wizards lose, Pacers win, Magic lose, Blazers lose||7||6||8|
|Wizards lose, Pacers win, Magic lose, Blazers win||7||5||8|
|Wizards lose, Pacers lose, Magic win, Blazers lose||7||8||6|
|Wizards lose, Pacers lose, Magic win, Blazers win||7||8||5|
|Wizards lose, Pacers lose, Magic lose||8||6||7|
14) The Hornets will have the league’s fourth-worst record.
15) The Pistons will have the league’s worst-record.
1-4 and 10-15 are locked up, but there’s still much to be decided in the middle of the conference.
1) The Nuggets will be the 1 seed and can still play anyone in the 5-10 seed range (Warriors, Clippers, Lakers, Pelicans, Timberwolves, Thunder) in the first round. We will have some more clarity by the end of today; they can only end up with four possibilities – the 7-10 seeds. They’ll get the winner of the third play-in game between the 7/8 loser and 9/10 winner.
2) The Grizzlies will be the 2 seed. There are a number of potential first round opponents here too – the Warriors, Clippers, Lakers, Pelicans, and Timberwolves could all land the 7 or 8 seed for the play-in, which would get them in the 7/8 game with a chance to get the 7 seed.
3) The Kings will be the 3 seed. The possible first round opponents are the Warriors, Clippers, Lakers, and Pelicans. Whoever gets the 6 seed will be playing Sacramento.
4) The Suns will be the 4 seed. The Warriors, Clippers, Lakers, and Pelicans are all on the table for the first round here. The Nuggets would await in the second round.
I’ll run some tables for 5-9…
5) The Clippers clinched a top seven seed with yesterday’s win over the Blazers. They also control their own destiny for the 5 seed, being a game up on the Pelicans and owning the tiebreaker over the Warriors.
|Clippers lose, Warriors lose, Lakers lose, Pelicans lose||5|
|Clippers lose, Warriors win, Lakers lose, Pelicans lose||6|
|Clippers lose, Warriors win, Lakers win, Pelicans lose||6|
|Clippers lose, Warriors win, Lakers lose, Pelicans win||7|
|Clippers lose, Warriors win, Lakers win, Pelicans win||7|
6) The Warriors control their own destiny for a guaranteed playoff spot, but they would get the 6 seed if both they and the Clippers win today. That said, the 8 seed is still in play. They need to beat the Blazers.
|Warriors win, Clippers lose||5|
|Warriors win, Clippers win||6|
|Warriors lose, Lakers win, Pelicans lose||7|
|Warriors lose, Lakers lose, Pelicans win||7|
|Warriors lose, Lakers win, Pelicans win||8|
7) The Lakers own tiebreakers over both the Warriors and Pelicans. The 6 seed isn’t done quite yet. On the other hand, the Lakers could also finish in the 8 seed if they lose to the Jazz today.
|Lakers win, Clippers win, Warriors win||7|
|Lakers win, Clippers lose, Warriors win, Pelicans lose||7|
|Lakers win, Clippers lose, Warriors win, Pelicans win||8|
|Lakers win, Warriors lose, Pelicans lose||6|
|Lakers win, Warriors lose, Pelicans win, Clippers win||6|
|Lakers win, Warriors lose, Pelicans win, Clippers lose||7|
8) The Pelicans own the tiebreaker over the Clippers and could still beat out the Warriors by conference record, which they currently are tied in. They don’t own the tiebreaker over the Lakers, however. Anywhere from 5-9 is on the table based on today’s results.
|Pelicans win, Lakers win, Warriors win, Clippers win||8|
|Pelicans win, Lakers lose, Warriors win, Clippers win||7|
|Pelicans win, Lakers win, Warriors lose, Clippers win||7|
|Pelicans win, Warriors lose, Clippers lose||5|
|Pelicans win, Lakers win, Warriors win, Clippers lose||6|
9) The Timberwolves are a game back of the Pelicans and Lakers. They can move up with a win over the Pelicans, but they are locked into the play-in. Losing today locks them into the 9 seed. Winning and getting a Lakers loss puts them in the 7 seed. Winning but getting a Lakers win puts them in the 8 seed. It’s fairly simple for Minnesota. Win, and you’re in the 7/8 game. Lose, and you’re hosting the Thunder in the 9/10.
10) The Thunder clinched the 10 seed. They’ll need to win two road games to make the playoffs, where they would be the 8 seed facing the Nuggets.
11) The Mavs have tanked all the way out of the play-in. It’s been a rough year in Dallas. The 10 spot in the lottery is theirs.
12) The Jazz are out of the play-in for good after losing to the Thunder the other night. They’re locked into the 12 seed out West. They’ll have the 9 spot in the lottery.
13) The Blazers will have the 5 spot in the lottery with a loss. If they win, and either or both the Pacers or Magic lose, they’ll end up in the 6 spot. If they win and neither of those teams lose, they stay at 5.
14) The Rockets will be the 14 seed and have the 3 spot in the lottery with either a win over the Wizards or a Spurs loss to the Mavs. If they lose and get a Spurs win, they’ll be the 15 seed and have the 2 spot in the lottery.
15) The Spurs will be the 15 seed and have the 2 spot in the lottery if they lose or if the Rockets win. If they win and see the Rockets lose, we get a spot switch.
NBA record: 224-196-7 ATS, 32-66 ML, 116-90-3 O/U, 2-10 parlay, 0-1 props, -21.35 units
- Pelicans ML (+125)
- Jazz +15.5
- Clippers -9.5
- Wizards +4
CBB record: 254-229-12 ATS, 57-83 ML, 5-5 O/U, 17-25 parlay, -9.83 units