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2018 NBA Playoffs – It's A Mess And About To Get Bloody

2018 NBA Playoffs – It's A Mess And About To Get Bloody

The race to 2018 NBA playoffs will come down to the wire.

Five teams in the Western Conference have to fight their way for the four spots left.

Meanwhile, though the playoff field is set in the Eastern Conference the seeds are yet to be finalized.

Here’s how the latest NBA standings lie, along with the odds and projections of how things may play themselves out.

When do the 2018 Playoffs Start?

Wednesday will end the regular season with 12 games that include such critical matchups as the Nuggets vs Timberwolves and Spurs vs Pelicans. The first round tips off the next day.

The NBA conference semifinals are set for April 30 or May 1 but could be moved up to April 28/29.

The conference finals series are scheduled for May 15 but may be moved to start on May 13.

Then it’s on to Game 1 of the NBA Finals that is scheduled for May 31 with Game 7 on June 17 if it comes to that.

Who’s Out Already?

Let’s weed out the teams that did not make the cut first.

The Clippers, Pistons, Hornets, Nets, Magic, Hawks, Mavericks, Kings, Suns, Grizzlies, Knicks, Bulls and Lakers are officially eliminated from the playoffs.

Who’s In?

The Raptors, Celtics, Cavaliers, 76ers, Pacers, Wizards, Heat, Bucks, Rockets, Warriors and Trail Blazers have their spots for the playoffs.

Where’s All The Fighting Going On In The East?

In the Eastern Conference, the playoff field is ready. But, the fierce competition in these last weeks has laid some pitfalls in what lies ahead.

The math says the Pistons are out after losing to the 76ers. The Raptors may have secured the No. 1 seed but should be wary of a feisty 76ers team that’s found its mojo behind a 13-game winning streak that allowed them to climb to No. 3.

Philadelphia’s spot is wobbly at best, though; the Sixers have a one-game advantage over the Cavs but have Milwaukee up ahead at home.

Meanwhile, Cleveland has two games left against New York to close out the season.

The Bucks will be looking to finish with a win to beat out Miami and Washington for the No. 6 seed.

If Cleveland and Philly end up tied with a 51-31 record, the Cavs would hold the tie-breaker advantage.

The rest of the East could change faster than a New York minute though before the playoff bracket is shown.

The Sixers have to win if they want to avoid falling to the No. 4 seed and facing a more complicated first-round matchup against Indiana, who appears to have locked the No. 5 seed.

The No. 3 seed is arguably more valuable in the East being that Kyrie Irving is out for the postseason which means either Philadelphia or Cleveland would probably face Boston in the second round, instead of Toronto.

What’s Going On in the West?

Meanwhile, things are gearing up for an old-fashioned gunfight at the O.K. Corral in the West.

The Spurs, Thunder, Jazz, Timberwolves, and Pelicans have a fair shot at making the postseason, but less than two games separate the No. 4 Jazz from the No. 9 Nuggets.

New Orleans holds the inside line to the No. 5 seed because of its head-to-head marks against the Spurs and Thunder.

They would get an even better foothold on the tiebreaker with a win over San Antonio at home on Wednesday.

Denver has the Timberwolves up ahead after beating Minnesota on Thursday night, and because their records are the same it means this game could determine whether the Nuggets can sneak into the playoffs.

The Rockets and Warriors already have home-court advantage through the first two rounds of the playoffs. Portland, meanwhile, has secured home-court advantage in the first round.

What about the No. 4 seed? It’s likely the Spurs will end in the top half of the field with 48 wins at the end of the season with the Thunder and Timberwolves likely hitting 47 wins.

Check out the NBA Futures Odds

NBA Standings – Eastern Conference

*clinched playoff berth

**clinched division

***clinched conference

Team

Record

Percentage

Games back

Raptors***

58-22

0.725

Celtics*

54-26

0.675

4

76ers*

50-30

0.625

8

Cavs*

49-31

0.613

9

Pacers*

48-33

0.593

10.5

Heat*

43-37

0.538

15

Bucks*

43-37

0.538

15

Wizards*

42-38

0.525

16

NBA Standings: Western Conference

*clinched playoff berth

**clinched division

***clinched conference

Team

Record

Percentage

Games back

Rockets***

64-16

.800

Warriors**

58-23

.716

6.5

Trail Blazers*

48-32

.600

16

Jazz*

47-33

.587

17

Pelicans

46-34

.575

18

Spurs

46-34

.575

18

Thunder

46-34

.575

18

Timberwolves

45-35

.563

19

Nuggets

45-35

.563

19

Clippers

42-38

.525

22


Check out the NBA Futures Odds

 
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