Here Are Our Projected First-Round NBA Playoff Matchups Right Now

Here Are Our Projected First-Round NBA Playoff Matchups Right Now”

Now in the fourth position, the Jazz could find themselves seeded anywhere from No. 3 to No. 7 by the time the playoffs begin this weekend. The top two seeds in the East and West are set, with Toronto and Boston now locking in their places on the bracket across from West leaders Houston and Golden State. The Eastern Conference already have their 8 teams together as they play it out to finalized their playoff seedings.

Philadelphia (49-30) now leads in the race for the No. 3 spot, passing Cleveland (49-31) by beating the Cavaliers 132-130 on Friday night.

The end of the 2017-18 National Basketball Association regular season has become a sprint to the finish line. So if Philly slips even once, Cleveland could return to No. 3 by sweeping the Knicks.

IN (47-33) still has a chance at No. 3; to get there, the Pacers have to win out and have both the Cavaliers and 76ers lose out. That seems unlikely, and IN is probably heading for the No. 5 spot. If there's a three-way tie between OKC, Utah and Portland, the Blazers will get the nod - for the Northwest Division title and the No. 3 seed because they would have the best record against the other two teams.

A frantic finish is coming to the West.

The Wizards remaining games are home against the Celtics and on the road against the Magic. Those two results mean four teams have exactly 45 wins going into Saturday, with Denver now at 44 wins and the Los Angeles Clippers still able to get to 45 if they win out.

Plenty of clarity in the West race should come on Monday.

SEVENTH SEED: The Jazz would need to lose out and end up in a three-way or four-way tie with the loser of the Pelicans-Spurs game, OKC, Minnesota and/or Denver. Denver must try to match that desperation.

Be on the lookout of the visual campaign as it makes their debut on ABC Saturday Primetime when the Houston Rockets faces the Oklahoma City Thunder. Will this be more of the same?

SIXTH SEED: For this to happen, the Jazz would need to lose out and fall behind the victor of the New Orleans-San Antonio game and finish tied or behind OKC or have one of those scenarios play out along with finishing in a tie with Denver or Minnesota.

That final game of the year will certainly have significant playoff implications and could be a nice preview for the intensity that lies ahead starting this upcoming weekend.

First-round matchups if the season ended Sunday. Oklahoma City, San Antonio and New Orleans can all clinch spots with victories, and Minnesota can also secure its first postseason spot since 2004 with a win and some help. From March 27, 2015, through December 6, 2016, the 76ers won 14 times in a span of 114 games.

The last double-digit streak to end a season was posted by San Antonio in 2011-12, when the Spurs won their final 10 games.

There are scenarios that could result in any of those seven teams ending up in the fourth or fifth spots, and either the T-Wolves or Nuggets will be eliminated Wednesday in what amounts to a play-in game.

"You've got to go through whoever it is anyway".

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