Four teams possible as Hornets' first-round opponent

Tuesday, April 14, 2009
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

Trying to figure out which Western Conference team will be matched up against New Orleans in the first round of the 2009 playoffs? Good luck. With only two days remaining in the regular season, the Hornets still have a chance to face any of these four teams: the Lakers, Denver, Houston or Portland.

Although it initially appeared as though San Antonio was also a possibility, based on the fact that the Spurs play against the Hornets on Wednesday, while the Rockets face the Mavericks, there will be no Hornets-Spurs series in Round 1 (for more details, read the blog comments).

Here’s a handy guide, courtesy of the NBA, to help you sort through the possibilities of where each West team may be seeded and how the outcomes of Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s games will impact the matchups:

WESTERN CONFERENCE
Tuesday’s key game (all times Central)

Utah at L.A. Lakers, 9:30 p.m.
Wednesday’s key games
Houston at Dallas, 7 p.m.
New Orleans at San Antonio, 7 p.m.
Denver at Portland, 9:30 p.m.

Possible seeds
1. LOS ANGELES LAKERS
2. Denver or Houston
3. Denver, Houston, Portland, or San Antonio
4. Houston, Portland, or San Antonio
5. Houston, Portland, or San Antonio
6. New Orleans, Dallas, or Utah
7. New Orleans, Dallas, or Utah
8. New Orleans, Dallas, or Utah

Denver will be seeded:
• #2 if Nuggets win OR Rockets lose
• #3 if Nuggets lose and Rockets win

Houston will be seeded:
• #2 if Rockets win and Nuggets lose
• #3 if Rockets win and Nuggets win OR if Spurs and Blazers lose.
• #4 if Rockets lose, Spurs win and Blazers lose OR if Rockets lose, Spurs lose and Blazers win.
• #5 if Rockets lose and Spurs and Blazers win.

Portland will be seeded:
• #3 if Blazers win and Rockets and Spurs lose.
• #4 if Blazers win and either Rockets or Spurs win (or both win) OR if Blazers and Spurs both lose.
• #5 if Blazers lose and Spurs win.

San Antonio will be seeded:
• #3 if Spurs win and Rockets lose.
• #4 if Spurs win, Rockets win and Blazers lose.
• #5 if Spurs lose OR if Rockets and Blazers win.

New Orleans will be seeded:
• #6 if Hornets win OR if Mavericks and Jazz lose.
• #7 if Hornets lose and either Mavericks or Jazz win (but not both)
• #8 if Hornets lose and Mavericks and Jazz win.

Dallas will be seeded:
• #6 if Mavericks win and Hornets lose.
• #7 if Mavericks win and Hornets win OR if Mavericks lose and Jazz lose.
• #8 if Mavericks lose and Jazz win.

Utah will be seeded:
• #6 if Jazz win and Hornets and Mavericks lose.
• #7 if Jazz win and either the Hornets or Mavericks win (both not both)
• #8 if Jazz lose OR Hornets and Mavericks win.