Playoff Race Update » Fifth And Sixth Up For Grabs This Weekend

by Casey Holdahl
Follow @chold

While their goal all season long has been to avoid the play-in tournament, the Trail Blazers, at 37-29 with six games to play, are assured of finishing no worse than 10th, and thus, are guaranteed to at least have a shot at the postseason. But there's still plenty of work to do if they want to avoid having to play their way into the playoffs for the second-straight season. 

Given that, this feels like a make-or-break weekend for the Trail Blazers in terms of their chances of moving out of the play-in and into the Top 6 of the Western Conference. Friday night, they host the Lakers in a game that will decide which team gets the tiebreaker and the inside track on finishing sixth. And then on Saturday, they'll host the Spurs in the second night of a back-to-back for both teams, with the winner also laying claim to the season series, and thus, the two-team tiebreaker. 

If the Trail Blazers are able to get both games, and then follow that up with a win versus the Rockets at Moda Center on Monday, they'll be in great shape to get at least the sixth-seed, if not the fifth, by time they head out for their last trip, a road back-to-back versus the Jazz and Suns, teams currently in second and first, respectively, in the West. Assuming that both the Jazz and Suns will have cause to play their best -- and since they're just separated by one game, you figure they would -- Portland taking care of business in their next three games at home, something they were unable to do in their last homestand, feels almost like a requirement if they want to reach their goal, and thus, get close to a week off from the end of the regular season to the start of the postseason. 

So here's where the race for the fifth and sixth seeds stands with six games to play. While the Blazers can't be caught by either the Pelicans nor the Kings, we're including them in the post since they're still eligible for the play-in. 

DALLAS MAVERICKS, 5TH IN THE WESTERN CONFERENCE

Overall record: 38-28 | Conference record: 20-19 | Division record: 6-4
Home record: 18-15 | Away record: 20-13 | Games back from 1st: 10 | Games back from 5th: 0

Remaining home games: 3 (5/7 vs. Cavaliers, 5/12 vs. Pelicans, 45/14 vs. Raptors)
Remaining road games: 3 (5/9 @ Cavaliers, 5/11 @ Grizzlies, 5/16 @ Timberwolves)

Remaining games versus teams over .500: 1 (0 home, 1 away) 
Remaining games versus teams under .500: 5 (3 home, 2 away)

Tiebreaker: The Trail Blazers own the tiebreaker versus the Mavericks by virtue of winning the season series 2-1. 

LOS ANGELES LAKERS, TIED FOR 6TH IN THE WESTERN CONFERENCE

Overall record: 37-29 | Conference record: 22-16 | Division record: 3-8
Home record: 18-15 | Away record: 19-14 | Games back from 1st: 11 | Games back from 5th: 1

Remaining home games: 3 (5/9 vs. Suns, 5/11 vs. Knicks, 5/12 vs. Rockets)
Remaining road games: 3 (5/7 @ Trail Blazers, 5/15 @ Pacers, 5/16 @ Pelicans)

Remaining games versus teams over .500: 3 (2 home, 1 away) 
Remaining games versus teams under .500: 3 (1 home, 2 away)

Tiebreaker: The season series between the Trail Blazers and Lakers is tied at 1-1, with the final game in the series to be played on May 7 at Moda Center and with the winner earning the tiebreaker. 

PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS, TIED FOR 6TH IN THE WESTERN CONFERENCE

Overall record: 37-29 | Conference record: 18-18 | Division record: 4-6
Home record: 16-16 | Away record: 21-13 | Games back from 1st: 11 | Games back from 5th: 1

Remaining home games: 4 (5/7 vs. Lakers, 5/8 vs. Spurs, 5/10 vs. Rockets, 5/16 vs. Nuggets)
Remaining road games: 2 (5/12 @ Jazz, 5/13 @ Suns)

Remaining games versus teams over .500: 4 (2 home, 2 away) 
Remaining games versus teams under .500: 2 (2 home, 0 away)

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS, 8TH IN THE WESTERN CONFERENCE

Overall record: 34-33 | Conference record: 20-17 | Division record: 4-7
Home record: 20-11 | Away record: 14-22 | Games back from 1st: 14.5 | Games back from 5th: 4.5

Remaining home games: 5 (5/8 vs. Thunder, 5/10 vs. Jazz, 5/11 vs. Suns, 5/14 vs. Pelicans, 5/16 vs. Grizzlies)
Remaining road games: 0 

Remaining games versus teams over .500: 3 (3 home, 0 away) 
Remaining games versus teams under .500: 2 (2 home, 0 away)

Tiebreaker: The Trail Blazers own the tiebreaker versus the Warriors by virtue of winning the season series 2-1. 

MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES, 9TH IN THE WESTERN CONFERENCE

Overall record: 33-33 | Conference record: 15-22 | Division record: 4-6
Home record: 14-18 | Away record: 19-15 | Games back from 1st: 15 | Games back from 5th: 5

Remaining home games: 4 (5/10 vs. Pelicans, 5/11 vs. Mavericks, 5/13 vs. Kings, 5/14 vs. Kings)
Remaining road games: 2 (5/8 @ Raptors, 5/16 @ Warriors)

Remaining games versus teams over .500: 2 (1 home, 1 away) 
Remaining games versus teams under .500: 4 (3 home, 1 away)

Tiebreaker: The Grizzlies own the tiebreaker versus the Trail Blazers by virtue of winning the season series 2-1. 

SAN ANTONIO SPURS, 10TH IN THE WESTERN CONFERENCE

Overall record: 31-34 | Conference record: 16-22 | Division record: 6-6
Home record: 13-20 | Away record: 18-14 | Games back from 1st: 16.5 | Games back from 5th: 6.5

Remaining home games: 3 (5/10 vs. Bucks, 5/15 vs. Suns, 5/16 vs. Suns)
Remaining road games: 4 (5/7 @ Kings, 5/8 @ Trail Blazers, 5/12 @ Nets, 5/13 @ Knicks)

Remaining games versus teams over .500: 6 (3 home, 3 away) 
Remaining games versus teams under .500: 1 (0 home, 1 away)

Tiebreaker: The season series between the Trail Blazers and Spurs is tied at 1-1, with the final game in the series to be played on May 8 at Moda Center and with the winner earning the tiebreaker.

NEW ORLEANS PELICANS, 11TH IN THE WESTERN CONFERENCE

Overall record: 30-36 | Conference record: 18-20 | Division record: 6-4
Home record: 18-17 | Away record: 12-19 | Games back from 1st: 18 | Games back from 5th: 8

Remaining home games: 1 (5/15 vs. Lakers)
Remaining road games: 5 (5/7 @ 76ers, 5/9 @ Hornets, 5/10 @ Grizzlies, 5/12 @ Mavericks, 5/14 @ Warriors)

Remaining games versus teams over .500: 5 (1 home, 4 away) 
Remaining games versus teams under .500: 1 (0 home, 1 away)

Tiebreaker: The Pelicans cannot end the season tied with the Trail Blazers. However, Portland swept the season series 3-0. 

SACRAMENTO KINGS, 12TH IN THE WESTERN CONFERENCE

Overall record: 29-37 | Conference record: 16-20 | Division record: 5-7
Home record: 14-18 | Away record: 15-19 | Games back from 1st: 19 | Games back from 5th: 9

Remaining home games: 4 (5/7 vs. Spurs, 5/9 vs. Thunder, 5/11 vs. Thunder, 5/16 vs. Jazz)
Remaining road games: 2 (5/13 @ Grizzlies, 5/14 @ Grizzlies)

Remaining games versus teams over .500: 3 (2 home, 1 away) 
Remaining games versus teams under .500: 3 (3 home, 0 away)

Tiebreaker: The Kings cannot end the season tied with the Trail Blazers. However, Portland swept the season series 3-0. 

NEXT UP:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter