Today’s slate of games will determine the season for four teams who are making a playoff push in the Western Conference. The different types of potential outcomes of four games today will send some teams home and others into the play-in game. The four teams in the race for the play in game are the Portland TrailBlazers, Memphis Grizzlies, Phoenix Suns, and the San Antonio Spurs.
Because of unique circumstances with a shortened season due to COVID-19, the NBA decided to implement a “play-in game” between the 8th and the 9th seed for the final spot in the playoffs. For the West, the winner of this play in game will take on LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers.
The 8th seed in the Western Conference can be locked up by Damian Lillard and the Portland Trailblazers today with a win over the Nets. However, in the event that the Blazers lose (which I don’t think they will), then opportunity arises for the Suns, Grizzlies, or Spurs to slide into the 8th seed.
If for some reason it’s not Dame time, the way each of the teams making the push can obtain the 8th seed go as follows. If the Grizzlies win and the TrailBlazers lose then they will be the eight seed. If the Suns win, and the Grizzlies and Trailblazers lose then they will be the eight seed. And lastly if the Spurs win, and the Blazers, Grizzlies, and Suns all lose then they will be the eight seed.
In terms of the 9th seed, Memphis controls there own destiny. A win and they are in. It gets a little more complicated for the Spurs and the Suns.
In order for the Spurs to make the play in game they have to beat the Jazz, and then also need the Grizzlies and Suns to lose.
The Suns on the other hand just need a win and a Grizzlies loss to secure the 9th seed.
Today is a big day for these teams as they decide their fate in the bubble. Expect all these teams to be going balls to the wall today in games that makes or breaks everything that they have worked for all year long.