Pheonix Rising to 5 and 0, Grizzlies Out
The Eastern Conference has locked in its cast for the postseason.
Milwaukee has bagged the top seed, and the Bucks will be marching into the playoff field with Orlando, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Indiana, Miami, Boston, and Toronto.
Out west though, the playoff picture is still a little too blurred to call. The Lakers may have secured the top seed, but seeds 2-7 are still fair game so far.
As pointed out by CBS Sports, Damian Lillard’s pair of missed charities down the wire in Portland’s loss against the Clippers is huge and potentially pivotal for the Trail Blazers.
After the loss, Portland trails eighth-seeded Memphis, while holding on to the inside track on the 9th spot. The Suns are moving in to force a play-in, though. Phoenix has remained undefeated in the bubble, and has moved to 5-0 after defeating Miami on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Nuggets tightened its hold to the third seed as Thunder and Jazz switched places once again.
Fox Sports reminds us that the two teams that finish in 8th and 9th after the regular season will suit up for a short series to lock the 8th seed.
The team that finished 8th will have a twice to beat advantage.
Aside from the scuffle in the seeding games, a conspiracy theory is gripping the Western Conference matches.
Some are raising suspicion over Doc Rivers’s decision to bench Kawhi Leonard in the Clippers-Blazers match, where Paul George was also subbed out with five minutes to go and the Clippers behind by just three.
Why in the world would the Clippers try to purposely throw the game?
Well, pseudo-analysts are saying the Clippers might be trying to help Portland clinch the eighth seed, in the hope that the Blazers would rough the Lakers up when they meet in the first round.
Rivers says there wasn’t any ulterior motive to uncover, just that PG-13 simply ran out of minutes.
The coach doesn’t even want to weigh in on whether the Trail Blazers could give the Lakers a run for their money.
“I don’t get involved in that,” Rivers told the Los Angeles Times. “I honestly don’t look at it. I heard our guys talking about it, I’m like, ‘Listen, that’s their business. Our business is who we’re playing.’ We need to focus on that.”