The Portland Trail Blazers provided some clarity to the bottom half of the West bracket for the 2011 NBA Playoffs on Tuesday, beating the Memphis Grizzlies in a game Memphis did not seem to want to win. That win locked the Blazers into the No. 6 seed, joining the Spurs at No. 1 and the Nuggets at No. 4 as the only set spots in the West. The Lakers and Mavericks will determine the order of seeds 2-4, while the Hornets and Grizzlies will figure out seeds 7-8.
If the Hornets beat the Mavericks on Wednesday, they will move to 47-35 and hold the tiebreaker advantage over the Grizzlies, putting New Orleans in the No. 7 spot. If the Hornets lose and the Grizzlies beat the Clippers, Memphis would become the No. 7 seed and New Orleans would slide to No. 8 (and a date with the Spurs). If both teams lose, New Orleans will be No. 7 and Memphis No. 8. In a sense, then, the Grizzlies control their own destiny.
Unfortunately for them, they won't know who is in the No. 2 spot when they tip off in L.A. unless the Mavericks lose. Hornets-Mavs tips off at 8 p.m. ET; the result should be in by the time Grizzlies-Clippers tips off at 10:30. If Dallas wins, Memphis still won't know who the No. 2 seed will be; the Lakers tip off in Sacramento at 10:30, as well, and would then need a win to claim No. 2.