NBA Playoff Picture: Nuggets, Mavericks Switched Seeds On Sunday

The 2012 NBA Playoff picture didn't get a whole lot clearer following the nine games on Sunday's slate, but there were a couple teams that were jostled around as far as seeding was concerned. Things should start to clear up even more this week with just a few days left in the regular season, but for now, we'll pay attention to the movement as far as seeds are concerned.

The most notable win on Sunday was probably the Denver Nuggets' drubbing of the Orlando Magic in a 101-74 affair. Not because the Nuggets shouldn't be able to beat a Magic team that currently features Dwight Howard on the bench, but because the win allowed the Nuggets to jump the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference playoff standings.

The Nuggets would be the sixth seed if the season ended today, whereas the Mavericks would have the seventh seed. That would give the Nuggets the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the playoffs, leaving Dallas to play the Oklahoma City Thunder (though judging by Sunday's result between the two, who gets the better end of that deal is still to be determined).

As far as the rest of the playoff picture was concerned on Sunday afternoon, not a lot of things changed.

The San Antonio Spurs and Thunder looked like they might go down to the wire for the Western Conference's top seed, but the Texas veterans moved 1.5 games up on the Thunder thanks to Sunday's victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers combined with the Thunder's double-overtime loss.

Elsewhere in the West, the Los Angeles Clippers picked up an expected win over the New Orleans Hornets. With the victory, LA stayed one game up on the Memphis Grizzlies for the fourth seed in the conference (and homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs).

On the Eastern side of the bracket, The Atlanta Hawks lost to the New York Knicks. Considering the Hawks are still two games up on the Magic, however, they remain the East's fifth seed despite the loss. The Miami Heat also picked up a win over the Houston Rockets (officially eliminating Houston), though LeBron James and Co. are unlikely to usurp the Chicago Bulls for the top seed in the East.

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