NBA magic numbers for playoffs, seeding, divisions and more


A look at the magic numbers of NBA teams that will make the playoffs, win their divisions and win the NBA Draft Lottery.

It's reached the stretch of the NBA season where winning teams are locking down home-court advantage while losing teams begin considering their place in the NBA Draft Lottery. Division rivalries are also coming down to the wire. But what must teams must do to reach the playoffs or tank nab the top pick is a numbers game. So what are the magic numbers of combined wins and losses for teams in the chase for titles or draft picks?

Chasing the league's best mark

7 - The Miami Heat's 27-game winning streak has them three games ahead of the San Antonio Spurs for the NBA's best record. Seven Miami wins and San Antonio losses (combined) will give the Heat a regular-season title and home court all the way through the NBA Finals -- should they make it there.

The Western Conference

8 - The Spurs' magic number to win the West against the Oklahoma City Thunder stands at eight games. Oklahoma City is 1.5 games back of San Antonio, and an April 4 showdown in Oklahoma City will go a long way in the race.

5 - The magic number for the sixth-place Golden State Warriors to clinch a playoff berth is five. They must hold off the the Lakers and Jazz, who are tied at 38-36 and will play down to the wire for a postseason bid. The Warriors play both teams in their final eight games.

7 - The Houston Rockets' magic number to secure a playoff berth with nine games remaining is seven. Houston is currently in the No. 7 slot.

The Eastern Conference

0 - Miami has already clinched the Eastern Conference.

2 - Two is the Boston Celtics' magic number for securing a playoff berth, as they sit in seventh place in the Eastern Conference.

5 - The magic number for the Milwaukee Bucks to hold off the Philadelphia 76ers to make the playoffs as the eighth seed is five.

For the top 2013 NBA Draft pick

8 - The magic number is eight for the Charlotte Bobcats to have the best lottery chances against the Orlando Magic. They hold a 1.5 game lead over the Magic for the worst record in the NBA. Charlotte has nine games remaining, while Orlando has a total of eight.

5 - Five is the magic number for the Bobcats to hold off the Cleveland Cavaliers for the NBA's worst record.

4 - The Bobcats' magic number is four to hold off the Phoenix Suns for the NBA's worst record.

3 - Charlotte's magic number to earn a worse record than Detroit by season's end is three.

1 - The Bobcats are one game away from preventing Minnesota or New Orleans from earning the NBA's worst record by season's end.

By division

6 - Six is the magic number for the New York Knicks to hold off the Brooklyn Nets for the Atlantic Division crown.

4 - The Central Division's magic number for the Indiana Pacers to stave off the Chicago Bulls is four.

5 - The Oklahoma City Thunder's magic number is five to win the Northwest Division over the Denver Nuggets.

2 - Two is the magic number for the Clippers to win the Pacific Division.

4 - Finally, four is the the magic number for the Spurs to win the Southwest Division over the Memphis Grizzlies.

More from SB Nation:

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Kobe gets away with game-changing foul | NBA admits mistake

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The best NBA draft prospects of March Madness

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