Every team in the NBA is in action on Wednesday as the regular season ends. And while only one playoff spot remains up for grabs, there are a whole lot of things at stake. Here is a comprehensive look at those things.
NBA PLAYOFF BIDS
Last spot in the West
The Los Angeles Lakers control their postseason destiny, as a win over the Houston Rockets at the Staples Center would get them in and keep the Utah Jazz out. If the Lakers lose, the Jazz have to win on the road against the Memphis Grizzlies to snag that final playoff spot.
NBA PLAYOFF SEEDS
West No. 3
The Denver Nuggets currently hold the No. 3 spot and would clinch it with a win over the Phoenix Suns. But if the Nuggets lose, the Los Angeles Clippers could swoop in and grab the No.3 seed with a victory over the Sacramento Kings. In this scenario, the Nuggets and Clippers would have the same record, but Los Angeles would get the No. 3 seed because they are a division leader.
Home-court advantage in the West, No. 4 vs. 5
The Clippers currently have the No. 4 seed and home-court advantage over the No. 5 Grizzlies. If the Nuggets win to secure the No.3 seed, the Clippers would get the No. 4 seed no matter what. However, the Clippers would also clinch home-court advantage by beating the Kings. If the Clippers lose and Grizzlies beat the Jazz, Memphis would get home-court in the first round due to having a better record. If both the Clippers and Grizzlies win, Los Angeles would get home-court. If the Nuggets lose and Clippers win, Denver would get the No. 4 seed and have home-court even if the Grizzlies beat the Jazz because of the head-to-head tiebreaker.
West No. 6
The Golden State Warriors clinch the No. 6 seed with a win over the Portland Trail Blazers. If the Warriors lose, the Rockets could jump up to the No. 6 seed with a win over the Lakers. Golden State gets the No. 6 seed if both teams lose.
West No. 7
The Lakers won't only get in the playoffs with a win over the Rockets, but they would also get the No. 7 seed because of head-to-head results. As noted above, the Rockets would get the No. 7 seed if both they and the Warriors win. The Warriors would get the No. 7 if they lose and the Rockets win.
East No. 5
The Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks currently share the same record, but the Bulls own the tiebreaker based on head-to-head results. A Bulls victory over the Washington Wizards would secure the No. 5 seed. If the Bulls lose and the Hawks beat the New York Knicks, Atlanta would get the No. 5 seed. The Bulls would get the No. 5 seed if both teams lose.
NBA DRAFT ORDER
The Orlando Magic and Charlotte Bobcats are currently tied for the worst record in the league at 20-61. If both win or both lose, a coin flip would determine who will have the better chance of winning the lottery. The coin flip also would determine who gets the higher pick if both teams finish outside the top-three picks via the lottery.
The Cavs own the third-worst record, with the Suns being one game better. A Cavs loss to the Bobcats would clinch it, as would a Cavs win and a Suns win over the Nuggets. If the Cavs win and the Suns lose, there would be a coin flip.
The New Orleans Hornets currently are one game worse than the Kings for the fifth-worst record. They can clinch it if the Hornets lose to the Dallas Mavericks. If the Hornets win and the Kings lose to the Clippers, it would go to a coin flip.
If the Kings beat the Clippers, the Wizards lose to the Bulls and the Detroit Pistons lose to the Brooklyn Nets, there would be a three-way tie for the sixth-worst record. There would then be multiple coin flips to determine who gets the odds advantages as well as the tiebreakers for draft order outside the top-three picks. If the Kings win and one of the Wizards and Pistons lose, Sacramento and the loser would flip a coin. If the Kings lose and the Hornets lose, Sacramento would finish with the sixth-worst record.
If the Kings lose, there are multiple scenarios for the seventh-worst record. If the Pistons lose to the Nets and the Wizards lose to the Bulls, Detroit and Washington would flip a coin. If one of those two teams wins while the other loses, the loser would end up with the seventh-worst record. If both the Pistons and Wizards win while the Minnesota Timberwolves lose to the San Antonio Spurs, there would be a three-way tie and multiple coin flips.
The Blazers, Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers are all tied for the tenth-worst record. If one team loses while the other two win, that team would have the tenth-worst record. If two lose and one wins, the two losers would flip a coin. If all three win or all three lose, there would be a three-way tie and multiple coin flips.