The 4-5 match up in the NBA is nearly wrapped up, after a Friday night that saw the Jazz knock off the Sacramento Kings, the Denver Nuggets take down the Portland Trail Blazers, and the Los Angeles Lakers taking down the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Jazz now sit in the 5th seed, with a two and a half game lead and just two games remaining for Los Angeles, the Jazz can’t lose a heads up tie with the Clippers. The Jazz could still fall behind the Oklahoma City Thunder if the Jazz were to lose their final three games, while the Thunder win out.
Portland is now one and a half games back of the Houston Rockets. Houston has two games left to play, while Portland has three games left to play. Portland owns the tie breaker heads up with the Rockets, so Houston’s magic number to clinch a better record than the Blazers is two. Houston finishes the season with a game at home against Phoenix, before traveling to Oklahoma City to end the season. Portland will again face the Nuggets on Sunday, before playing at the Lakers then home against the Kings. If Portland loses to the Nuggets on Sunday, and the Jazz win out, the Jazz will host the Blazers in the first round of a 4-5 matchup.
There is a scenario where if the Jazz lose out, the Thunder win out, and the Clippers win out the Jazz could drop all the way to seventh in the Western Conference playoffs, but its unlikely, as the Thunder still have to play the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Rockets, and the Milwaukee Bucks to end the season.
A perfect scenario for the Jazz Sunday night would be a Jazz win over the Lakers, a Rockets win over the Suns, and a Blazers loss to the Nuggets. The Jazz would lock up the 5th seed as their lowest possible seed, and would control their own destiny for home court advantage in the first round.