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Marc Stein: First-round playoff schedules from the NBA … pic.twitter.com/4EEpmrWqA0
In addition to the post-Thanksgiving tournament, the NBA is making a case to teams and the union for a play-in for the seventh and eighth conference playoff seeds, and a reseeding of teams in the semifinal round based on regular-season records. “I think that’s interesting and has merit,” Kerr said of reseeding teams in the semifinal round. “If your goal is to get the best two teams in the Finals and it’s pretty clear cut then, yeah, I’d be interested in that.”
Josh Lewenberg: The Raptors will finish the regular season at 58-24. They clinch the 2nd-best record in the NBA and will have home-court advantage vs any team, East or West, except for Milwaukee.
Anthony Chiang: Pistons rally from 22-point deficit to defeat Grizzlies 100-93. Heat is now officially eliminated from playoff contention.
Chris Dempsey: Pretty simple equation for the #Nuggets: A Denver win tonight and a Houston loss tonight will lock the Nuggets into the No. 2 seed in the West. The Rockets are playing at Oklahoma City.
Anthony Puccio: The Brooklyn Nets have officially clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2015. Nets 108, Pacers 96.
Chris Grenham: Celtics officially have home-court advantage in round one thanks to today’s Pacers loss.
Rod Beard: #Pistons get some help with #Heat loss. MIA is 1.5 games behind now and DET can clinch a playoff spot with a win and a #Nets win.
Albert Nahmad: Heat lose, which puts the playoffs out of their control… They would be effectively eliminated with a Nets win (at Pacers) later today, and would be officially be eliminated if the Nets, Pistons (vs. Hornets), and Magic (at Celtics) all win.
Zach Oliver: A Magic win tonight, coupled with a Charlotte loss, would eliminate Charlotte from playoff contention, which could be impactful for the Magic come Wednesday night when they finish in Charlotte.
RJ Marquez: Spurs will clinch a playoff spot tonight with a Sacramento loss against Houston, per #NBA…Kings play in SA on Sunday night. #KSATsports #GoSpursGo
Derek Bodner: Final: #sixers win 106-89, moving into 3rd place in the Eastern Conference and giving them the tiebreaker over the Pacers by virtue of their 3-1 record against them. The Sixers outscored the Pacers 55-30 in the second half.
Ben Golliver: NBA commissioner Adam Silver on a 1-16 playoff format: “It has a real appeal to ownership and our fans. It’s just not such an easy think to implement.”
Ian Begley: Adam Silver says there was no discussion at Board of Governors meeting about possibility of seeding playoff teams 1-16: “We’re satisfied with where we are only because when we look at alternatives it seems that the travel becomes overwhelming.” NBA will continue to look at issue.
Gina Mizell: I asked Michael Malone if he’s in favor of a 1-16 playoff format, after #Nuggets were squeezed out of an ulta-competitive West. He was conflicted. Would like to see two best teams play for title regardless of conference, but is also “a little bit old-school” and likes East/West
Harrison Wind: Timberwolves are encouraging fans to arrive early for tonight’s play-in game. Expect a raucous atmosphere at Target Center. Minnesota hasn’t made the playoffs in 13 years.
Harrison Wind: NBA just issued a correction on their tiebreakers and Western Conference playoff scenarios. Here’s the updated version. Nuggets will be seeded anywhere from 5th through 7th with a win. Denver can’t get the 8th seed.
Josh Lewenberg: Raptors can learn their 1st-round opponent tonight. IF Washington loses to Boston they’ll be locked into 8th. Wizards have lost 8 of 10 games but Celtics are already locked into 2nd, have nothing tangible to play for.
Utah (47-33) can still jump to the third seed and lock up home-court advantage or sink toward the bottom tier. They’re currently in a position to determine their own destiny by winning out. “To be honest with you, I am not concerned with seeding right now,” said Jazz coach Quin Snyder. “We have talked about trying to get better and wherever we land, that is where we land.
Chase Hughes: John Wall on the East: ‘You’ve got one guy that nobody wants to play.’ Wall said he’s not scared of the Cavs but knows anyone who gets out of the East has to go through LeBron.
Jeff McDonald: Spurs have not clinched yet. If Spurs lose out, Minnesota and Denver both win today, and then Minnesota beats Denver to close the season, it creates a two-way tie between Spurs and Nuggets for 8th and 9th. In that case, Denver gets in on basis of conference record. Spurs are out twitter.com/sslogic1011/st…
TJ McBride: The Western Conference playoff picture remains insane on this Monday. Today’s games: OKC @ MIA MEM @ MIN SAC @ SAS POR @ DEN NOP @ LAC With just one games separating seeds 5-9, lots of change could come tonight. pic.twitter.com/0sZlGM1k8o
Eric Woodyard: Final: The Utah Jazz clinch a playoff spot with a 112-97 win against the Los Angeles Lakers. Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz with 28 points, nine rebounds and eight assists while Jae Crowder added 18 off the bench.
Ricky Rubio: ✅ Playoff clinched… #TakeNote
Mark Medina: New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry on possibly playing the Warriors in the first round: “I would love it. That means we’re in the playoffs.”
Jay King: Marcus Morris said he hopes other teams fight to get the seventh seed: “We all feel disrespected.” He doesn’t want to play his brother: “I’ve been telling him, this is like war time.” He doesn’t want to need to try to bully Markieff and vice versa.
Tim Bontemps: Brett Brown on tonight’s matchup: “We want to finish ahead of them.” Basically admits it would be better to be in the Boston half of the bracket (as everyone knows). The fact he’d just admit this is why everyone loves dealing with Brett.
Jim Eichenhofer: E’Twaun Moore on mindset of #Pelicans in such a tight West race: “In the back of our heads, we know every game is important. We know we’ve got to almost win every game, just to make the playoffs. So we have to come out with a sense of urgency.”
Jon Johnson: For Sixers to get 3 seed, they need to win out. Otherwise, gonna need some help from Knicks. One game at a time.
Anthony Chiang: FINAL: Heat 101, Hawks 98. Miami clinches playoff spot.
The 76ers will end a five-year playoff drought this season. But Dario Saric is happy just to make the postseason. He has thoughts on Philadelphia’s opponent. His choice: not LeBron James and the Cavaliers. Dario Saric, via NBC Sports Philadelphia: “I don’t want to play against LeBron. He’s obviously top-three, top-two, top-three players in world in history, maybe. Everyone else in the world is welcome to come here.”
Barry Jackson: Heat’s 113-107 OT loss to Indiana clinches playoff spot for both Pacers and 76ers and makes it unlikely Miami can catch either for 4 or 5 in East.
Sarah Todd: #Sixers clinch their first playoff berth since 2012.
Harrison Wind: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to @Jason Kosmicki on seeding the playoffs 1-16: “We’re serious about looking at it. We’re far from a place where there’s a solution. Of course it makes sense to seed teams 1-16 in the league but we have two conferences that are geographically apart….”
David Hardisty: FINAL: #Rockets 105, Mavs 82. Houston uses third-quarter blitz to clinch a playoff spot and complete the season sweep of Dallas. In Harden’s absence, Gordon (26p), CP3 (24p-12a) step up big.
Tim Bontemps: The Rockets and Warriors both clinch a playoff spot if either the Clippers or Thunder lose today, according to the NBA.
Paul Garcia: From the NBA: HOUSTON clinches a playoff spot with losses by Oklahoma City, San Antonio and Minnesota. BOSTON clinches a playoff spot with a win.
Recent comments from NBA commissioner Adam Silver about tweaking the league’s playoff format drew intense media coverage, but sources say there is also some behind-the-scenes momentum for the idea of a play-in tournament determining the last two seeds in each conference — to the point that two specific proposals are circulating at the highest levels within teams and the league office. The play-in proposal that has generated the most discussion, according to several sources: two four-team tournaments featuring the seventh, eighth, ninth, and 10th seeds in each conference. The seventh seed would host the eighth seed, with the winner of that single game nabbing the seventh spot, sources say. Meanwhile, the ninth seed would host the 10th seed, with the winner of that game facing the loser of the 7-versus-8 matchup for the final playoff spot.
A play-in would require collective bargaining with the players’ union. There is also debate within the league about whether a play-in would inspire as much fan interest and hype as supporters hope. After all, we are talking mostly about .500-ish teams battling for the right to get destroyed by top seeds. In theory, revenue from a play-in tournament — or a midseason tournament — could ease the league toward slashing a few games from the 82-game schedule, but it is unclear any such tournament would rake in sufficient cash.
Opponents recoiled at including the 11th seed, arguing that doing so would reward awful teams and devalue the regular season, sources have said. It’s possible that the promise of a tournament appearance might motivate teams so that the average 11th seed would be a little better than it is today, but the debate for now has settled on drawing the line at the 10th seed.
Some team higher-ups have pitched the idea of including the seventh and eighth seeds in the lottery — expanding the lottery field from 14 teams to 18, sources said. That would guard against the possibility of any team tanking its way out of the tournament.
Scott Kushner: Adam Silver said the idea of seeding teams 1-16 for the playoffs regardless of conference has gotten “serious attention”. He said the main concern in stopping that is travel problems.
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May 8, 2021 | 9:34 pm EDT Update
The Sixers won their eighth straight game with a 118-104 victory over the Pistons on Saturday night, moving ever so closer to locking down the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. Joel Embiid led the way with 29 points, and strong efforts from Dwight Howard and Tyrese Maxey were among the standouts from the supporting cast.
Justin Grasso: Doc Rivers on the playoff rotation: “I think we’re very comfortable with who were are going to play. I think we’ve been comfortable.” Says they “won’t blink” at playing 11 guys if they need to
May 8, 2021 | 8:54 pm EDT Update
Fred Katz: There it is. Russell Westbrook has officially tied Oscar Robertson’s all-time triple-double record of 181 for a career, a record that has stood for 47 years. Westbrook now has 21 triple-doubles in his last 25 games and will go for the record Monday against the Hawks.