The Pistons claimed the final playoff spot in the East, while the 2-4 seeds in the West will come down to the very end.
The 2018-19 NBA regular season ends on Wednesday. The final playoff spot belongs to the Detroit Pistons, who claimed the East’s No. 8 seed by routing the Knicks.
We’ll keep this guide updated through Wednesday’s late games to provide some clear info on what teams need to do to either lock up their preferred seed.
Here’s a quick breakdown on tiebreakers:
- If teams have equal overall records, the first tiebreaker is head-to-head record.
- If that is tied and one of the teams involved won their division, they receive the nod.
- If the teams are in the same division and neither won the division, the next tiebreaker is record within the division.
- If the teams are in different divisions and neither or both won their division, the next tiebreaker is conference record.
- The next tiebreaker is record against playoff teams in their own conference.
- We’re getting deep into the weeds now. The next tiebreaker is record against playoff teams in the other conference.
- The next tiebreaker is overall point differential.
- If even that can’t settle matters, there’s a random drawing.
Three- and four-way ties have similar but slightly more complicated tiebreaking criteria.
The NBA playoffs begin on Saturday, April 13.
Last Updated: Wednesday, April 10, 10:30 p.m. ET
Eastern Conference Playoff Matchups are set
1. Milwaukee Bucks (60-22) vs. 8. Detroit Pistons (41-41)
2. Toronto Raptors (58-24) vs. 7. Orlando Magic (42-40)
3. Philadelphia 76ers (51-31) vs. 6. Brooklyn Nets (42-40)
4. Boston Celtics (49-33) vs. 5. Indiana Pacers (48-34)
How the final seeds were secured
The Pistons needed to beat the Knicks to clinch their spot in the postseason. They did so with a 115-89 win without star Blake Griffin.
They beat out the Hornets, who lost to Orlando and finished 39-43. They would’ve missed out had they won.
The Nets grabbed the No. 6 seed by virtue of beating the Miami Heat. They finished tied with the Magic, but earned the higher seed by virtue of winning the head-to-head tiebreaker.
Teams that have clinched spots
Golden State Warriors
Portland Trail Blazers
Oklahoma City Thunder
San Antonio Spurs
Playoff spots remaining: 0
Warriors, No. 1
Jazz, No. 5
Thunder, No. 6
Spurs, No. 7
Clippers, No. 8
Nuggets: Nos. 2-3
Rockets: Nos. 2-4
Blazers: Nos. 3-4
2-4 seed breakdown
Nuggets: 53-28 with one game left. Clinches No. 2 seed with a win on Wednesday against Wolves. Falls to No. 3 seed with a loss.
Rockets: 53-29 with no games left. Houston can be the No. 2 seed if Denver loses. If Denver and Portland both win, Houston falls to No. 4. If Denver wins and Portland loses, Houston is No. 3.
Blazers: 52-29 with one game left. Guaranteed home court in the first round. Needs to win vs. Sacramento plus a Denver win to claim No. 3.
How seeds 6-8 were decided
The Thunder earned the No. 6 seed with a 127-116 win over the Bucks, who rested Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez.
The Spurs earned the No. 7 seed by beating the Mavericks, 105-94.
That means the Clippers will be the No. 8 seed no matter the result of their finale against the Utah Jazz.
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