14 April 2008

The Western Conference is ridiculous

The Jazz have two regular-season games left and could end up seeded anywhere from 2 to 4 (and no lower because of their NW Division Title) in the playoffs. San Antonio could end up anywhere from 2 to 6, and Houston could take the number 1 seed, or fall to the 6 seed.


Now, things are so close in the West that it's feasible that Utah, Houston, San Antonio and Phoenix all finish with identical 55-27 records. How does the NBA work that out as far as seedings go?

Determining Ties for Playoff Position


1. If applicable, division champions must be determined first.

2. Better winning percentage in all games among the tied teams.

3. Better winning percentage against teams in own division (only if all tied teams are in same division).

4. Better winning percentage against teams in own conference.

5. Better winning percentage against teams eligible for playoffs in own conference (including team that finished the regular season tied for a playoff position).

6. Best point differential between offense and defense.

Note: If a multiple team tie is reduced to a two-team tie at any point using the above criteria, the two-team tie will be resolved in accordance with the existing two-team tie procedure.

Assuming Utah wins at home against Houston tonight and at San Antonio on Wednesday, here's how it shakes out:

Utah would be 7-3 against the other three teams with the same record.

Phoenix would be 6-5.

Houston 5-6.

San Antonio would finish at an unimpressive 4-8.

That would make Utah the #3 seed, Phoenix the #4 seed, Houston the #5 seed, and San Antonio the #6 seed.

Which would mean Utah plays San Antonio in the first round. I wouldn't be too happy about that, though for that to happen, the Jazz would have to have beaten the Spurs in San Antonio for the first time in forever.

It's a weird situation where the Jazz have to beat the Spurs in San Antonio to be forced into a situation where they'd need to beat the Spurs in San Antonio.

No matter what happens over these next few days, the Western Conference playoffs are going to be amazing. I don't see any series (even first round matchups) going less than six games. The Spurs look vulnerable with Manu injured and Duncan not getting any younger. Phoenix L.A. are pretty intimidating, but they each have weaknesses the Jazz can exploit.

TNT's "40 Games in 40 Nights," you own me.

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