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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Western Convention No. 1 seed race: What occurs if the Nuggets, Timberwolves and Thunder tie?

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On Tuesday, the Denver Nuggets seemingly wrapped up the No. 1 seed within the Western Convention. Whereas they did not technically clinch with their seismic victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves, they took care of by far their hardest remaining opponent and gave themselves a one-game lead within the standings over each the Timberwolves and the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder. Certainly the defending champs would care for enterprise of their final two video games towards the Spurs and Grizzlies… proper?

Effectively… that is not the way it performed out on Friday. The Nuggets managed most of their battle with Victor Wembanyama and the Spurs. They led by 13 coming into the ultimate body. After which, after spending the whole season toying with opponents within the clutch, they have been outscored 11-2 within the closing three-and-a-half minutes to fall, 121-120. A Devonte’ Graham runner with lower than one second remaining gave the Spurs the win.

That threw the Western Convention right into a state of turmoil. 

With 81 video games down and only one remaining, the Thunder, Timberwolves and Nuggets all share equivalent 56-25 information. The NBA has by no means seen a three-way tie for a No. 1 seed. We very simply might have one this season. On Sunday, the Nuggets will play the Grizzlies in Memphis, the Timberwolves will host the Suns in Minneapolis, and the Thunder will host the Mavericks in Dallas. All three video games begin on the similar time. If all three favorites both win or lose, we have now a three-way tie for the No. 1 seed.

So now, we reply the million-dollar query: what occurs in all of those attainable tiebreaker situations? Effectively… there are a complete of seven that we have to handle. Let’s break it down.

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  • If the Thunder, Nuggets and Timberwolves all both win or lose on Sunday, the Thunder could be the No. 1 seed within the West, the Timberwolves could be the No. 2 seed and the Nuggets could be the No. 3 seed. The primary tie that must be settled in any situation is by division. All three of our groups right here occur to share the Northwest Division. In a three-way divisional tie, the winner is decided by means of file towards the opposite groups throughout the tie. The Thunder are 5-3 towards the Wolves and Nuggets. The Wolves are 4-4 towards the Nuggets and Thunder. The Nuggets are 3-5 towards the Wolves and Thunder. From there, the person tiebreaker between the Nuggets and Timberwolves is utilized. That will be division file, which Minnesota wins with a 12-4 file in comparison with Denver’s 10-6 file.
  • If the Timberwolves and Thunder each win, however the Nuggets lose, the Timberwolves could be the No. 1 seed, the Thunder could be the No. 2 seed and the Nuggets could be the No. 3 seed. It’s because, with out the three-way tiebreaker, the Thunder and Wolves would default to particular person tiebreakers. They cut up their season-series 2-2, so the subsequent tiebreaker down is division file. Right here, we have now one more tie at 12-4 for each. Subsequent, we go to convention file, which the Timberwolves lastly win. Minnesota is 37-14 within the West. Oklahoma Metropolis is 36-15.
  • If the Timberwolves and Nuggets win, however the Thunder lose, the Timberwolves could be the No. 1 seed, the Nuggets could be the No. 2 seed and the Thunder would the No. 3 seed. Since Minnesota and Denver are tied head-to-head at 2-2, we might settle the tie between Minnesota and Denver with division file, which the Timberwolves win.
  • If the Nuggets and Thunder win, however the Timberwolves lose, then the Thunder could be the No. 1 seed, the Nuggets could be the No. 2 seed and the Wolves could be the No. 3 seed. It’s because the Thunder maintain a 3-1 head-to-head benefit over the Nuggets.

To find out the No. 2 seed within the occasion that any two of those groups lose and the third wins, merely apply the identical tiebreaker lined within the situations above. If Denver wins and the opposite two groups lose, Minnesota could be No. 2 due to its convention file. If Oklahoma Metropolis wins and the opposite two lose, Minnesota could be the No. 2 seed due to its division file. If Minnesota wins and the opposite two lose, Oklahoma Metropolis could be the No. 2 seed due to its head-to-head tiebreaker over Denver.

Alright, so we have lined the tiebreaker situations. The rest we have to find out about these three video games, individually? Sure! Completely! Listed here are the essential notes on all three of those matchups on Sunday, which all tip off at 3:30 p.m. ET:

  • Dallas is locked into the No. 5 seed within the Western Convention. Due to this fact, it mustn’t come as a shock to listen to that Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving have already been dominated out of their matchup towards the Thunder. Oklahoma Metropolis might be dealing with a group with out its two finest gamers.
  • Memphis had one of many longest harm stories in NBA historical past on Friday. The Grizzlies listed a complete of 13 gamers as “out” forward of their recreation Friday towards the Lakers. They used just one participant that performed for them on opening evening towards Los Angeles: Jake LaRavia. However their skeleton crew nonetheless got here inside three factors of toppling the Lakers in a 123-120 defeat, so do not anticipate them to put down for the Nuggets on Sunday.
  • Phoenix is preventing for its playoff life proper now. There are nonetheless situations by which the Suns can escape the Play-In Event, so anticipate them to do every part of their energy to beat the Timberwolves on Sunday.

With practically six months of basketball within the rearview mirror, we nonetheless have not decided which group can have home-court benefit all through the Western Convention playoffs. Buckle up, of us, as a result of Sunday goes to be one heck of a journey.



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