nsucurrent.com April 24, 2018

Thunder will play Jazz or Rockets in first round of National Basketball Association playoffs

13 April 2018, 03:53 | Nina Perez

Thunder will play Jazz or Rockets in first round of National Basketball Association playoffs

Thunder will play Jazz or Rockets in first round of National Basketball Association playoffs

The NBA has released the first-round playoff schedule, and the reigning NBA champs will host the postseason opener. Houston led by future MVP James Harden, Warriors led by Kevin Durant with Steph Curry injured, and Utah lead by rookie guard Donovan Mitchell and defensive stud Rudy Gobert. The Warriors are locked in the second seed. San Antonio will get No 7 seed with a loss and a Minnesota win.

The Thunder will capture the No. 6 seed with a win over Memphis and a Utah win over Portland.

Start with the East pairings: Lowry and the top-seeded Raptors play No. 8 Washington, No. 2 Boston faces No. 7 Milwaukee, No. 3 Philadelphia gets No. 6 Miami and No. 4 Cleveland - with LeBron James bidding for an eighth consecutive appearance in The Finals - opening against No. 5 in, a surprise team at the start of the season and one that isn't a surprise anymore. They would've fallen all the way to No. 8 had the Nuggets defeated the Timberwolves.

If the Thunder defeat the Grizzlies, Jazz vs. Blazers matters... New Orleans will take No. 5 seed with a win against the Spurs and a Utah win over Portland and a Thunder victory. The Thunder will get the No. 4 seed with a win and a Trail Blazers win. Their season will be determined in the final game against Denver. Timberwolves2. Warriors vs. 7.

The Wizards hold the tiebreaker as of now over the Bucks because they have a better "conference winning percentage" (CWP) at.549 (28-23) vs. the Bucks'.529 CWP (27-24).

The Celtics will play either the Bucks, Wizards or Heat. But the Cleveland Cavaliers can jump to the three seed with a win on Wednesday against the New York Knicks, and a 76ers' loss to the Bucks.

With one game remaining on the schedule for the Celtics and the rest of the National Basketball Association, the C's first round opponent is yet to be known. The Utah Jazz claimed the position, destroying a Golden State Warriors team only missing Stephen Curry Tuesday night. Cleveland has had a lot of problems this season but IN shouldn't be one, especially with playoff LeBron James.

76ers clinch No. 3 seed in East, Cleveland No. 4AP Photo PACS104, OKSO106, LAS101, PACS101, NYJJ120, MICO110, MNJM103, MNJM104, COJD115, NYJJ112, NYPS201Eds: Updates with 76ers item. That boosted his effective field-goal rate (49 per cent) to its highest point since his rookie season (50.2 per cent in 2009-10), while also increasing his box plus-minus, a box score estimate of the points per 100 possessions a player contributed above a league-average player, translated to an average team, to a career-high (plus-2.1). The Bucks will capture No. 7 seed with a loss and a Heat win and a Wizards loss or a Heat loss and a Wizards win.

So there's only one spot left in the 16-team tournament that will decide whose fingerprints get to put the smudge of a championship celebration on the Larry O'Brien Trophy in June.

The Bucks will either play the Raptors, Celtics, 76ers or Cavaliers in the first round. However, if Oklahoma City can't take care of business against Memphis, it is going to be the No. 8 seed. John Wall and Otto Porter didn't play, but still.

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