NBA playoff standings for 2015 look good for the Indiana Pacers and Oklahoma City Thunder. The 2015 NBA Playoffs begin this weekend (April 18), and both the Pacers and Thunder took huge steps toward clinching spots. Playing against the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night (April 13), OKC won a pivitol game 101-90. The victory brought them into a tie with the New Orleans Pelicans for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.
During the regular season, the Pelicans beat the Thunder three out of the four games they played. It means if the teams stay tied at the end of the regular season that the Pelicans will win the tie-breaker. To finish out the schedule, Oklahoma City plays the 16-65 Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday (April 15), while the Pelicans have to play the San Antonio Spurs. According to the updated NBA standings, the Spurs need a win to clinch the No. 2 seed in the West. That puts the Pelicans in a very difficult position when it comes to making the postseason.
In the Eastern Conference, the 37-43 Indiana Pacers won a fifth-straight game to move up the 2015 NBA playoff standings. The team now holds a half game lead over the 37-44 Brooklyn Nets and controls its own destiny when it comes to making the post-season. If the Pacers win their final two regular season games against the Washington Wizards (April 14) and Memphis Grizzlies (April 15) then they clinch the No. 8 seed. Those are very tough opponents that have already qualified for the postseason though.
One problem for the Pacers is that they lost the season series to the Nets. Meaning if there is a tie to end the regular season, the Nets win the tie-breaker and clinch the No. 8 seed. The final game for the Nets comes against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday (April 15). If the Pacers lose one more game and the Nets beat the Magic, then the Nets would take over that eighth seed in the NBA playoff standings for the Eastern Conference. It would also mean a first-round series against the Atlanta Hawks.
While there is still a lot of shifting taking place in the 2015 NBA playoff standings, the races for the No. 8 spots in each league have made the end of the regular season quite exciting. It would be a huge story if Russell Westbrook could lead the Oklahoma City Thunder into the 2015 NBA Playoffs without the help of Kevin Durant. That could make for an exciting first-round match-up with the Golden State Warriors. As previously reported on the Inquisitr, Durant was lost for the season to a foot injury.
As for the Indiana Pacers, getting back Paul George might make that team an intriguing match-up with the Atlanta Hawks in a first-round series. With just two days left in the regular season, it is a good thing for the sport that the final NBA playoff standings still aren’t set. Now, it also raises the stakes for the Washington vs. Indiana game on TNT Tuesday night (April 14) at 8 p.m. ET.
[Image Source: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]