NBA playoff standings for 2016 may shift in a big way. The Portland Trail Blazers have moved up the playoff standings in the Western Conference and now have a great shot at stealing the No. 5 seed away from the Memphis Grizzlies. The Blazers beat the Miami Heat 110-93 on Saturday, April 2, allowing the team to improve to 41-36 on the season. In the updated NBA standings, the Blazers are now just half a game behind the Grizzlies for the fifth seed.
With injuries to players like Marc Gasol, the Grizzlies have been fading in a big way during the second half of the NBA season. The team is having another difficult stretch, having lost eight of its last 10 games and five in a row. The Blazers have won six of the last 10 games and four in a row, helping the team get closer to clinching a spot in the 2016 NBA Playoffs. With the win on April 2, the Blazers are now just two wins from clinching a spot in the postseason.
The bottom half of the Western Conference playoff standings has the Memphis Grizzlies (41-25) at No. 5, the Portland Trail Blazers (41-36) at No. 6, the Dallas Mavericks (38-38) at No. 7, the Utah Jazz (38-38) at No. 8, and the Houston Rockets (37-39) in the No. 9 spot. The Rockets had been as high as the No. 6 position, but have now fallen behind the hot Utah Jazz. Utah has won seven of their last 10 games, getting the team up to a 0.500 record with just six games left on the schedule.
The Blazers and Grizzlies split four regular season games, but the Blazers now hold a better conference record (26-21) than the Grizzlies do (25-23) this season. The way things are breaking down, the Blazers would win any tie-breakers used to determine that fifth playoff seed. The No. 5 seed will then open the 2016 NBA Playoffs with a series against the Los Angeles Clippers. If the Grizzlies end up at No. 6, they will take on the No. 3 Oklahoma City Thunder in a first-round series.
The rest of the 2016 NBA playoff standings has the Golden State Warriors (68-8) as the No. 1 seed and the San Antonio Spurs (64-12) as the No. 2 seed. Both teams have just six more games in the regular season, with the Warriors in a good position to soon clinch home court advantage through the postseason.
The NBA playoff standings in the Eastern Conference are really bunched up, with just half a game separating the No. 3 seed from the No. 6 seed. The current seeding has the Cleveland Cavaliers (54-22) at No. 1, the Toronto Raptors (51-25) at No. 2, the Charlotte Hornets (44-31) at No. 3, the Atlanta Hawks (45-32) at No. 4, the Boston Celtics (44-32) at No. 5, the Miami Heat (44-32) at No. 6, the Detroit Pistons (41-36) at No. 7, and the Indiana Pacers (40-36) at No. 8. The Chicago Bulls (38-38) are in serious risk of missing the playoffs.
The Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors have nearly clinched the top two seeds in the East, but the third and fourth seeds will get determined during the final two weeks of the regular season. Home court advantage is on the line for the four teams that still have a great shot to clinch a top four seed. No matter how it all plays out, those four teams will match up in the first round, with the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers likely in line to play the Cavs and Raptors.
There weren’t many experts who predicted that the Portland Trail Blazers would make the 2016 NBA Playoffs, let alone get seeded as high as fifth or sixth in the Western Conference. If the Blazers can find a way past the L.A. Clippers in the first round, the prize will likely be a series against the Golden State Warriors. After beating the Warriors by 32 points in February, the NBA playoff standings couldn’t look any better for these overachievers.
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