The Lakers have locked up the No. 1 seed in the West, but can still play a crucial role in determining whom they’ll face in the first round of the playoffs in Sunday’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers.
A week ago, the Blazers looked to have an edge on both the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs to stay out of No. 8, but a Friday evening home loss to Dallas in particular has put Portland in danger of facing the Lakers in the second season.
Below are the current standings, with team records and final three opponents:
6) Oklahoma City (49-30); @GS, @ POR, MEM
7) San Antonio (49-31); MIN, @DAL
8) Portland (48-31); @LAL, OKC, GS
San Antonio owns the tiebreaker over Oklahoma City but Portland has it over the Spurs, while the Portland – O.K.C. breaker won’t be determined until the two teams face off on Monday, April 12. As such, if the Thunder manage to win on the road, they’ll possess the tiebreak due to division win percentages, but if Portland wins, they would claim the honors due to a 3-1 season edge.
The Lakers, of course, can throw a big wrench into Portland’s plan to move up to the seven or six spot by beating the Blazers on Sunday, which would put them a game behind San Antonio in the loss column.