Oklahoma City, Portland or San Antonio?

D071348029.JPGQ: Which 49-31 team will be L.A.’s first round opponent:
A) Oklahoma City
B) Portland
C) San Antonio

Well … we don’t know yet. But we could after Monday night’s games. Here are the respective remaining schedules of OKC, POR and S.A., which take place on Monday and Wednesday:

Thunder: at Portland, Memphis
Blazers: Oklahoma City, Golden State
Spurs: Minnesota, at Dallas

As if turns out, if Portland can beat Oklahoma City at home tonight without Brandon Roy and the Spurs take care of Minnesota at home, L.A. would play the Thunder in Round 1.

That’s the most simple answer.

Such would be the case in part due to tiebreakers, since San Antonio already holds that advantage over the Thunder, and Portland would as well with a victory. In other words, if that Monday scenario holds up, the Blazers and Spurs could both lose their final game even if OKC beat Memphis and steer clear of the Lakers.

However, if the Thunder happen to beat Portland, throw all that out of the window, because the Lakers won’t know whom they’ll play until the last day of the regular season on Wednesday.

Any of the three teams that wins its final two games will of course be safe from No. 8, but not all three could lose their final two since Portland and OKC go head-to-head. Here’s a look at some other options:

60000698How the Thunder would be No. 8
- Lose at Portland with San Antonio winning one of two games.

How the Blazers would be No. 8
- Lose vs. OKC and win against Golden State if San Antonio wins both of its games.

How the Spurs would be No. 8
- Beat Minnesota but lose at Dallas (who could be fighting for the No. 2 seed) with OKC beating Portland and Memphis (Portland has the tiebreaker over San Antonio so they’d only need to win one of two games should San Antonio drop one of two games).

In other words: who knows. We’ll just have to wait until the OKC – MEM, POR – G.S. and S.A. – DAL games shake out, then take a look at the tiebreak rules below.

NBA.COM TIEBREAK RULES
If all three teams split their two remaining games to finish at 50-32, the below rules would come into play:

a. Two Teams Tied b. More Than Two Teams Tied
(1) Better winning percentage in games against each other. (1) Better winning percentage in all games among the tied teams.
(2) Better winning percentage against teams in own division (only if tied teams are in same division). (2) Better winning percentage against teams in own division (only if all tied teams are in the same division).
(3) Better winning percentage against teams in own conference. (3) Better winning percentage against teams in own conference.
(4) Better winning percentage against teams eligible for playoffs in own conference (including teams that finished the regular season tied for a playoff position). (4) Better winning percentage against teams eligible for playoffs in own conference (including teams that finished the regular season tied for a playoff position).
(5) Better winning percentage against teams eligible for playoffs in opposite conference (including teams that finished the regular season tied for a playoff position). (5) Better net result of total points scored less total points allowed against all opponents (“point differential”).
(6) Better net result of total points scored less total points allowed against all opponents (“point differential”).