There is a lot for Eastern Conference teams to play for over the last two days of the NBA's regular season. Seeding is up for grabs, and could go a long way in determining who plays where and whom as teams look to make it to the NBA Finals.
The two teams with the most to play for are the Cavaliers and Sixers, battling for the third seed. Philly has a game in hand which helps as they control their own destiny. Winning in Atlanta Tuesday and at home against Milwaukee Wednesday will clinch the third spot for the Sixers. Why is this important? Well in theory, the team with the third seed would avoid having to play the Raptors, or the Sixers/Cavaliers until the Eastern Conference Finals. The third seed would draw potentially the second-seeded Celtics, locked into place. Boston is without its top two players in Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward and a vunerable second round match up (if they make it that far), and as such, getting the three-spot offers a better path to the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Cavaliers have one game left on Wednesday against the Knicks. If they win, they own the tie-breaker with Philadelphia forcing the Sixers to win both games to clinch the third seed in the East. Whomever does not finish in the third spot gets arguably the tougher first round draw — the Pacers who are set at the five-spot.
Looking further down the standings the six-seven-and eight seeds are all up for grabs. The number seven spot, which faced Boston in Round 1, is likely the most coveted, corrently held by the Bucks. The Bucks do not control their own fate, however, as the Heat are more likely to finish at seven when all is said and done. The Wizards are the only team with two games left to play and can finish anywhere from six-to-eight, but are likely to be in the final playoff spot.
Here is a look at the all of the Eastern Conference scenarios possible:
The NBA released this handy dandy chart to show the various ways the playoff seeding can play out over the next two nights. pic.twitter.com/PkkmusPdfN— Jared Weiss (@JaredWeissNBA) April 10, 2018