A lot is riding on the final day of the 2015-16 NBA regular season. While the top two seeds in both the Eastern and Western Conferences are locked up, most of the teams further down the totem pole could reposition themselves based on how things play out Wednesday.
Which teams in the East will lock up homecourt advantage in the first round? Which bubble team out West will make the cut? Here is everything you need to know heading into the final night of NBA regular-season basketball.
Four Teams, Two Spots
The two spots refer to the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds in the East, which currently belong to the Miami Heat and Atlanta Hawks, who are both 48-33. The Boston Celtics and Charlotte Hornets are both within striking distance at 47-34, but would need some favorable circumstances to secure homecourt for Round 1 of the postseason.
An in-depth breakdown, via CBS Sports:
Miami will be seeded:
- No. 3 if Heat win OR if Hawks lose
- No. 5 if Hawks win and Heat and Hornets lose
- No. 6 if Hawks and Hornets win and Heat lose
Atlanta will be seeded:
- No. 3 if Hawks win and Heat lose
- No. 4 if Heat win OR if Hawks lose
Boston will be seeded:
- No. 4 if Celtics and Hawks win
- No. 5 if Celtics and Hornets lose OR if Celtics win and Hawks lose
- No. 6 if Hornets win and Celtics lose
Charlotte will be seeded:
- No. 5 if Heat and Hornets win OR if Hornets, Celtics and Hawks win
- No. 6 if Hornets lose OR if Hornets and Celtics win and Hawks lose
Did I mention there are a lot of moving parts here?
Who Gets Stuck With Spurs?
The Dallas Mavericks (42-39) will likely stay at No. 6 in the West and avoid the No. 2 San Antonio Spurs in Round 1, but a defeat to those same Spurs on Wednesday night coupled with a Memphis Grizzlies (42-39) win over the Golden State Warriors would see them trade places with the Grizz. The Oklahoma City Thunder are a stiff test, to be sure, but both squads would prefer to avoid Gregg Popovich's well-oiled machine. With the Warriors' quest for 73 wins on the line, expect the Mavs to dodge a bullet and remain on a collision course with OKC.
Rockets Try To Beat The Odds
About a week ago, the Houston Rockets had very slim odds of making the postseason. But the Utah Jazz have fallen apart when the games matter most, dropping three of their last four and losing star center Rudy Gobert. Houston will stamp its ticket into the postseason with a win over the Sacramento Kings or a Utah loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. No matter who makes it into the playoffs, though, a date with the Warriors will likely spell a first-round exit for either team.