Portland Trail Blazers

Eye on the Eight: How the Blazers can get the 8th seed, 9th seed, or be eliminated

Portland Trail Blazers

For the NBA, the race for the eighth seed could not have gone better.

All the postseason matchups in both conferences were set following Wednesday's games with the exception of who will face the West's top-seeded Los Angeles Lakers in the first round. The LA Clippers clinched the West's second seed with a 124-111 win over the Denver Nuggets, who are now locked in with the three seed.

Here are the Westen Conference playoff match-ups:

No. 1 Lakers vs. No. 8 ????

No. 2 Clippers vs. No. 7 Mavericks 

No. 3 Nuggets vs. No. 6 Jazz

No. 4 Thunder vs. No. 5 Rockets 

Heading into the final day of seeding games, four teams are within a half-game of each other for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. 

8. Portland Trail Blazers | Remaining schedule: Brooklyn (Win Percentage: 0.465)

9. Memphis Grizzlies (0.5 games behind)| Remaining Schedule: Milwaukee (Win Percentage: 0.458)

10. Phoenix Suns (0.5 games behind)| Remaining schedule: Dallas (Win Percentage: 0.458)

11. San Antonio Spurs (0.5 games behind)| Remaining schedule: Utah (Win Percentage: 0.457)

Due to the season's suspension, not all teams played the same number of games so the first tiebreaker is win percentage which favors Portland in each matchup.

Then, it will go to head-to-head record, followed by division record if in the same division, then conference record, then conference record against playoff teams, then record against playoff teams in the East, and then net rating.

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts Channing Frye and Dan Sheldon!]

Play-in games are a guarantee for the eighth seed in the West since the nine seed will definitely finish within four games of the eighth seed. The eighth and ninth seeds in the West will face off on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. PT. If the eighth seed wins then they will advance to the first round of the playoffs to face the Los Angeles Lakers. If the ninth seed wins on Saturday, then the two teams will have a rematch on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. PT where the winner will advance to the postseason.


Here's what needs to happen for each team in the race for the eighth seed on Thursday to get the eighth seed, the ninth seed, or be eliminated. 

Portland will be seeded:

  • #8 if Blazers win OR Grizzlies, Suns and Spurs lose
  • #9 if Blazers lose and loss by any two of Grizzlies, Suns or Spurs
  • ELIMINATED if Blazers lose and wins by any two of Grizzlies, Suns or Spurs

Memphis will be seeded:

  • #8 if Grizzlies win and Blazers lose
  • #9 if Grizzlies win and Blazers win OR Grizzlies, Suns and Spurs all lose
  • ELIMINATED if Grizzlies lose and wins by either Suns or Spurs

Phoenix will be seeded:

  • #8 if Suns win and Blazers and Grizzlies both lose
  • #9 if Suns win and Blazers or Grizzlies lose
  • ELIMINATED if Suns lose

San Antonio will be seeded:

  • #8 if Spurs win and Blazers, Grizzlies and Suns all lose
  • #9 if Spurs win and loss by any two of Blazers, Grizzlies and Suns
  • ELIMINATED if Spurs lose

With four teams all playing one final seeding game on Thursday, there are 16 potential different outcomes of the four games. In nine of them, the Blazers are the eighth seed. In three of them, they are the ninth seed and in another three they are the tenth seed. Then, in one scenario they are the eleventh seed. 

Full playoff scenarios of who will play who can be found here depending on how each team wins.

[RELATED]: Breaking down NBA playoff scenarios for the 8th Seed in the Western Conference

Play-in games schedule:

Game 1: Saturday, August 15 at 11:30 a.m. PT

Game 2 (if necessary): Sunday, August 16 at 1:30 p.m. PT 

Next up: The Portland Trail Blazers will look to clinch the eighth seed against the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday, August 13th at 6:00 p.m. PT here on NBC Sports NW.