The Portland Trail Blazers are officially playoff bound.
The Blazers (42-30) clinched the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference on Sunday with a 132-116 win over the Denver Nuggets, the same team they will face in the first round of the playoffs. They needed either a win on Sunday or a Los Angeles Lakers loss to the New Orleans Pelicans to secure the No. 6 seed.
Beyond that, where do things currently stand for Terry Stotts' club, and what may lie ahead? Here's what you need to know about the Trail Blazers' push for the playoffs.
What is the format for the 2021 NBA Playoffs?
The NBA Play-In Tournament is a new addition to the 2021 NBA season. Here's how it works: The No. 7 through No. 10 seeds in both the Western Conference and Eastern Conference qualify for the Play-In Tournament. The top six seeds in each conference automatically advance to the traditional playoff bracket.
The Play-In Tournament begins May 18 and consists of two rounds for each conference with the following format:
No. 7 seed vs. No. 8 seed (winner earns No. 7 seed; loser to Round 2)
No. 9 seed vs. No. 10 seed (winner to Round 2; loser eliminated)
Loser of 7-8 vs. Winner of 9-10 (winner earns No. 8 seed; loser eliminated)
Once the No. 7 and No. 8 seeds are decided for each conference, the first round will begin May 22 with the traditional format: seven-game series featuring the 1-8, 2-7, 3-6 and 4-5 matchups.
Where are the Blazers in the Western Conference standings?
The Blazers own the No. 6 seed in the West even though they ended the season with the same record as the No. 7 Lakers and the No. 5 Dallas Mavericks. Dallas has the tiebreaker over the other two teams since it won its division, while Portland owns the tiebreaker over the Lakers by winning the regular-season series 2-1.
The Utah Jazz (52-20), Phoenix Suns (51-21), Denver Nuggets (47-25) and L.A. Clippers (47-25) hold the top four seeds.
|Team||GB From No. 1|
|5. Dallas Mavericks||10|
|6. Portland Trail Blazers||10|
|7. Los Angeles Lakers||10|
|8. Golden State Warriors||13|
|9. Memphis Grizzlies||14|
|10. San Antonio Spurs||19|
Who will the Blazers play in the first round?
As the No. 6 seed, Portland avoids the Play-In Tournament and will face the Nuggets in the first round.
Here are the West matchups if the higher seeds win each play-in game:
|No. 1 Utah Jazz||No. 8 Golden State Warriors|
|No. 2 Phoenix Suns||No. 7 Los Angeles Lakers|
|No. 3 Denver Nuggets||No. 6 Portland Trail Blazers|
|No. 4 L.A. Clippers||No. 5 Dallas Mavericks|
What is the Blazers' upcoming schedule?
The schedule for the Blazers' best-of-seven first-round series with the Nuggets has not been released yet.
What are the Blazers' playoff odds?
The Blazers currently have +8000 odds to win the 2021 NBA title and +4000 odds to win the Western Conference -- odds provided by our partner, PointsBet Sportsbook.
PointsBet is NBC Sports' official sports betting partner. We may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.
Logan Reardon and James Best contributed to this story.