Blazers

Playoff probabilities of the Blazers, Lakers & Mavs all fighting for the 5th seed

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With less than one week remaining in the NBA regular season, the Western Conference playoff race is as tight as always.

The Dallas Mavericks, Portland Trail Blazers, and Los Angeles Lakers are all fighting for the fifth and sixth seeds in the West to avoid the play-in tournament. 

Heading into Friday's slate of games, here's everything you need to know.

[RELATED]: Examining all current NBA Western Conference playoff race scenarios

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

Standings

5. Dallas Mavericks (41-29) | Remaining Games: TOR, @ MIN

6. Portland Trail Blazers (41-30) | Remaining Games: DEN 

7. Los Angeles Lakers (40-30, 1.0 GB) | Remaining Games: @ IND, @ NOP

Tiebreakers

Portland owns the tiebreaker over both Dallas and Los Angeles due to winning each season series 2-1.

However, a 3-way tie between the teams would result in the Blazers getting the sixth seed due to Dallas winning a 3-way tiebreaker due to being a division winner. 

Possibilities of Each Playoff Seeding Heading into Friday

Odds are from Basketball Reference.

  • 5th Seed: 21.2%
  • 6th Seed: 64.9%
  • 7th Seed: 7.2%
  • 8th Seed: 3.8%
  • Miss Postseason: 1.8%

Path to the Fifth Seed for Portland

  • Portland beats Denver, Dallas loses at least once, Lakers lose at least once
  • Portland beats Denver, Dallas loses twice

Path to Clinch the Sixth Seed for Portland

  • Portland beats Denver.
  • Lakers lose at least once. 

Ulterior Motives on Portland's Schedule

Denver plays Portland to end the regular season and it's possible the Nuggets could have incentives to either win or lose the game to avoid the Lakers in the first round. 

Quick Look at the Third Seed

Another battle that will directly affect the Trail Blazers is the battle for No. 3 between the Los Angeles Clippers and Denver Nuggets. 

 

While it's possible for either team to move into second, it's quite unlikely, so odds are one of the two teams will be Portland's opponent if the Trail Blazers avoid the play-in.

Nuggets are the 3-seed, Clippers are the 4-seed:

  • Nuggets win three games, Clippers lose at least one,
  • Nuggets win at least two games, Clippers lose at least two
  • Nuggets win at least one game, Clippers lose all three

Clippers are the 3-seed, Nuggets are the 4-seed:

  • Clippers win out, Phoenix wins at least one
  • Clippers win at least two, Denver loses at least one, Phoenix wins at least one
  • Clippers win at least one, Denver loses at least two
  • Denver loses out

Possibilities of Each Playoff Opponent Heading into Friday.

Odds are from Basketball Reference.

  • Los Angeles Clippers: 53.9%
  • Denver Nuggets: 26.7%
  • Phoenix Suns: 12.3%
  • Utah Jazz: 4.3%

Possibilities of Each Playoff Matchup with Seeding Heading into Friday.

Odds are from Basketball Reference.

  • No. 5 Portland vs. No. 4 Denver (18.5%)
  • No. 5 Portland vs. No. 4 L.A. Clippers (2.7%)
  • No. 6 Portland vs. No. 3 Denver (8.1%)
  • No. 6 Portland vs. No. 3 L.A. Clippers (50.6%)
  • No. 6 Portland vs. No. 3 Phoenix (6.3%)
  • No. 7 Portland vs. No. 2 L.A. Clippers (0.7%)
  • No. 7 Portland vs. No. 2 Phoenix (5.5%)
  • No. 7 Portland vs. No. 2 Utah (1.05%)
  • No. 8 Portland vs. No. 1 Utah Jazz (3.2%)
  • No. 8 Portland vs. No. 1 Phoenix  (0.54%)