With one week to go in the NBA’s regular season, only three postseason seeds are locked in: The Phoenix Suns will have the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs, the Memphis Grizzlies will have the second and the LA Clippers are locked into eighth.
The other 17 seeds remain up for grabs to set up what should be a frenetic race to the finish once play resumes Tuesday.
The top four teams in the Eastern Conference — the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers — could wind up finishing in almost any order. And while the Toronto Raptors and Chicago Bulls are in a fairly straightforward battle for fifth, the East’s race for the four play-in tournament spots offers just as many possibilities as the fight for No. 1.
Out West, the Golden State Warriors head into the final week one game up on the Dallas Mavericks for third, with Dallas holding the tiebreaker thanks to winning the season series between the two. The battle for fifth through seventh, meanwhile, is between a trio of Northwest Division teams — the Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz and Minnesota Timberwolves — with Utah holding the tiebreaker over both teams thanks to winning both season series.
The New Orleans Pelicans and the San Antonio Spurs are the favorites to snag the final two play-in tournament spots after the Los Angeles Lakers lost twice this weekend to all but doom themselves to the lottery.
For now, one of the few certainties is this: The final week of the season is full of massive stakes up and down the standings.
1. Phoenix Suns (62-16)
2. Memphis Grizzlies (55-23)
3. Miami Heat (51-28)
4. Boston Celtics (49-30)
5. Milwaukee Bucks (48-30)
6. Philadelphia 76ers (48-30)
7. Golden State Warriors (50-29)
8. Dallas Mavericks (49-30)
9. Denver Nuggets (47-32)
10. Toronto Raptors (45-33)
11. Utah Jazz (46-32)
12. Minnesota Timberwolves (45-34)
13. Chicago Bulls (45-33)
14. Brooklyn Nets (40-38)
15. Cleveland Cavaliers (43-36)
16. Atlanta Hawks (41-37)
17. Los Angeles Clippers (39-40)
18. Charlotte Hornets (40-38)
19. New Orleans Pelicans (34-44)
20. San Antonio Spurs (33-45)
21. Los Angeles Lakers (31-47)
22. Washington Wizards (34-44)
23. New York Knicks (35-44)
24. Sacramento Kings (29-50)
25. Portland Blazers (27-51)
26. Indiana Pacers (25-54)
27. Detroit Pistons (23-56)
28. Oklahoma City Thunder (23-55)
29. Orlando Magic (20-59)
30. Houston Rockets (20-59)