Posted April 10, 2013

NBA playoff picture: Lakers control own destiny; Heat look to clinch home court

2013 NBA playoffs, Los Angeles Lakers
Lakers' Kobe Bryant shoots over the Blazers

Kobe Bryant and Co. could strengthen their hold on the No. 8 seed with a win over the Blazers. (Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

Here’s what’s at stake for playoff-contending teams Wednesday night:

Western Conference

Lakers at Blazers (10 p.m. ET): The Lakers (41-37) can grab a one-game lead over the idle Jazz (41-38) for the No. 8 seed with a win against Portland, which has lost eight in a row.

Spurs at Nuggets (10:30 p.m.): A victory would move the Spurs (57-20) one game ahead of the idle Thunder (57-21) for the No. 1 seed. A loss would drop the Spurs into a tie with the Thunder, who have the inside track on the tiebreaker because of a better conference record. The Nuggets (53-24) can strengthen their hold on the No. 3 seed with a victory. They lead idle Memphis (53-25) by a half-game and the Clippers (51-26) by two games.

Timberwolves at Clippers (10:30 p.m.): The No. 4 Clippers could climb within a game of the No. 3 seed with a win and a Nuggets loss. Los Angeles, guaranteed a top-four seed as Pacific Division champion, is 1½ games behind No. 5 Memphis for home-court advantage in the first round.

Eastern Conference

Heat at Wizards (7 p.m.): With a win or a Spurs loss, the Heat (61-16) can clinch home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.

Hawks at Sixers (7 p.m.): The Hawks (42-36) can pull into a virtual tie with idle Chicago (42-35) for the No. 5 seed with a victory in Philadelphia. Atlanta leads Boston (40-37) by 1½ games for the No. 6 seed.

Bucks at Magic (7 p.m.): The No. 8 Bucks (37-40) trail Boston by three games for the seventh seed with five games left.

Nets at Celtics (8 p.m.): With a win and a Hawks loss, the Celtics can close within a half-game of the No. 6 seed. The Nets (45-32) lead the Bulls by three games for home-court advantage in the first and could widen that edge with a win.

3 comments
sevensigns715
sevensigns715

It's a great accomplishment for Kobe to score 47 like he did last night, but unfortunate for the Lakers at the same time that he has to have such a prolific game just to squeak by the sloppy Blazers, and barely gain control of the #8 spot.  I've been keeping an eye on the rest of the Western Conference over the last few weeks, and the Lakers, even if they DO make the postseason, sure don't look like much of a threat to any of the relevant teams.  I use my new DISH Game Finder app to find all the games on TV in seconds; it lets me set recordings and reminders for upcoming games, and really saves me a lot of time and hassle.  I work a lot of late nights at DISH, so anything that saves me time, AND lets me watch more sports is a big bonus in my book!

BetoZavala
BetoZavala

how boring is the eastern conference?...