Ignore Brandon Roy's shredded knee and Marcus Camby's career night for just one minute, we're here to try to and explain the Blazers' playoff situation as clearly as possible. While the Western Conference playoff logjam is endlessly confusing, the Mercury sports desk refuses to wait until the season ends on Wednesday. We want to know who Portland is playing in the playoffs, and we want to know now!
• If Portland wins on Wednesday against Golden State, the Blazers get the sixth seed.
• If Portland loses on Wednesday against Golden State, and San Antonio loses to Dallas, the Blazers still get the sixth seed.
• If Portland loses on Wednesday against Golden State, and San Antonio defeats Dallas, the Blazers get the seventh seed.
Who Are the Blazers (Probably) NOT Playing:
• Dallas. As previously mentioned, San Antonio plays Dallas on Wednesday and the Spurs have nothing to gain, since Portland controls their own destiny (see the first bullet point). That means it's logical to assume the Mavericks will win and clinch the second seed, meaning those two teams (San Antonio and Dallas) will meet in the first round. You can probably cross Dallas off the list.
Who Are the Blazers Playing?:
• Either Utah, Phoenix, or Denver. The Blazers are the likely sixth seed, so all they care about is the third seed.
• Denver plays Phoenix tonight. If the Nuggets win, they lock down the third seed. If that happens, the Blazers and the Nuggets will meet in the first round.
• If Phoenix knocks off Denver tonight, and defeats Utah on Wednesday, they clinch the third seed. If that happens, the Blazers and the Suns will meet in the first round. (This is the best matchup for the Blazers.)
• If Utah defeats Golden State tonight and beats Phoenix on Wednesday—plus Denver loses tonight—they clinch the third seed. If that happens, the Blazers and the Jazz will meet in the first round. (This is the worst matchup for the Blazers.)
I Just Skipped to the Bottom. Seriously, Who Are the Blazers Playing?:
Probably Denver. Maybe Phoenix. Most likely not Utah.
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