Who Wants To Play The Thunder?

Wednesday, April 17th 2013, 4:42 pm
By: News 9

The NBA season has come down to its final day, and two games in particular will decide the Thunder's first-round opponent in the Western Conference Playoffs.

We already know the Thunder has the No. 1 seed locked up, but the outcome of Wednesday's games will determine who comes to Oklahoma City for game one.

One thing is known for sure: OKC will either be playing the Rockets, Lakers or Jazz. It will be one of those three.

There's a lot that can happen, so let's clear this up a bit. First, the standings:

6. Warriors (46-35) 14

7. Rockets (45-36) 15

8. Lakers (44-37) 16

9. Jazz (43-38) 17

The number to the right of the teams' records is the amount of games each team is behind the Thunder. Due to tiebreaking scenarios, the sixth, seventh and eighth seeds are still in question.

Now, the games to watch on Wednesday:

Jazz at Grizzlies, 7 p.m.

Rockets at Lakers, 9:30 p.m.


So you know who's involved in this race and when they're playing.  But which team will OKC draw? Let's start with this:

The Thunder will play the Rockets if…

• Houston loses to the Lakers.

The Thunder will play the Jazz if…

• Utah beats Memphis and the Lakers lose to Houston.

The Thunder will play the Lakers if…

• Los Angeles loses to Houston and Utah loses to Memphis.


Seems simple enough, but here's a more detailed description of where these three teams stand:

How it works for Utah

• If the Jazz loses to the Grizzlies, their season is over. They're out. If this happens, OKC will play the loser of the Lakers/Rockets game.

• The only way Utah can make it is by beating the Grizzlies AND having the Lakers lose to Houston. In this scenario, Utah will earn the No. 8 seed and play the Thunder.

How it works for Los Angeles

• If the Lakers beat Houston, they not only make the playoffs but will earn the No. 7 seed.

• If LA loses to Houston and the Jazz win, the Lakers miss the playoffs.

• The ONLY way the Lakers will play the Thunder is by losing to the Rockets and having the Jazz also lose.

How it works for Houston

• The Rockets are the only team of the three that has already clinched a playoff spot. Their worst-case scenario is the No. 8 seed.

• If Houston loses to the Lakers, it will be the No. 8 seed and will play OKC.

• If Houston beats the Lakers, it will clinch at least the No. 7 seed, and could possibly move up depending on the outcome of the Warriors' game.