Until the end of the NBA’s seeding-game schedule on Aug. 14, Yahoo Sports NBA will deliver a daily bubble primer, complete with up-to-date standings and a breakdown of the schedule, from gambling odds to playoff implications and the biggest storylines. Today marks Day 15 of the restart to the 2019-20 season.
Milwaukee Bucks (56-16)
Toronto Raptors (52-19)
Boston Celtics (48-23)
Miami Heat (44-28)
Indiana Pacers (44-28)
Philadelphia 76ers (42-30)
Brooklyn Nets (35-36)
Orlando Magic (32-40)
Washington Wizards (24-47)
Los Angeles Lakers (52-18)
L.A. Clippers (48-23)
Denver Nuggets (46-26)
Oklahoma City Thunder (44-27)
Houston Rockets (44-27)
Utah Jazz (43-28)
Dallas Mavericks (43-31)
Portland Trail Blazers (34-39)
Memphis Grizzlies (33-39)
Phoenix Suns (33-39)
San Antonio Spurs (32-38)
New Orleans Pelicans (30-41)
Sacramento Kings (30-41)
(All times Eastern)
Washington Wizards vs. Boston Celtics, 12 p.m.
Sacramento Kings vs. Los Angeles Lakers, 1:30 p.m.
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Memphis Grizzlies, 4 p.m.
Dallas Mavericks vs. Phoenix Suns, 4 p.m. (TNT)
San Antonio Spurs vs. Utah Jazz, 6:30 p.m. (TNT)
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Brooklyn Nets, 9 p.m. (TNT)
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Orlando Magic, 9 p.m.
Washington Wizards -2 (-110)
Boston Celtics +2 (-110)
Sacramento Kings +5 (-110)
Los Angeles Lakers -5 (-110)
Milwaukee Bucks +3.5 (-110)
Memphis Grizzlies -3.5 (-110)
Dallas Mavericks +8.5 (-110)
Phoenix Suns -8.5 (-110)
San Antonio Spurs -8 (-110)
Utah Jazz +8 (-110)
New Orleans Pelicans +4 (-110)
Orlando Magic -4 (-110)
Portland Trail Blazers -10 (-110)
Brooklyn Nets +10 (-110)
Washington Wizards (24-47) vs. Boston Celtics (48-23)
The Wizards have been eliminated from playoff contention.
The Celtics have clinched the No. 3 seed in the East.
Sacramento Kings (30-41) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (52-18)
The Kings have been eliminated from playoff contention.
The Lakers have clinched the No. 1 seed in the West.
Milwaukee Bucks (56-16) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (33-39)
The Bucks have clinched the No. 1 seed in the East.
The Grizzlies will clinch a spot in the play-in series with a win. With a victory, Memphis would finish in eighth place with a Portland loss and ninth with a Blazers win. The Grizzlies could also finish in ninth place with a loss followed by losses by the Suns and Spurs. The ninth-place team must win two straight head-to-head games against the eighth-place team in order to capture the Western Conference’s final playoff spot. Memphis will be eliminated from playoff contention with a loss and wins by either Phoenix or San Antonio.
Dallas Mavericks (43-31) vs. Phoenix Suns (33-39)
The Mavericks have clinched the No. 7 seed in the West.
The Suns will be eliminated from playoff contention with a loss or wins by both the Blazers and Grizzlies. If both Portland and Memphis lose, Phoenix can capture eighth place with a win. If only one of those other teams wins, the Suns would finish in ninth place with a victory. Phoenix had a less than 1 percent chance of making the playoffs entering the bubble. The Suns will finish 8-0 in seeding games with a win on Thursday.
San Antonio Spurs (32-38) vs. Utah Jazz (43-28)
The Spurs will be eliminated with a loss or wins by any two of the Blazers, Grizzlies and Suns. If Portland, Memphis and Phoenix all lose, San Antonio can capture eighth place with a win. If two of those teams lose, the Spurs would finish in ninth place with a victory. San Antonio has not missed the playoffs since 1997.
The Jazz have clinched the No. 6 seed in the West.
Portland Trail Blazers (34-39) vs. Brooklyn Nets (35-36)
The Blazers will clinch eighth place with a win or losses by the Grizzlies, Suns and Spurs. Portland would finish in ninth place with a loss and losses by any two of Memphis, Phoenix or San Antonio. The Blazers will be eliminated from playoff contention with a loss and wins by any two of the Grizzlies, Suns or Spurs.
The Nets have clinched the No. 7 seed in the East.
New Orleans Pelicans (30-41) vs. Orlando Magic (32-40)
The Pelicans have been eliminated from playoff contention.
The Magic have clinched the No. 8 seed in the East.
Who and what to watch
The Player of the Seeding Games race
The NBA will honor the Player of the Seeding Games with an award on Saturday, prior to Game 1 of the Western Conference play-in series. Blazers star Damian Lillard is the clear-cut favorite after scoring 112 points over his last two games, vaulting his team to the top of a pack of six teams vying for eighth place in the West entering their final day of regular-season games. Lillard is averaging 37 points (49/41/89 shooting splits), 9.3 assists and 4.4 rebounds in 41.4 minutes per game in Orlando entering Thursday’s games.
Lillard could lose his grip on the award with a loss, especially if Portland is eliminated from playoff contention with a poor performance. Devin Booker is the biggest threat to swipe the honor from Lillard. The Suns star is averaging 31 points (50/35/94 shooting splits), 6.1 assists and 4.6 rebounds in Orlando. Just as important, Booker’s Suns are 7-0 inside the bubble, threatening to secure a berth in the play-in series with a win and some help. Phoenix was beyond a long-shot to leapfrog four teams at the outset of the restart, and Booker is the reason his team even has a chance right now. (See his buzzer beater against the Clippers.)
Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo’s suspension for Thursday’s game against the Grizzlies already impacts the race for the Western Conference’s two play-in spots. Memphis entered the day as the favorite, according to BetMGM, which would suggest even more Milwaukee players could miss this matchup, because even an Antetokounmpo-less Bucks team is better than the Grizzlies without Jaren Jackson Jr.
Wesley Matthews (adductor) is also listed as out for Milwaukee, and Ersan Ilyasova (elbow) is questionable. How much will Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer play Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe in their final regular-season game? Remember, Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins was an assistant under Budenholzer in Atlanta and Milwaukee for the previous six seasons before accepting his first head-coaching job at the age of 35.
A gimme Grizzlies win would leave only one play-in spot for Portland, Phoenix and San Antonio.
The Jazz seemingly tanked their way to the sixth seed and a first-round playoff meeting with the Nuggets, already helping the Spurs by resting four starters in their matchup last week. That reportedly raised the ire of several teams around the league. Utah coach Quin Snyder ignored those concerns, resting all five of his starters for the second half of Monday’s loss to Dallas. Now, Jazz starters Rudy Gobert (low back soreness) and Mike Conley (right knee soreness) have already been ruled out of Thursday’s rematch with San Antonio.
It is possible the Nets rest any combination of Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen and Joe Harris — their three most impactful players on a roster already ravaged by injury and opt-outs — against the Blazers. All three sat for Tuesday’s loss to Orlando with minor injuries, but they were each removed from Brooklyn’s injury report on Wednesday. That would suggest the depleted Nets will be as close to full strength as possible in Orlando for Thursday’s tilt. How motivated they will be with the East’s No. 7 seed already clinched is another story.
It is less clear whether the Suns, who have benefited from opponents resting for much of their 7-0 start in the bubble, will again reap those rewards. Mavericks stars Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis returned from resting minor injuries to play big minutes in Tuesday’s loss to the Blazers. After clinching the seventh seed, Doncic was not listed on Wednesday’s injury report, but Porzingis (left heel bruise) and Seth Curry (sore right leg) both were. How much any of them play on Thursday could determine Phoenix’s fate.
More from our NBA restart series:
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