It’s a mad dash to the finish line in the final regular season day of the 2020-21 NBA season. All 30 teams are in action and there’s a ton of movement that can take, so we’ll be (attempting) to keep track of all that for you. Whether it’s the No. 1 seed in the West or the 3-4 slots, the play-in tournament in the East or the 4-5 matchup over there, it’s a ton to digest. Luckily the NBA has done a good job outlining everything for us. Let’s take a look at how things could end up in the 2021 NBA Playoffs.
Here are the clinching scenarios for Sunday’s matchups via. NBA.com.
Knicks clinch the fourth seed in Eastern Conference
New York secured home-court advantage for the first round of the playoffs by topping the Celtics 95-92 on Sunday. RJ Barrett surprisingly led the way for New York on offense with a game-high 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Julius Randle had a poor shooting night and scored 20 points on just under 30% shooting. The Atlanta Hawks will be the Knicks’ first-round opponent if they win their Sunday matchup against the lowly Houston Rockets.
Eastern Conference play-in matchups: Celtics vs. Wizards, Pacers vs. Hornets
Boston secured the seventh seed before Sunday and elected to sit Jayson Tatum and Evan Fournier against the Knicks. Washington needed a win against the Hornets to secure the eighth seed, though. The Wizards did just that with a 115-110 victory. Charlotte’s loss sent them down to the 10th seed. It will face ninth-seeded Indiana in the first round.
LA Lakers clinch a playoff spot with a win AND a loss by Portland.
Phoenix clinches best record in West with a win AND a loss by Utah.
Portland clinches a playoff spot with a win OR a loss by the LA Lakers.
Utah clinches best record in West with a win OR a loss by Phoenix.
The NBA also outlined seeding/clinching scenarios for each conference and what needs to happen for certain teams to get each seed. It’s pretty complicated but we’ll try and break it down. You can find the full spreadsheet here: Eastern Conference and Western Conference.