The race towards the playoffs is heating up as the final standings for the post-season begin to take shape.
Seeds 3-6 in the West are separated by just 3.0 games, while the battle for the eighth seed is going right down to the wire. In the East, the eight playoff teams are locked in, but there's plenty of wiggle room in the middle of the standings.
All win probabilities are per FiveThirtyEight's NBA Predictions model.
Race for the West's 8th seed
San Antonio Spurs vs. New Orleans Pelicans - 12:30 a.m.
Win probability: Pelicans - 70%
A big one for both teams.
Heading into this one, the Spurs and Pelicans are just a half-game apart, seeded 11th and 12th in the Western Conference respectively. If results from the rest of the day go their way (losses for the Trail Blazers, Grizzlies, Kings), the winner of this game would make serious ground to make the race for the 8th seed that much tighter.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Portland Trail Blazers - 4:00 a.m.
Win probability: 76ers - 64%
Plenty at stake in this one.
For the shorthanded 76ers, they have the chance to tie records with the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers. However, they will remain in sixth as they don't have the tie-breaker with either of those teams, but keeping pace with gives them a chance with so few games remaining.
On the other hand, the Blazers need to win this one. In the worst-case situation that results from the rest of the games don't go their way, they could lose their hold on the ninth seed and have a larger deficit to the eighth-seeded Grizzlies.
Houston Rockets vs. Sacramento Kings - 5:30 a.m.
Win probability: Rockets - 75%
Thanks to the Clippers' win over the Blazers, the Kings' slim playoff chances remain alive, however, they will need results to go their way if they're a chance to sneak in.
Against the Rockets, it's a must-win situation, made easier with the absence of Russell Westbrook (bruised quad). A Rockets win ensures they clinch the Southwest Division title, meaning they can't fall below no.6 in the West standings.
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Toronto Raptors - 11:30 p.m. (Aug. 9)
Win probability: Raptors - 82%
The Grizzlies can control their own playoff destiny, with a play-in tournament likely on the horizon to decide the final playoff spot. They're currently 1.5 games up on the Portland Trail Blazers in ninth. If they hold on to the eighth seed, they only need to win one game in the play-in tournament as opposed to two if they finish ninth.
The Raptors have all but locked up the no.2 seed and can clinch the Atlantic Division title for the sixth time in seven seasons with a win.
Impact by the rest of the slate
Washington Wizards vs. Oklahoma City Thunder - 10:00 p.m. (Aug. 9)
Win probability: Thunder - 79%
The Washington Wizards have officially been eliminated from the race for a playoff spot in the East. So, not much at stake for them here.
Meanwhile, the Thunder are currently in a logjam with the Houston Rockets and Utah Jazz in the middle of the West. They are still expected to be without their star off the bench - Dennis Schroder - for this one.
Orlando Magic vs. Boston Celtics - 2:30 a.m.
Win probability: Celtics - 81%
For the Magic, their seeding along with that of the Nets will depend on the results of the two teams in their remaining fixtures in the bubble. Both are locked into the East's seventh and eighth seed.
On the flip side, for the Celtics, they've kept the door open to make a run fo the second seed with their win over the Raptors. Heading into this one, they are 3.5 games behind and they can close the gap if they win and the Raptors lose today.
Brooklyn Nets vs. LA Clippers - 6:30 a.m.
Win probability: Clippers - 83%
For the Nets, their spot in the playoffs is secured, but their first-round opponent depends on their final seeding, with the Bucks or likely the Raptors awaiting.
Getting to the Clippers, who will still be without Montrezl Harrell, they want to ensure they remain in second. Before this big slate of games, they hold a slim 1.5 games margin over the third-seeded Denver Nuggets.
|1||x - Milwaukee Bucks||55||15||-||1||x - Los Angeles Lakers||51||18||-|
|2||x - Toronto Raptors||49||19||5||2||x - LA Clippers||47||22||4|
|3||x - Boston Celtics||46||23||8.5||3||x - Denver Nuggets||46||24||5.5|
|4||x - Miami Heat||43||27||12||4||x - Houston Rockets||43||25||7.5|
|5||x - Indiana Pacers||43||27||12||5||x - Oklahoma City Thunder||42||26||8.5|
|6||x - Philadelphia 76ers||42||27||12.5||6||x - Utah Jazz||43||27||8.5|
|7||x - Brooklyn Nets||33||36||21.5||7||x - Dallas Mavericks||42||30||10.5|
|8||x - Orlando Magic||32||38||23||8||Memphis Grizzlies||33||37||18.5|
|9||Washington Wizards||24||45||30.5||9||Portland Trail Blazers||32||39||20|
|11||San Antonio Spurs||30||38||20.5|
|12||New Orleans Pelicans||30||39||21|
x - clinched playoff berth
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