The blitz through the April portion of the regular season will bring a playoff picture that could change just about every night in some spots. But some things are set. Both conferences have their top two seeds identified, with only the order still up in the air. And there’s a handful of teams playing musical chairs for the last two or three spots.
The Thunder only have to scan league scoreboards for three teams when it comes to their own seeding: San Antonio, Miami and Chicago. It’s hard to know where to start when it comes to possible first-round opponents, though. Five teams will split the final three playoff spots in the West, and one of them is going to wind up coming to Game 1 in Oklahoma City as a No. 7 or 8 seed: Phoenix, Utah, Houston, Denver and Dallas.
All five of those teams have between 24 and 27 losses. (Memphis is also close, with 23 losses, but less likely to fall all the way to No. 7 or 8.) All of them have at least some reason to talk themselves into a series against the Thunder — and, of course, the Mavericks with a guy like Jason Terry who will come out with verbal guns blazing and confidence/cockiness. The West playoffs will be as tough as they always are.
Let’s take a look at the potential first-round matchups. All figures current going into the Thursday games. Keep Reading…