While the Eastern NBA has determined eight play-offs, competition in the West has intensified before the final game.
Before the final match of the main season, the West had only identified seven spots in the play-off round. Portland Trail Blazers, Memphis Grizzlies, Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs are the four teams competing for the final ticket.
Under the new post-pandemic American Basketball Tournament format, if the eighth team had four games less different than the ninth team, they would face off in a Play-in series on Playoff. The eighth-place team only needs to win one game, and the ninth must win both games to continue.
Trail Blazers will participate in the battle for salvage tickets
Before the final match, Portland Trail Blazers ranked eighth with a record of 34 wins – 39 losses, Memphis Grizzlies, and Phoenix Suns respectively behind with 33 wins -39 losses. San Antonio Spurs are 10th with 32 wins and 38 losses.
If the Portland Trail Blazers win against the Brooklyn Nets in the final game, Damian Lillard and his teammates will surely hold the eighth place. But in the event that Portland loses and two out of three of the following three wins, they will be disqualified.
The Memphis Grizzlies have the same record as the Phoenix Suns but are on top for better head-to-head performance. Thanks to that, Grizzlies only need to win in the last round to be sure of the top 9. However, this team is not in high form, losing six of the seven games after the pandemic. In the final round, the Grizzlies met the Milwaukee Bucks, the best performing team in the NBA this season
Phoenix Suns went to Disney World with the worst performance of the 22 participating teams. However, Devin Booker and his teammates unexpectedly won all seven games after the pandemic to reach 10th place. To be in the match, Suns need to win the last round and expect one of the two teams to fall.
Suns is at its best after the pandemic
In the last round, Spurs only had to meet Utah Jazz, the team that had lost the last three matches. However, the teachers and students of Gregg Popovich still need two of the top three teams to stumble to reach the top 9. San Antonio Spurs has 22 consecutive seasons of Play-off, the record of the NBA.