The NBA Playoffs matchups are now set. The Portland Trail Blazers are now set to play the Denver Nuggets in the first round.
With a myriad of different options for playoff and play-in game seeding coming into the final day of the season, it came down to three games within the Western Conference that were all playing simultaneously to decide who would finish where in the standings.
The Blazers took care of business against the Denver Nuggets, with a big 132 – 116 win. That meant it was down to the Oklahoma City Thunder – LA Clippers game to decide who would get the three seed and the chance to play the sixth-seed Blazers in the first round. The Dallas Mavericks – Minnesota Timberwolves game was also part of these calculations, but the Timberwolves powered away early to lock the Mavericks into the fifth seed.
The Thunder and Clippers game went back and forth, but it was the tanking Thunder who pulled away at the end to beat the Clippers and seal the fate of these three teams.
So the Blazers then secured the sixth-seed and will get an awesome five-day rest before they face recent foes the Nuggets, who secured the fifth-seed.
Though the Nuggets are without star guard Jamal Murray, Blazer fans will remember the amazing second-round series in 2019 between these two teams that went seven games.
The Nuggets obviously secured home advantage in the first two games. Still, the Blazers may start as slight favorites considering the hot form of the Blazers, and Damian Lillard recently, and the injury to Murray.
In other seeding news, the champion Los Angeles Lakers will face the Golden State Warriors, and the San Antonio Spurs will play the Memphis Grizzlies in the two play-in games.