Western Conference Playoff Scenarios

The Eastern Conference playoff picture was determined on Monday - thanks to the Cavaliers' early Christmas gift in the town that booed Santa Claus - but the West is really a mess heading into the regular season finale tonight.

The Lakers and Hornets wrapped up the top two seeds last night, but the rest of the Conference is really up for grabs, with four teams - Houston, Phoenix, Utah and San Antonio - all in contention to finish third or fourth, and every team except Utah (the Northwest Division champion), able to finish fifth or six as well. If the Jazz, Rockets and Suns win tonight, there would be a four-way tie, with each team having a 55-27 record. Madness.


Forget the MVP. Do you want Iverson or Nowitzki? (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Denver may be dealing with more drama surrounding Carmelo Anthony, but they still haven't determined their seed, with an opportunity to bump Dallas to the eighth spot with a win over Memphis and a Mavericks loss in New Orleans. It'll be interesting to see how the Hornets treat that game against Dallas. If the Hornets lose, they get the Mavericks again the playoffs.

Here are the scenarios for seeds three through six:

If Houston beats the Los Angeles Clippers tonight and San Antonio beats Utah:
3-San Antonio
4-Utah
5-Houston (Rockets would have homecourt advantage)
6-Phoenix

Do the Spurs really want the Suns - and Shaq - in the first round?


Timmy and Shaq in the first round? (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

If Houston wins, Utah beats San Antonio and Phoenix beats Portland:
3-Utah
4-Phoenix
5-Houston (Rockets would have homecourt advantage)
6-San Antonio

Does Utah really want to beat San Antonio and ensure that they get them in the first round?

If Utah wins and Phoenix loses:
3-Utah
4-San Antonio
5-Houston
6-Phoenix

Again, the Suns with Shaq, Nash and Amare possibly finishing sixth? Think about that.

If San Antonio and Phoenix wins and Houston loses:
3-San Antonio
4-Utah
5-Phoenix (Suns would have homecourt advantage)
6-Houston

Does Phoenix really want Utah in the first round?


Booz and Drei, wouldn't you rather have the Rockets without Yao? (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)

If San Antonio wins and Houston and Phoenix lose::
3-San Antonio
4-Utah
5-Houston
6-Phoenix

Again, I'm not sure in the Spurs want the Suns in the first round.

If Utah and Phoenix wins and Houston loses:
3-Utah
4-Phoenix
5-San Antonio
6-Houston

I hope that didn't have you reaching for a Tylenol. This should be another big night in the Association. Enjoy.

By Michael Lee |  April 16, 2008; 3:15 PM ET
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Comments

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WOW! That's pretty complicated, so much that I'll just read the paper tomorrow.

Posted by: rgz | April 16, 2008 4:19 PM

"WOW! That's pretty complicated, so much that I'll just read the paper tomorrow."

Lol, yeah Mike has too much time on this hands. ;)

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | April 16, 2008 4:51 PM

who cares.

Posted by: oddjob | April 16, 2008 11:18 PM

Well it was an excellent job of tanking by Utah. They lose and get an eminently beatable Houston team and even better for the rest of, the Spurs get the Suns and Tim Duncan's personaly krpytonite, Shaq!. Spurs are going out in round one, hurray!

Posted by: George Templeton | April 17, 2008 12:49 AM

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