Oklahoma City Thunder Playoff Seeding Watch: April 12th, 2011

This is just a quick update as to where the Thunder are in terms of seeding, what they need to do to move up, and who they'll potentially be facing. As of right now, the Western Conference can be divided into two races: The Race for the Two Seed and the Race for the Six Seed.

Previous Edition: April 9thApril 11th

The Race For Two:

Two Seed: Los Angeles Lakers

How far ahead? One game. Tied with the Mavericks. (Lakers Hold Tiebreaker as Division Winners)

Who Owns the Tie Breaker with the Thunder? The Lakers (Lakers Lead Season Series 2-1).

Who Have They Yet to Face? Vs. San Antonio, At Sacramento

Analysis: The Lakers didn't play on Sunday, but they still must win out in order to secure the two seed, ass the Mavericks and Thunder won both of their respective games. They can seal away the Thunder's hopes with a win against San Antonio tonight.

Three Seed: Dallas Mavericks

How far ahead? One game. Tied with the Lakers. (Lakers Hold Tiebreaker as Division Winners)

Who Owns the Tie Breaker with the Thunder? The Thunder (Division Winners).

Who have they yet to face? Vs. New Orleans

Analysis: With their overtime win against Houston the Mavericks stand a good chance of getting the three seed. The only thing that stands in their way is New Orleans, who are fighting to be in the playoffs, but were recently blown out by the hapless Jazz. The Hornets do lead the season series 2-1 though, so they still stand a reasonable shot of winning. My money would be on Dallas keeping the three seed, though.

Four Seed: Oklahoma City Thunder

Who have they yet to face? Vs Milwaukee.

Analysis: Unfortunately, the situation is largely out of their hands, and they're probably stuck in the four seed. But, if the the rest of the games the Mavericks and Lakers play are losses, magical things can happen....it would start with San Antonio capturing a victory tonight.

Below: The Race for the Sixth Seed, Who the Thunder are Likely to Face!

Five Seed: Denver Nuggets

How far ahead? 2.5 games ahead the Trail Blazers.

Can they move up? No.

Can they move down? No.

Who have they yet to face? At Utah

Analysis: With their destruction of Golden State, the Denver Nuggets have now officially locked themselves into the five seed.

Race for the Six Seed

Six Seed: Portland Trail Blazers

How Far Ahead? 1 Game ahead of the Grizzlies.

Can they move up? No.

Can they move down? Yes, to 8th.

Who have they yet to face? Vs. Memphis, At Golden State.

Analysis: With the Hornets losing to the Jazz, the Trail Blazers would now only fall to the eight seed if they were to lose out. But they still face a crucial game against the Grizzlies tonight, as a loss to them would put them in seventh place. A loss to Golden State as well would put them in eighth, given the Hornets beat Dallas.

Seven Seed: Memphis Grizzlies

How Far Behind? 1 Game Back of the Trail Blazers.

How Far Ahead? 0.5 Games Ahead of the Hornets.

Can they move up? Yes, to 6th.

Can they move down? Yes, to 8th.

Who have they yet to face? At Portland, At Los Angeles Clippers

Analysis: Again, the Grizzlies have not played, but the Hornets loss against the Jazz paves the Grizzlies way into the sixth seed. They control their own destiny, and if they win out, the sixth seed is theirs. Lose, and they all back into eighth.

Eight Seed: New Orleans Hornets

How Far Behind? 1.5 Games back of the Trail Blazers.

How Far Ahead? 0.5 Games behind the Grizzlies.

Can they move up? Yes, to 6th.

Can they move down? No.

Who have they yet to face? At Dallas

Analysis: The loss to the Utah Jazz was killer for them, not only because it hurts their seeding situation, but because they lost by such a large amount. They were shut down early in the game, and it was largely garbage time by the fourth quarter. If that wasn't enough of an emotional killer for them, they lost to the Utah Jazz, the coldest team in the NBA right now if you don't count the Minnesota Timberwolves. Needless to say, the Hornets have a huge uphill battle to climb if they are to get any higher, and will probably end up staying in eighth.

What do you think about the seeding situation? Vote in the poll, post a comment!

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