A Different Look at the Remaining Schedule, Part 9

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Published: April 11, 2018

The New Orleans Pelicans are in the Playoffs (congratulations), and there is not much to the remaining schedule. Graphics and such are out there, but I’m going to wrap this series up by laying out the 16 cases (4 remaining important games), at least enough to see how it plays out for the Pelicans and with the details as to why. Also, some of those have needed revision, etc., but we’ve stayed consistent here.

Some quick results:

  • At 47 wins (lose to Spurs), the Pelicans have the 7-seed or 8-seed and play the Warriors or Rockets accordingly, with the Rockets being more likely.
    • 7th seed, play the Warriors, driven by Thunder loss
    • 8th seed, play the Rockets, driven by Thunder victory
  • At 48 wins (win over Spurs), the Pelicans can get the 5-seed or 6-seed and play the Jazz or Trail Blazers, Trail Blazers being more likely.
    • 5th seed, play the Trail Blazers, driven by Trail Blazers loss, Rockets’ side of Western Conference Playoff bracket
    • 5th seed, play the Jazz, driven by Trail Blazers victory and Thunder loss, Rockets’ side of Western Conference Playoff bracket
    • 6th seed, play the Trail Blazers, driven by Trail Blazers victory and Thunder victory, Warriors’ side of Western Conference Playoff bracket
  • Head-to-head determines home court for equal-record teams, so Pelicans would have home court if they faced the Thunder in the Conference Finals as a 4-seed and 6-seed, which is highly unlikely.

Remaining Games

In the West, 7 teams still have not settled into their Playoff seeding (or eligibility). There are 4 games remaining involving those teams. Only the Thunder play an “outsider” team, the Grizzlies.

  • Spurs @ Pelicans
  • Nuggets @ Timberwolves
  • Grizzlies @ Thunder
  • Jazz @ Trail Blazers

47 Win Scenario Details

If the Pelicans lose to the Spurs, they end up with 47 wins. They will finish with a better record than the loser of the Nuggets and Timberwolves, a worse record than the Jazz, Spurs, and Trail Blazers, can do no better than the 7-seed once tie-breakers are considered.

Let’s see how these cases break out.

  • It is impossible for a team to be in sole possession of 47 wins.
  • If there is a two-way tie, it is with the winner of the Nuggets and Timberwolves. The Pelicans get the 8-seed, play the Rockets.
  • If there is a three-way tie, it is with the Thunder and winner of Nuggets and Timberwolves, the Pelicans get the 7-seed and play the Warriors This requires the Thunder to lose to the Grizzlies.

In this case, the Pelicans have the 8-seed and play the Rockets unless they end up tying with the Thunder and the winner of the Nuggets and Timberwolves game, in which case they get the 7-seed and play the Warriors.

48 Win Scenario Details

If the Pelicans beat the Spurs, they end up with 48 wins. They will finish with a better record than the Nuggets, Spurs, and Timberwolves, so they can do no worse than the 6-seed, but they can not get the 3-seed or 4-seed due to tie-breakers, Jazz and Trail Blazers playing each other.

Let’s see how these cases break out.

  • If there is a two-way tie, it is with the Trail Blazers or Jazz, and the Pelicans are the 5-seed playing the 4-seed team they tied with, which is the loser between the Jazz and the Trail Blazers. This outcome puts them in the Rockets’ side of the Western Conference bracket.
  • If there is a three-way tie, it is with the Jazz and Thunder, the Pelicans get the 6-seed, play the Trail Blazers and are in the Warriors’ side of the Western Conference bracket; or, it is with the Thunder and Trail Blazers, the Pelicans get the 5-seed, play the Trail Blazers, and are in the Rockets’ side of the Western Conference Playoff Bracket. In any case, it is the Trail Blazers, just as the 5-seed or 6-seed.
  • Head-to-head determines home court for equal-record teams, so Pelicans would have home court if they faced the Thunder at some point, which is unlikely, even if they are the 4-seed and 6-seed.

In this case, the play the Trail Blazers unless both the Thunder and Jazz lose, then they play the Jazz. The details can affect if they are in the Warriors’ side or the Rockets’ side of the Western Conference Playoff bracket.

My preference is to win. I would rather deal with Trail Blazers fans and defeat that team for other reasons, so I prefer that. I think that’s the highest chance for victory, but I have the idea that you have to take all challenges. So, bring them all on.

Play well.

Enjoy.

Boogie.

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