The National Basketball Association is heading down the homestretch of the 2016-2017 season, with the playoffs set to start on April 15. Eight teams from each conference (those with the most regular season wins) will make the playoffs and the teams will be seeded based on their respective records—those with the best records will be seeded first and will play the 8th seed, the 2nd seed will play the 7th seed, the 3rd takes on the 6th seed, seeds four and five play each other.
Each round is a best of seven format, with the top-seeded team having the home court advantage of playing four of the potential seven games at home. The playoffs follow a 2-2-1-1-1 format. When teams get to the finals, home court advantage is determined by winning percentage. If that’s the same, then head-to-head records during the season will be compared, followed by records against the opposite conference.
Who You Can Expect to See in the Playoffs
There’s still enough of the season left that the full roster of playoff teams is subject to significant change. On Saturday, February 25, the Golden State Warriors became the first team to clinch a playoff spot, with a 49-9 record. The Warriors, who lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers in last year’s seven game finals, signed Oklahoma Thunder star Kevin Durant to a two year contract in the offseason and are an early 3-2 favorite to take the title this year.
Though the teams at the bottom of the seeding may be subject to change, here’s who would be in the first round of the playoffs if they started today:
- Eastern Conference—Last year’s world champion Cavaliers currently have the best record in the East (40-17) and would take on the Detroit Pistons in the opening round. The storied Boston Celtics are hot on the heels of the Cavs, with a 37-21 win-loss tally and would host the Indiana Pacers in their first playoff tilt. The Washington Wizards and the Toronto Raptors are neck-and-neck, both with 34 wins, for the 3rd seed in the east. The other two teams in the Eastern Conference playoff picture are currently the Atlanta Hawks and the Chicago Bulls.
- Western Conference—The Warriors have the best record in basketball, a distinction that would pit them against the Denver Nuggets. The San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets both have better records than Eastern Conference leader Cleveland, but would currently be seeded number two and three, pitting them against the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies, respectively. The Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Clippers are just a game apart for the 4th seed, but Utah would have home advantage if the playoffs started today.
Teams on the Bubble
In the Eastern Conference, the Pistons have a 28-30 record, just a game ahead of the Miami Heat. The Milwaukee Bucks and Charlotte Hornets are just three games back. In the Western Conference, the Nuggets are 26-32, just a game up on the Sacramento Kings and two games up on the Portland Trail Blazers. No teams have been officially eliminated from the playoffs, but the Brooklyn Nets, with a 9-49 record will be out if they lose three more games.
Hoop It Up the Easy Way—With a Charter Bus Rental!!
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- Bus travel is reliable—We’ll pick you up and drop you off right where you want to be. You won’t ever have to worry about a map or about missing a performance. We’ll get you there on time, no questions asked. You’ll find our drivers friendly and well-informed, ready to help whenever you need assistance.
- Bus travel is affordable—When you let us do the driving, you avoid all kinds of expenses, from fuel to parking. In addition, compared to other types of ground transportation, there’s no comparison—bus travel is hands down the most affordable. And, as an added bonus, you’ll be helping the planet, as you’ll put fewer vehicles on the road.
- We have the right bus to fit your group—We have coaches of all sizes, so we’ll have the right vehicle to meet your specific needs.
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