Blazers will rest on Monday following a 124-121 win over Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday, leaving Portland just half a match behind Memphis for number eight at the Western Conference with two remaining games.
Switching to eighth seed would be huge for Blazers. Not only did it separate them more from the tenth seed group to guarantee Portland a chance to get into the post-season phase, but it also made the Blazers need to win just one game instead of two.
Heading into the bubble, ESPN’s BPI had Portland with a mere 9% chance of winning eighth seed in the Western Conference. That chance has more than tripled to 30.3%.
But just because Blazers isn’t playing today doesn’t mean the standings won̵7;t be affected.
[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts Channing Frye and Dan Sheldon!]
This is the rankings heading to Monday. UPDATE AFTER PHOENIX WINS THROUGH OKC ON MONDAY AND SPURS, WINS SUN AND MEMPHIS LOSS THIRD.
8. Memphis Grizzlies remaining schedule: Milwaukee (Win ratio: 0.458)
9. Portland Trail Blazers Rest schedule: Dallas, Brooklyn (Win rate: 0.458)
10. Phoenix Suns Remaining schedule: Dallas (Win rate: 0.458)
11. San Antonio Spurs Remaining schedule: Utah (Win rate: 0.457)
Note: New Orleans and Sacramento were both disqualified from the post-season competition on Sunday.
August 10 Notable Game:
Phoenix Suns vs Oklahoma City Thunder
Who do we want to win? Oklahoma City.
Line: Phoenix -7.5 Phoenix won 128-101.
With the Grizzlies, Trail Blazers and Spurs all on leave, the Suns are the only team in the playoff race for seed eight to play on Monday. However, it would be an easy win for Phoenix given that OKC has many notable players like Steven Adams, Danillo Gallinari, Shai Gilgeous Alexander and Nerlens Noel.
If Phoenix wins: They go into the tenth seed match against San Antonio and will be only half a game behind Portland with the remaining two games for all teams.
If Phoenix loses: They will drop to a game and a half behind Portland for seed number 9 with two remaining games. The Suns will need Portland to lose to have a chance for ninth seed.
August 11 Notable Game:
Portland Trail Blazers vs Dallas Mavericks (3:30 pm PT):
Who do you want to beat: Portland.
Incentives to rest? Dallas has rested many starters including Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis ahead of Utah on Monday, which is one of the few teams the Mavericks can catch up on the standings. However, they got back from 22nd to beat Jazz giving them a full match behind Utah for the number six seed.
San Antonio Spurs vs Houston Rockets (11:00 am PT):
Who do you want to beat: Houston. San Antonio won 123-105.
Incentives to rest? The Rockets would be 1.5 games behind Denver for the third seed and could play for promotion opportunities and play against the Utah Jazz, the team that Houston dropped out of the league two years after, in the first round instead of Oklahoma City. Thunder.
Phoenix Suns vs Philadelphia 76ers (1:30 pm PT):
Who do we want to win? Philadelphia. Phoenix won 130-117.
Incentives to rest? Ben Simmons has been disqualified indefinitely. Joel Embiid injured his left ankle during a match against Trail Blazers on Sunday and the Sixers knocked him out of the competition on Tuesday. However, Philadelphia is just a return match between the Indiana Pacers and the Miami Heat (the two kicked together on Monday night) for the fourth seed that will avoid Boston in the first round. Sixers cannot fall to the seventh seed.
Memphis Grizzlies vs Boston Celtics (2:00 pm PT):
Who do we want to win? Boston. Boston won from 122 to 107.
Incentives to rest? Boston was classified as the third seed group in the East Conference, but head coach Brad Stevens said he has no plans for his warm-up matches to rest for the remainder of the seed matches.
“You obviously want great health, but conditioning is a great part of that, so we want all of our main players to play at least twice out of three,” coaches. The Celtics coach said after Saturday’s training session in the Boston Herald. “All of our sports scientists and all the others feel that the whole week between games is enough – certainly not wanting more than that. We play our people, nothing has been successful yet, that’s how we’ll approach it. “
Portland Won Eighth Seed:
–Portland leads 2-0
Portland drew 1-1, Memphis drew 0-1, San Antonio tied 0-1, Phoenix drew 0-1
Portland Won Ninth Seed:
Portland drew 1-1, Memphis drew 1-0, San Antonio tied 0-1, Phoenix drew 0-1
Match 1: Saturday, August 15 at 11:30 am PT
Match 2 (if needed): Sunday, August 16 at 1:30 p.m. PT
Next: Portland Trail Blazers will play against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday, August 11 at 3:30 p.m. PT here on NBC Sports Northwest.