Has Thunder clinched a playoff berth? Um … maybe
Saturday March 16, 10:00 AM
2012-2013 NBA Regular Season Standings
|New York3||38||25||0.603||11.5||24-13||6-6||22-10||16-15||5-5||L 3|
|San Antonio1x||50||16||0.758||0.0||28-12||12-2||27-4||23-12||6-4||W 1|
|Oklahoma City2||49||17||0.742||1.0||32-10||7-4||30-4||19-13||8-2||W 2|
|L.A. Clippers4||45||21||0.682||5.0||27-13||8-4||25-8||20-13||6-4||L 1|
|Golden State6||37||30||0.552||13.5||19-19||7-5||22-10||15-20||4-6||L 1|
|L.A. Lakers8||35||32||0.522||15.5||18-21||5-5||22-11||13-21||7-3||W 1|
|New Orleans||22||44||0.333||28.0||12-27||4-9||12-20||10-24||3-7||L 2|
se-Clinched Southeast Division | w-Clinched Western Conference | sw-Clinched Southwest Division |
nw-Clinched Northwest Division | p-Clinched Pacific Division | o-Eliminated from Playoffs contention
(-) Tie breaker not needed (better overall winning percentage)
(1) Division leader wins tie from team not leading a division
(2) Head-to-head won-lost percentage
(3) Conference won-lost percentage
(4) W-L Percentage vs. Playoff teams, own conference
(5) W-L Percentage vs. Playoff teams, other conference
(6) Net Points, all games
x-Clinched Playoff Berth | o-Eliminated from Playoffs contention | e-Clinched Eastern Conference | w-Clinched Western Conference
nw-Clinched Northwest Division | p-Clinched Pacific Conference | sw-Clinched Southwest Division | a-Clinched Atlantic Division
c-Clinched Central Conference | se-Clinched Southeast Conference
*-Games remaining vs.Teams Over/Under .500
Prior to Friday night’s games, “Possible Clinchings/Eliminations” under the 2012-13 Playoff Picture heading stated the following: “OKLAHOMA CITY clinches a playoff spot with a win AND a loss by EITHER the Lakers, Houston or Golden State.”
The Thunder took care of its end with a 117-104 victory over the Orlando Magic at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets both won, while Golden State lost at home to the Chicago Bulls late Friday. According to the league’s pre-game proclamation, OKC’s victory and Golden State’s loss should have clinched a playoff spot for the Thunder. The official league standings on NBA.com denote a clinched playoff berth with an “x,” but there is no “x” next to the Thunder in today’s updated standings.
So did the Thunder clinch a spot or not? OKC stands 49-17 and has 16 games left in the season. In the current battle for the Nos. 6, 7 and 8 seeds in the Western Conference, Golden State is 37-30, Houston is 36-30, the Lakers are 35-32 and Utah is 33-32. Golden State and Houston trail OKC by 13 in the loss column, so simple math tells us the Thunder couldn’t possibly have clinched the playoffs with 16 games still remaining.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, however, given the remaining head-to-head games among Golden State, Houston, the Lakers and Utah, there would be multiple teams that would have to finish with 33-plus losses and would only be able to tie OKC. It appears the Thunder would win the multi-team tiebreakers involving the Warriors, Rockets, Lakers and Jazz.
This Elias explanation came during the Thunder-Magic game last night, yet the OKC victory coupled with the Golden State loss still brought no definitive “x” next to “Oklahoma City” in the standings. No worries, the Thunder is bound for the playoffs for the fourth straight season. When will all this become official? Let’s just play it safe and say “soon.” Very soon.
- John Rohde
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