Although the Thunder doesn’t even play Wednesday, it will be in a rare win-win situation.
- If San Antonio wins at Denver on Wednesday night, OKC would clinch a tie for the Northwest Division regular-season crown. The Nuggets own a 3-1 head-to-head advantage against OKC and would claim the higher playoff seed if both teams were to finish in a tie. However, the Thunder would still be considered division champion with a tie and OKC would become the first franchise in the nine-year history of the Northwest Division to claim three straight division crowns.
- If Denver beats San Antonio, the Thunder once again would possess the No. 1 playoff seed in the Western Conference. The Thunder and Spurs split their regular-season series 2-2 and the next tiebreaker used is overall conference record, which OKC (36-13) would lead by 3½ games with a Spurs (32-16) loss Wednesday.
No Western Conference team has secured a definitive playoff seed, so there will be plenty of maneuvering with the final week of the regular season upon us. Basketball-reference.com offers playoff probabilities based on 1,000 simulations for the remainder of the season. You can view the latest probabilities here:
- The Thunder currently is projected with a 99.6-percent chance of winning the division, with Denver at 0.4 percent.
- OKC is projected with a 45.8 percent chance of being the top seed in the West, with San Antonio at 54.2 percent.
- The Thunder also is favored to win its second straight Western Conference title. OKC is at 45.9 percent, followed by San Antonio at 25.2 percent, the Los Angeles Clippers at 11.3 percent, Denver at 9.8 percent, Houston at 3.6 percent, Memphis at 3.5 percent, Golden State at 0.5 percent and the Los Angeles Lakers at 0.2 percent.
- Defending world champ Miami is projected at 59.8 percent to win its third straight Eastern Conference crown, followed by New York at 18.4 percent, Indiana at 14.6 percent, Brooklyn at 3.6 percent, Chicago at 1.4 percent, Atlanta at 1.2 percent, Boston at 0.8 percent and Milwaukee at 0.2 percent.
- The Heat, which had a 27-game winning streak and has won 32 of its last 34, is projected with a 30.7-percent chance of winning this year’s NBA crown. The shocker here is Miami barely edged the Thunder, which is at 30.6 percent. The Spurs are at 15.4 percent, followed by the Clippers at 7.1 percent, the Nuggets at 4.4 percent, the Knicks at 4.2 percent and the Pacers at 4.0 percent.
- John Rohde