The NBA’s Eastern Conference postseason picture clarified somewhat on Sunday.
With victories, theand clinched playoff spots – their first in four and seven years, respectively.
Orlando’s win over thealso locked the into the third seed, behind the and . The result of that game ensured the Celtics will face the in the first round, too.
That leaves three teams – the, , and – fighting for the last postseason berth.
Charlotte staved off elimination on Sunday with a road win over a slumping Pistons squad, a team that could have clinched with a victory. The‘s season – and ‘s NBA career – remains on life support after a 117-109 loss in Toronto.
With the NBA taking its traditional night off Monday in deference to the NCAA championship game, here’s how things shape up for the East over the last two nights of the regular season on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Detroit remains in the driver’s seat for the final playoff spot:
|Team||Gets in with||Games remaining|
|Pistons||Win last 2 or 1 with a Hornets’ loss||vs. Grizzlies/at Knicks|
|Hornets||Win 1 with 2 Pistons’ losses||at Cavs/vs. Magic|
|Heat||Win last 2 while Pistons lose last 2 and Hornets lose 1||vs. 76ers/at Nets|
Stranger things have happened, but we’ve probably seen the last of Wade.
It’s worth noting, however, that the Pistons have lost four straight, andis banged up. Still, if each team loses its last two games, Detroit would get in because it has the best record.
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