NBA playoffs clinching scenarios today, April 9: Western Conference seeding in flux

The 10 Western Conference teams in the 2023 NBA Playoffs are set but seeding is on the line on the last day. Here are the NBA Playoffs clinching scenarios.

We’re down to the final day of the 2022-23 NBA regular season before the 2023 NBA Playoffs begin on Tuesday, April 11 with the Play-In Tournament . However, there are NBA Playoff clinching scenarios still in play, specifically in the Western Conference.

Entering the final day of the regular season, there will be no movement in the Eastern Conference. However, the West still has seeding to be decided from the No. 5-9 spots in the standings involving the Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Pelicans, and Minnesota Timberwolves.

So as we come into this final stretch and all five teams playing at 3:30 p.m. ET (some against one another, fittingly), let’s take a look at the NBA Playoffs clinching scenarios for the Western Conference on the last day of the season.

NBA Playoffs bracket: Standings entering final day of regular season

As every team has now played 81 games this season and is looking to jostle for seeding in the final game of the regular season, here is how the standings look in Eastern Conference and the Western Conference.

Eastern Conference Playoff Bracket: Standings set

The seeding for the playoffs is already set in the Eastern Conference. Here’s what we have coming out of the East.

  1. Milwaukee Bucks
  2. Boston Celtics
  3. Philadelphia 76ers
  4. Cleveland Cavaliers
  5. New York Knicks
  6. Brooklyn Nets
  7. Miami Heat (Play-In Tournament)
  8. Atlanta Hawks (Play-In Tournament)
  9. Toronto Raptors (Play-In Tournament)
  10. Chicago Bulls (Play-In Tournament)

Western Conference Playoff Bracket: Standings entering last day of regular season

We know the top four seeds in the West, and the Oklahoma City Thunder are locked in at No. 10, but it’s the seeding from No. 5-9 that is in flux on Sunday on the final day of the regular season. Here’s how things stand entering these final games.

  1. Denver Nuggets
  2. Memphis Grizzlies
  3. Sacramento Kings
  4. Phoenix Suns
  5. Los Angeles Clippers
  6. Golden State Warriors
  7. Los Angeles Lakers
  8. New Orleans Pelicans
  9. Minnesota Timberwolves
  10. Oklahoma City Thunder

NBA Playoffs clinching scenarios today, April 9: What’s at stake for seeding

We’re going team-by-team between the Clippers, Warriors, Lakers, Pelicans and Timberwolves to look at their matchups and what’s in play for each team, their matchup, and what seed they could end up with.

Los Angeles Clippers Playoff scenarios (Current Seed: No. 5)

Possible Seeds: No. 5-7 | Matchup: at Phoenix Suns (3:30 p.m. ET)

It’s simple at the start for the Clippers, if they win on Sunday against the Suns, then they will clinch the No. 5 seed in the West and earn a first-round date with Phoenix, which isn’t particularly favorable for LA. However, if they lose, then things really open up.

A Clippers loss could drop LA all the way down to the No. 7 seed and the Play-In Tournament. For that precipitous fall to happen, the Pelicans would have to win combined with either 1. Lakers and Warriors winning, 2. Jazz and Warriors winning or 3. Jazz and Trail Blazers winning.

Golden State Warriors Playoff scenarios (Current Seed: No. 6)

Possible Seeds: No. 5-8 | Matchup: vs. Portland Trail Blazers (3:30 p.m. ET)

Most importantly, if the Warriors can win at home against Portland, they won’t be worse than the No. 6 seed, meaning that they will avoid the Play-In Tournament. They can also climb to No. 5 if they win and the Clippers lose to Phoenix.

With a loss, however, things can get dicey. Golden State could still end up as the No. 6 seed but would need help. They would need the Lakers and Pelicans to both lose in order for that to happen. If both teams win, then the Warriors are the No. 8 seed. If one of each lose, then they would be the No. 7 seed.

Los Angeles Lakers Playoff scenarios (Current Seed: No. 7)

Possible Seeds: No. 6-8 | Matchup: vs. Utah Jazz (3:30 p.m. ET)

There is one scenario in which the Lakers win against the Jazz on Sunday and drop to the No. 8 seed, which is the good news, but still dangerous. If LA wins but the Warriors, Pelicans and Clippers all win, that will drop them to No. 8 and give them a road game in the Play-In Tournament.

LeBron James and the Lakers would also drop to No. 8 simply if they lose to Utah at home on Sunday. If they win, they could go as high as the No. 6 seed, which would only happen if the Warriors lost to the Trail Blazers as well.

New Orleans Pelicans Playoff scenarios (Current Seed: No. 8)

Possible Seeds: No. 5-9 | Matchup: at Minnesota Timberwolves (3:30 p.m. ET)

The widest range of outcomes is in play for the Pelicans. If the Pelicans win while the Lakers, Trail Blazers and Suns win as well, OR if New Orleans wins along with the Jazz, Trail Blazers and Suns winning, they could be the No. 5 seed.

Meanwhile, with a win and then wins for the Warriors and Suns, that would push the Pelicans to the No. 6 seed. They would only stay at No. 8 with a win along with wins for the Warriors, Lakers and Clippers. They could jump to No. 7 with a win plus wins from the Jazz, Clippers and Warriors, OR a win paired with wins from the Lakers, Clippers and Trail Blazers.

A loss, however locks, New Orleans into the No. 9 seed.

Minnesota Timberwolves Playoff scenarios (Current Seed: No. 9)

Possible Seeds: No. 7-9 | Matchup: vs. New Orleans Pelicans (3:30 p.m. ET)

No matter if they win or lose, the Timberwolves will be in the Play-In Tournament. However, they are still in line for potentially being at three different seeds. If Minnesota wins and the Lakers lose, that would move the Wolves up to the No. 7 seed. A Lakers win would mean Minnesota can only get the No. 8 at best. They end up at No. 8 if the Timberwolves win combined with a Lakers win.

A loss would lock Minnesota into the No. 9 seed.