From 6th seed to possibly 8th: Wednesday now huge

From 6th seed to possibly 8th: Wednesday now huge
April 16, 2013, 8:00 am
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Parsons: 'We made Wednesday night a lot more exciting'

Monday's loss by the Rockets now has Wednesday looking extremely large for playoff positioning for four different teams.

The Rockets began the evening with a possibility of clinching the sixth seed if they had beaten the Suns and if the Warriors lost to the Spurs. Neither happened.

"We're talking about playoff matchups," Jeremy Lin said. "We're talking about matchups and things that are more important to us than anything we've played for all season. So this one hurts."

Now, the Warriors are a game up on the Rockets with one game left. Of course, the Rockets own the tiebreaker between the two clubs, so if the Rockets beat the Lakers and if the Warriors lose Wednesday to the 33-47 Blazers, then the Rockets would move up to the sixth seed.

Of course, there's more to that Lakers game than just the Rockets and Warriors. If the Rockets lose, they'd fall to the eighth seed and the Lakers would leapfrog them into the seventh spot. A Lakers' win would tie the season series at two games apiece, but LA would finish with a better conference record (28-24) than the Rockets (24-28). In essence, if the Rockets lose on Wednesday, they'd face the top-seeded defending Western-Conference champion Thunder. If the Rockets win, their opponent could be a banged-up Spurs team sitting second, or if the Warriors lose to Portland, the Rockets would move up to the sixth spot and face the Nuggets, who also have several players coming back from injury.

For the Lakers, if they win, they make the playoffs as a seven seed. If the Lakers lose and the Jazz beat the Grizzlies on Wednesday, then the Jazz make the playoffs, not the Lakers.

So as Chandler Parsons talked after Monday's game about what went wrong, he acknowledged what's to come, saying, "We made Wednesday night a lot more exciting, that's for sure."

ROCKETS SCENARIOS

Rockets beat Lakers: Sixth seed if Warriors lose to Blazers. Seventh seed if Warriors beat the Blazers.

Rockets lose to Lakers: Eighth seed.

LAKERS SCENARIOS

Lakers beat Rockets: Seventh seed.

Lakers lose to Rockets: Eighth seed if Jazz lose to Grizzlies. Out of playoffs if Jazz beat Grizzlies.

WARRIORS SCENARIOS

Warriors beat Blazers: Sixth seed.

Warriors lose to Blazers: Sixth seed if Rockets lose to Lakers. Seventh seed if Rockets beat Lakers.

JAZZ SCENARIOS

Jazz beat Grizzlies: Eighth seed if Lakers lose to Rockets. Out of playoffs if Lakers beat Rockets.