Checking in on every playoff and play-in race as final week of season begins

Denver Nuggets v Oklahoma City Thunder
Denver Nuggets v Oklahoma City Thunder / Joshua Gateley/GettyImages
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Western Conference 4-5

These two teams are all but locked into these seeds and we should get an awesome first round matchup, but they’d each love to be the home team for that series.

4. Los Angeles Clippers 50-28

5. Dallas Mavericks 48-30

For much of the year, it looked as though the Clippers would be in the race for the top seed, but they’ve faltered over the past couple of months and fallen back into this 4 seed, where they’ve been locked for a while.

But the Mavs have been the hottest team in the league and they keep creeping up the standings. They’ve spent much of their season fighting to get out of the play-in but now they have a chance to be a top 4 seed. Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving have been playing their best basketball as a duo for the past month or so.

This matchup in round one is already a bit of a nightmare for the Clippers, but having to go on the road would make it that much worse. They’ve been missing Kawhi Leonard lately with a knee injury, which is obviously the only thing that matters at this point. But the team has been healthy all season and they have true championship aspirations.