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NBA Snapshot — Thursday April 4

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Last night involved a ton of games. Catch up on the standings and magic numbers here.

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Golden State Warriors Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA Snapshot series was created as a daily check-in for Denver Nuggets fans. Every game matters as the season comes to a close, and the playoff bracket is altered constantly. These posts will help inform Nuggets fans of the day’s games, providing an update on the standings and which teams to root for from game to game.


Standings Update

  • With wins last night for the Nuggets, Rockets, Blazers, and Jazz, very little changed in the standings. The Nuggets remain just two losses ahead of the Rockets and Blazers, while the Jazz remain two losses behind them.
  • The Spurs dropped to 8th, which they can’t be happy about considering they may have to play the Warriors in the first round. Both the Thunder and Spurs would surely prefer to face the Nuggets in a first round matchup, and sitting in 8th seems unlikely to accomplish that goal.
  • The Thunder and Rockets play against each other on April 9th, and both teams should be playing for something significant. The Thunder will want to avoid the Warriors in the first round, and the Rockets will want to catch the Nuggets and stay out of fourth place. That game should be must see television for Nuggets fans for multiple reasons, except Denver will be playing Utah on the same night. I don’t see the Rockets losing another game, but this may be the only opportunity, considering the other two games are against New York and Phoenix.

FiveThirtyEight projects the playoff order as follows:

  1. Golden State: 58-24
  2. Denver: 54-28
  3. Houston: 53-29
  4. Portland: 52-30
  5. Utah: 51-31
  6. Los Angeles: 48-34
  7. San Antonio: 47-35 (will likely own tiebreaker over OKC due to head-to-head record)
  8. Oklahoma City: 47-35

Updated magic number scenarios for the Nuggets are as follows:

  • Home court advantage in the first round = 1 combined Nuggets win or Jazz loss
  • Home court in the first and second rounds = 3 combined Nuggets wins and Rockets losses
  • Top seed in the Western Conference = 7 combined Nuggets wins and Warriors losses

Games to watch tonight

Golden State Warriors vs Los Angeles Lakers - 8:30 pm MST

Who to root for: Los Angeles. I have a feeling Golden State demolishes Los Angeles tonight, but you never know. It would take a miracle for the Warriors to lose the 1 seed to the Nuggets, but...well I guess you never know?