OKC Thunder clinch playoff berth, home court still viable

Dwyane Wade, OKC Thunder, NBA Power Ranking week 20, Photo by B51/ACMark Brown/Getty Images)AC
Dwyane Wade, OKC Thunder, NBA Power Ranking week 20, Photo by B51/ACMark Brown/Getty Images)AC /

The OKC Thunder clinch a trip to the postseason with a win in Miami.

It’s not as if the OKC Thunder haven’t kept Thunder Nation on pins and needles for the greater portion of the season. What with their propensity to rise up to take down giants followed by inexplicable losses to lottery teams. Yet, it seems when push comes to shove the best version of this Thunder squad seizes the moment.

Still, allowing the Heat to get out to a 23-5 lead early definitely summoned those “oh no, here we go again” thoughts. But, as Stephen Dolan pointed out in his post game roundup and player grades the Thunder took over and once they caught up never looked back. In the end OKC outscored the Heat 110 -68 from that point forward.

Thunder must win to avoid eighth seed:

The OKC Thunder return back home for a day of rest prior to closing out the season at Chesapeake versus the Memphis Grizzlies. The hope is the Thunder decide to keep this momentum rolling to finish the season.

Several different variables exist in terms of where the Thunder end up positioned on the playoff ladder. And, while the Thunder took fate into their hands to secure the spot there are still a number of variables which other teams will decide.

Entering action on the second last day of the regular season there are still only the top two seeds cemented in the West (not that the east has much more clarity). So, it’s essential OKC capture the win Wednesday.

Other than the OKC Thunder – Memphis Grizzlies match, two west games will draw ample attention on closing night. The contest between the Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Timberwolves will determine who takes the final playoff berth. Arguably, however, the game between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Utah Jazz could well be the most important outside OKC to watch.

More from Thunderous Intentions

There are so many variables with the Jazz, Pelicans, Spurs and Thunder all sitting with 47 wins. Action today could change those dynamics depending on if the Jazz defeat Golden State.  In the event they don’t it will add even more value to the Jazz versus Blazers match on closing night. Then the variables all come into play with tiebreaks taking center court.

Home Court remains viable:

First let me thank the diligent writers at Thunderous Intentions and the Thunder Nation fan base.

My previous understanding was records between squads always held the primary precedence. However, as it turns out when more than one team ties ALL of the teams records versus each other are totalled.  This is used as the primary consideration in this scenario.

What that means is the OKC Thunder CAN still get the fourth seed and home court. Check the playoff picture update article for a full breakdown of all feasible scenarios. The main thing to know is OKC will need to win once more and Thunder fans need to pull for the Jazz to end up tied with OKC and one other team for the home court to remain a possibility.

A loss by OKC on closing night would be the worst case scenario (unless the overriding desire is to play the Rockets). Again with the new information I’ll provide a look at the possibility of 3 teams tying with 47 wins.

Still, with another win the Thunder could finish as high as fourth and a loss could find them finishing with the bottom eighth place seed.  Suffice to say don’t go anywhere Thunder Nation because the plenty of drama remains to finish out the regular season in preparation for playoffs.