Pelicans-Kings on Thursday has high playoff stakes

NBA

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The NBA playoff picture will come into clearer view each day between now and the end of the regular season on Sunday. In the meantime, we will provide detailed daily updates on the landscape, including magic numbers, relevant tiebreakers and the stakes for every day’s slate of games.


WESTERN CONFERENCE


Clinched playoff berth

  • Net rating: 5.4

  • Magic number for No. 1 seed: 2

  • Remaining schedule: @SAS, @MEM

  • Highest possible finish: No. 1 seed (clinched no lower than No. 3)

  • No relevant tiebreakers

Clinched playoff berth

  • Net rating: 6.6

  • Magic number for top-two seed: 2

  • Remaining schedule: ATL, PHX

  • Highest possible finish: No. 1 seed (clinched no lower than No. 3)

  • Own tiebreakers against: Nuggets

Clinched playoff berth

  • Net rating: 6.6

  • Magic number for top-two seed: Do not control destiny

  • Remaining schedule: MIL, DAL

  • Highest possible finish: No. 1 seed (clinched no lower than No. 3)

  • Own tiebreakers against: Nuggets

Clinched playoff berth

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5. Dallas Mavericks (50-30)

Clinched playoff berth

  • Net rating: 3.0

  • Magic number for No. 4 seed: Do not control destiny

  • Remaining schedule: DET, @OKC

  • Highest possible finish: No. 4 seed (clinched no lower than No. 5)

  • No relevant tiebreakers

  • Net rating: 3.0

  • Magic number for top-eight seed: 1

  • Remaining schedule: @SAC, @MIN

  • Highest possible finish: No. 6 seed (clinched no lower than No. 9)

  • Own tiebreakers against: Pelicans, Warriors

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 12: Domantas Sabonis #10, De'Aaron Fox #5, and Malik Monk #0 of the Sacramento Kings look on against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center on January 12, 2024 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
The Sacramento Kings could be eliminated from a guaranteed playoff berth. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

8. Sacramento Kings (45-34)

9. Los Angeles Lakers (45-35)

  • Net rating: 0.4

  • Magic number for No. 9 seed: Do not control destiny

  • Remaining schedule: @MEM, @NOP

  • Highest possible finish: No. 7 seed

  • Own tiebreakers against: Suns

10. Golden State Warriors (44-35)

  • Net rating: 2.4

  • Magic number for No. 9 seed: 3

  • Remaining schedule: @POR, NOP, UTA

  • Highest possible finish: No. 7 seed

  • Own tiebreakers against: Lakers


Thursday’s games of consequence (all times Eastern)

Warriors at Blazers (10 p.m.)

Pelicans at Kings (10 p.m., TNT)

  • NOP clinches at least a top-seven seed with a win

  • SAC will be eliminated from contention for a guaranteed playoff berth with a loss

  • PHX clinches at least a top-eight seed with a SAC loss


EASTERN CONFERENCE


Clinched No. 1 seed and first-round playoff series vs. No. 8 seed (determined by play-in tournament)

Clinched playoff berth

  • Net rating: 3.2

  • Magic number for No. 2 seed: 1

  • Remaining schedule: @OKC, @ORL

  • Highest possible finish: No. 2 seed (clinched no lower than No. 4)

  • Own tiebreakers against: Knicks

3. New York Knicks (47-32)

Clinched playoff berth

4. Cleveland Cavaliers (47-33)

  • Net rating: 2.6

  • Magic number for playoff berth: 1

  • Remaining schedule: IND, CHA

  • Highest possible finish: No. 2 seed (clinched no lower than No. 7)

  • Own tiebreakers against: Heat

  • Net rating: 2.0

  • Magic number for playoff berth: 2

  • Remaining schedule: @PHI, MIL

  • Highest possible finish: No. 2 seed (clinched no lower than No. 8)

  • Own tiebreakers against: Knicks, Pacers

6. Indiana Pacers (46-34)

  • Net rating: 2.6

  • Magic number for playoff berth: 1

  • Remaining schedule: @CLE, ATL

  • Highest possible finish: No. 3 seed (clinched no lower than No. 8)

  • Own tiebreakers against: Bucks, Knicks, 76ers, Heat

7. Philadelphia 76ers (45-35)

  • Net rating: 2.8

  • Magic number for playoff berth: Do not control destiny

  • Remaining schedule: ORL, BKN

  • Highest possible finish: No. 5 seed (clinched no lower than No. 8)

  • Own tiebreakers against: Magic

  • Net rating: 1.4

  • Magic number for playoff berth: Do not control destiny

  • Remaining schedule: TOR, TOR

  • Highest possible finish: No. 5 seed (clinched no lower than No. 8)

  • Own tiebreakers against: Cavaliers, Magic

Clinched play-in berth

10. Atlanta Hawks (36-44)

Clinched play-in berth

  • Net rating: -1.6

  • Magic number for No. 9 seed: Do not control destiny

  • Remaining schedule: @MIN, @IND

  • Highest possible finish: No. 9 seed

  • No relevant tiebreakers


Thursday’s games of consequence (all times Eastern)

Bulls at Pistons (7 p.m.)

Knicks at Celtics (7:30 p.m., TNT)

  • NYK clinches at least a top-five seed with a win

  • NYK will be eliminated from contention for the No. 2 seed with a loss

  • MIL clinches at least a top-three seed with a NYK loss

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