Who will the Lakers play in the quarterfinals of the NBA In-Season Tournament? Every possible outcome
What team has the biggest chances before the final game of the In-Season tournament’s group play to get the wild card spoon inthe West and face the Lakers?
The Knockout Rounds of the NBA In-Season Tournament will consist of single-elimination games for the eight teams that advance from Group Play, beginning with the Quarterfinals on Dec. 4-5. Teams that win will progress to the neutral-site Semifinals on Dec. 7 and then the Championship on Dec. 9.
Games played in the first and second rounds of the Knockout Rounds (i.e., Quarterfinals and Semifinals, respectively) will count as Regular Season games for all purposes. The Championship will not be counted as a Regular Season game (e.g., such a game would not count toward a team’s Regular Season record, and a player’s or team’s performance in such game would not count towards Regular Season statistics).
In each conference, Quarterfinal games will be hosted by the two teams with the best record in Group Play games, and the team with the best record in Group Play games will host the wild card team. If two or more teams are tied for the higher seed in a conference, the tie among the teams will be broken following the same tiebreaker protocol.
Who will the Lakers play in the quarterfinals?
Three teams have a realistic chance of qualifying for the quarterfinals and potentially facing the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Phoenix Suns, currently in the wild card conversation, could secure a spot if the Minnesota Timberwolves fail to perform. They could also advance by winning tiebreakers over second-place teams from other groups who finish 3-1.
In the battle for Group B supremacy, the Houston Rockets aim for the top spot, and all they need to do is win to clinch the group. The fate of Group B relies on the outcome of the Rockets’ performance, but there’s a possibility that they could still end up with the wild card and a chance to play the Lakers.
In Group C, the Minnesota Timberwolves are in contention for the top spot. They need to win, hope that Sacramento loses, and win tiebreakers over Sacramento and Golden State to secure their position. However, the Timberwolves have the wildcard entry as a safety net. If they win and secure the second spot in the group, along with winning tiebreakers over any second-place teams from other groups with a 3-1 record, they can still advance to the quarterfinals.
The Golden State Warriors have a good chance of winning Group C if certain things happen. Either they win, Minnesota loses, or they win and have a better record than Sacramento and Minnesota. If either of these scenarios plays out, they will be on top of Group C.
But there’s still a chance for the Warriors to make it to the playoffs as a wildcard. They must win, finish second in the group, and have a better record than any other second-place team. If there’s another team with a 3-1 record in another group, the Warriors must have a better record than them. It’s a high-stakes situation, and every move on the court is important for the Warriors.