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#pounditSaturday, August 8, 2020

Blazers get advantage in playoff race thanks to NBA tiebreaker clarification

Portland Trail Blazers

The NBA’s determination on how the order of the standings will be decided could have some significant advantages for one team.

According to Tim Bontemps of ESPN, the league has determined that the NBA’s normal tiebreakers will remain in effect. However, as the various teams being invited to Orlando will have played a different number of games, another measure will be needed to determine seeding. Thus, the NBA decided that the final order of the standings will be determined by winning percentage.

This could benefit the Portland Trail Blazers in particular. The Blazers are tied for ninth in the Western Conference, but have played two more games than rivals New Orleans and Sacramento. Thus, if the three teams post the same record in their eight Orlando games, Portland will win the tiebreaker due to having a win percentage one one-thousandth of a point better than the Pelicans or Kings.

This is an odd way to do it, but the league has little choice but to adapt to the circumstances. That’s what it has done all along, and it’s produced a pretty reasonable set of guidelines for the Orlando bubble. This one is somewhat ironic given the Blazers were the only team to oppose the 22-team plan to begin with.

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