The 2020-2021 NBA regular season has officially come to a close and it did so in rather spectacular fashion, with a wild final day that saw teams battling for play-in positioning, playoff seeding, and some outright tanking into different matchups.
The day started out with some phenomenal games including three furious comebacks: one actually completed by the Wizards to beat the Hornets and earn the 8-seed in the East, another other by the Grizzlies, briefly taking the lead on Golden State before Stephen Curry happened and the Warriors won, and another by the Celtics to scare the Knicks who held on to earn the 4-seed in the East.
The night slate wasn’t nearly as competitive for all the reasons one might expect, as teams rested and positioned themselves to be healthy and ready for the playoffs. Out West, the Nuggets were playing guys but clearly weren’t invested in their game in Portland the same way the Blazers were, as Portland ran away early to secure the 6-seed in the West and push the Lakers into the play-in, despite L.A. getting a win in New Orleans (although with a bit of a scare from LeBron apparently tweaking his ankle). Meanwhile, the Jazz started slow but eventually pummeled the Kings to lock down the 1-seed, keeping Phoenix in second out West.
With Denver losing, the Clippers would move to the 3-seed with a win, but they clearly wanted no part of that as they did the unthinkable, out-tanking the Thunder to lose in Oklahoma City (after losing to Houston) and getting into the 4-seed to face Dallas (who lost to Minnesota trying to possibly tank their way to the 6 to dodge the Clippers). All in all, it was a wild day and at the end of it all, here is how the play-in and playoffs will shake out.
7. Boston Celtics vs. 8. Washington Wizards (Tuesday, TNT, 9:00 p.m. ET)
9. Indiana Pacers vs. 10. Charlotte Hornets (Tuesday, TNT, 6:30 p.m. ET)
1. Philadelphia 76ers vs. 8. Winner of Play-In Game 2 (loser BOS/WAS vs. winner IND/CHA)
2. Brooklyn Nets vs. 7. Winner of BOS/WAS
3. Milwaukee Bucks vs. 6. Miami Heat
4. New York Knicks vs. 5. Atlanta Hawks
7. L.A. Lakers vs. 8. Golden State Warriors (Wednesday, ESPN, 10:00 p.m. ET)
9. Memphis Grizzlies vs. 10. San Antonio Spurs (Wednesday, ESPN, 7:30 p.m. ET)
1. Utah Jazz vs. 8. Winner of Play-In Game 2 (loser LAL/GSW vs. winner MEM/SAS)
2. Phoenix Suns vs. 7. Winner of LAL/GSW
3. Denver Nuggets vs. 6. Portland Trail Blazers
4. L.A. Clippers vs. 5. Dallas Mavericks
Once the play-in games are done and the full matchups are set for the playoffs, the complete TV schedule for the first round will be released.