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NBA Playoff Picture 2021: Schedule for Last 2 Days Released; Latest Play-In Standings

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVMay 13, 2021

Jason Miller/Getty Images

The NBA released its schedule Thursday for the final two days of the 2020-21 regular season.

Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today tweeted a rundown of the schedule for Saturday and Sunday:

The final two days of the regular season could have a significant impact on the playoff standings, especially since 10 teams in each conference will be given the opportunity to make the postseason.

The teams that finish seventh through 10th will compete in a play-in tournament, and the two teams that prevail from that tournament in each conference will be part of the playoffs.

Here is a look at the play-in standings in both the Eastern and Western Conferences currently:

Eastern Conference

7. Boston Celtics: 35-35

8. Charlotte Hornets: 33-36

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9. Indiana Pacers: 33-36

10. Washington Wizards: 32-38

11. Chicago Bulls: 29-40, 2.5 GB of 10th

     

Western Conference

5. Portland Trail Blazers: 41-29

6. Dallas Mavericks: 41-29

7. Los Angeles Lakers: 40-30, 1.0 GB of 6th

8. Golden State Warriors: 37-33

9. Memphis Grizzlies: 36-33

10. San Antonio Spurs: 33-36

11. Sacramento Kings: 31-38, 2.0 GB of 10th

It remains possible for one team in each conference to rise from 11th to 10th before the regular season is over, and there is still plenty left to be settled in the Western Conference, as the Portland Trail Blazers, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers are battling to avoid the play-in tournament.

Some of the most important games on Saturday and Sunday in terms of the play-in standings relate to the ongoing battle in the Western Conference.

The defending NBA champion Lakers will look to keep their hopes of finishing sixth or better alive when they face the Indiana Pacers on the road on Saturday and the New Orleans Pelicans on the road on Sunday. L.A. will be heavily favored to win both games, especially if LeBron James and Anthony Davis are both in the lineup.

Meanwhile, the Blazers will host the Denver Nuggets and the Mavs will face the Minnesota Timberwolves away from home on Sunday.

Like the Lakers, the San Antonio Spurs will pull double duty over the weekend, hosting the Phoenix Suns on Saturday and Sunday. They will attempt to stave off the Sacramento Kings, who are hosting the Utah Jazz on Sunday.

In the East, the Chicago Bulls will play both Saturday and Sunday, facing the Brooklyn Nets on the road and hosting the Milwaukee Bucks. They need to win those games and get some help in the form of the Washington Wizards losing out, including a home game against the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday.

The play-in format has received its fair share of criticism, but there is no question that it is making for an exciting and unpredictable end to the regular season.

Once the regular season does reach its conclusion Sunday, the play-in tournament will commence May 18. 

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