The end of the 2020 NBA regular season will be different than years prior. The on-going pandemic has changed the landscape for professional sports and the NBA is one of many leagues that needed to alter plans.
We know that the NBA is trying to resume action on July 31. When basketball returns, teams in the Western Conference will be vying for the number 8 seed and last ticket into the playoffs. As it stands, 6 of the 8 teams have been confirmed for the playoffs and there are a handful of teams looking to punch their ticket to the postseason.
※ Current Odds Date & Time: June 22nd, 10:30 A.M. (EST)
Online bookmaker BetOnline has Memphis at -190 to be the number 8 seed.
The Dallas Mavericks are listed at +15000 to be the 8 seed in the West. With that being said, the Mavericks are 40-27 and have an 8 game advantage over the Grizzlies, the team that holds the 8th and decisive spot.
Memphis owns a three-game advantage on the Portland Trail Blazers. With only 8 regular season games allotted to end the regular season, Portland will have to play error-free basketball down the stretch.
With barely any games on the docket, reaching the final spot will be challenging for teams like the Suns, Spurs, and Kings. Those three teams would need to play perfect basketball and see the Grizzlies and Trail Blazers fall off the map to reach the postseason. Their chances of being the 8th seed are reflected in the odds as they are slingshots to make the playoffs.
Unless a team goes on an unprecedented run, it appears as if Memphis, Portland, and New Orleans will be fighting for the final spot. Portland has the best chance of stealing that final position, but the three-game deficit may be too large to overcome.