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NBA Play-In Tournament: the three seeding outcomes of Sunday’s NBA match-ups

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The Wizards can finish 8th, 9th, or 10th. Here’s how.

The Wizards are currently 9th in a three-team tie with the Pacers and Hornets at 33-38. According to my analysis here the Pacers are in the worst position because they have the worst internal record among the three teams: just 1—5 (1—2 with Charlotte and 0—3 with Washington).

The Wizards have an internal record of 3-2 so far (3—0 with Indiana and 0—2 with Charlotte) which places them 9th since the Hornets own a 4-1 internal record.

This tie will be broken this afternoon when the Hornets and the Wizards face off.

The Wizards can still finish as high as 8th, and as low as 10th. This all depends on two games played simultaneously in D.C. and in Tampa at 1 p.m. Sunday: Wizards hosting the Hornets, and Raptors hosting the Pacers.

Below I break down all the possible scenarios.

Oh, and you can read all about draft consequences and the format of the Play-In Tournament here.

Scenario 1: the Wizards advance to 8th

The Wizards hold their own fate. If they beat the Hornets the Wizards claim the 8th spot. The outcome of the Pacers-Raptors game then determines 9th and 10th. This is because the Wizards hold the tiebreak with the Pacers, having swept them 3—0 this season, and the Hornets own the tiebreak with the Pacers as the season series between them ended at 2—1. So here are the scenarios in this case:

  • Wizards win, Pacers win:

7th: Boston

8th: Washington

9th: Pacers

10th: Charlotte

  • Wizards win, Pacers lose:

7th: Boston

8th: Washington

9th: Charlotte

10th: Pacers

Scenario 2: the Wizards stay at 9th

If the Wizards lose, but somehow the tanking Raptors beat the Pacers, the Wizards don’t advance in the standings, but get to host their first Play-In game against the Pacers against which they matched up well this season:

  • Wizards lose, Pacers lose:

7th: Boston

8th: Charlotte

9th: Washington

10th: Pacers

Scenario 3: the Wizards drop to 10th

If the Wizards lose, and the Pacers beat the Raptors, the Wizards drop to 10th, and will need two road wins to make the playoffs:

  • Wizards lose, Pacers win:

7th: Boston

8th: Charlotte

9th: Pacers

10th: Washington