FanPost

NBA Finals tiebreakers

Too soon? Bah, there are like 10-12 games left. For those who aren't aware, here are the inter-conference tiebreakers:

1. Head-to-head record
2. Record vs. teams in the other conference
3. Random drawing

Yep, that's it.  Two tiebreakers and then flip a coin.  So, let's consider tiebreakers among teams that could feasibly tie and go to the Finals. Nine teams currently have a 10% or greater chance at the Finals according to Hollinger's odds: Chicago, Boston, Miami and Orlando out of the East, and San Antonio, LA Lakers, Dallas, Oklahoma City and Denver out of the West.  Among those, San Antonio and Orlando can't tie, and Denver can't feasibly tie with Chicago or Boston.

First, here are the potential tiebreakers that are already decided:

Chicago owns a tiebreaker over Dallas (swept season series) 
Dallas owns tiebreakers over Boston (swept season series), Miami (swept season series) and Orlando (22-8 v 16-14 conf record)
Denver owns a tiebreaker over Orlando (19-10 v 16-14 conf record)
LA Lakers own tiebreakers over Boston (21-9 v 17-11 conf record) and Orlando (21-9 v 16-14 conf record)
Miami owns a tiebreaker over the LA Lakers (swept season series)
Oklahoma City owns tiebreakers over Boston (22-7 v 17-11 conf record), Miami (22-7 v 18-10 conf record) and Orlando (22-7 v 16-14 conf record)
San Antonio owns a tiebreaker over Miami (22-6 v 18-10 conf record)

This leaves the following 5 scenarios yet to be decided:

Miami-Denver - By far the least likely scenario remaining, but Denver is 19-10 with one East game remaining (WAS), and Miami is 18-10 with two West games remaining (HOU,@MIN). If Miami wins both and Denver loses, Miami gets the tiebreaker, and if Miami loses both games or Denver wins and Miami loses one, Denver gets the tiebreaker. A tie in conference record goes to a random drawing.

Boston-San Antonio - The simplest one, if very unlikely. If Boston wins in San Antonio March 31, Boston sweeps the Spurs and wins the tiebreaker. If San Antonio wins, they get the tiebreaker based on conference record.

Chicago-San Antonio - Another unlikely scenario unless the Spurs collapse, but the Spurs have two East games remaining (BOS,@ATL), and the Bulls have three West games remaining (MEM,PHO,@MIN).  The Bulls are 20-7 vs the West and the Spurs are 22-6 vs the East. So, if the Bulls win all 3 and the Spurs lose both, the Bulls win the tiebreaker. If the Spurs win both or win one and the Bulls lose one, or the Bulls lose 2 or more, the Spurs win the tiebreaker. If the Spurs split and the Bulls win three, or the Spurs lose both and the Bulls win 2, it goes to random drawing.

Chicago-Oklahoma City - Another unlikely scenario unless the Bulls collapse, but the Thunder have one East game remaining (MIL) and the Bulls have 3 West games remaining (MEM,PHO,@MIN). The Bulls are 20-7 vs the West and the Thunder are 22-7 vs the East. If the Bulls win all 3 and the Thunder lose, the Bulls win the tiebreaker (although they would likely not tie anyway). If the Thunder win and the Bulls lose one, or the Bulls lose two, the Thunder win the tiebreaker. If both win their games, or the Thunder lose and the Bulls lose one, it goes to random drawing.

Chicago-LA Lakers - Easily the most likely scenario. The Lakers are 21-9 vs the East and have no games remaining, while the Bulls are 20-7 and have 3 games remaining (MEM,PHO,@MIN). If the Bulls win 2 or more, they win the tiebreaker. If the Bulls lose all 3, they lose the tiebreaker. If the Bulls lose 2 of 3, it would go to random drawing.

FanPosts are user-created posts from the BlogABull community, and are to be treated as the opinions and views of that particular user, not that of the blogger or blog community as a whole.

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