Every team is done with their 82 games, and the playoff bracket is now set. The Oklahoma City Thunder (49-33), the 6-seed in the Western Conference, will kick things off against the 3-seed Portland Trail Blazers (53-29).
Here’s a look at the playoff bracket:
Yes, you looked at it correctly — a hypothetical Thunder run to the Conference Finals would not include either Golden State or Houston.
It took a lot of help for the Thunder to end up in perhaps the most ideal playoff positioning — along with an OKC win over the Bucks, the Nuggets came back from double-digits to beat the Timberwolves, and the Blazers themselves clearly tried to tank and failed, beating the Kings 136-131 while playing five guys more than 40 minutes each — oh, and they were trailing by 25 at halftime.
Yet, here we are.
The Thunder went 4-0 against the Blazers this season, completing the season sweep despite finishing with a worse record. What’s more, Portland will be without big man Jusuf Nurkic (leg), negating one of the areas they’ve been able to find success against OKC in the past. Defending the Damian Lillard/CJ McCollum backcourt is never easy, but it’s likely the best case scenario for a Thunder team on a 5-game winning streak and finding its offense after a lengthy slump.
Update: Schedule is out. Game 1 is in Portland — Sunday at 2:30 PM CST on ABC.