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So, step one is done. Oklahoma City is in the playoffs. Now, where will they be? That’s the big question.

On Wednesday night, Oklahoma City will play the Memphis Grizzlies, there are TONS of options going forward. We’re going to do our best to breakdown every Thunder scenario.

You want a real big cliff notes: If Utah splits and Oklahoma City beats Memphis, Oklahoma City is the four. If OKC loses, they’re most likely eighth. If the Thunder win against Memphis they’ll finish no lower than sixth.

However, there are a billion other breakdowns, so let’s just jump into it.

If you know of any scenarios I missed, please tweet us with scenarios, we’ll add it.

8th Seed

If Oklahoma City loses to Memphis, this is where they’re going. This is what they deserve for losing to the Memphis Grizzlies.

Minnesota (1-3) and Denver (1-2) both own the tiebreakers over Oklahoma City. So, the winner of their will jump Oklahoma City. It’s assuming Utah split, losing to Portland:

4. Utah
5. New Orleans/San Antonio winner
6. Denver/Minnesota winner
7. New Orleans/San Antonio loser
8. Oklahoma City

 

Even if Utah drops both games, here’s what it would look like and New Orleans won

4. New Orleans
5. Minnesota/Denver winner
6. Utah
7. San Antonio
8. Oklahoma City

7th seed

It’s really tough for Oklahoma City to get the seventh seed. One way has to happen exactly like this:

  • OKC loses to Memphis
  • NOLA loses to San Antonio
  • Utah beats Portland
  • Minnesota beats Denver

In this instance, the Standings would be like this

  1. Houston
  2. Golden State
  3. Utah
  4. Portland
  5. San Antonio
  6. Minnesota
  7. Oklahoma City
  8. New Orleans

This happens because in the three-way tie, the combined record of Minnesota, OKC and NOLA Head-to-head comes out like this:

  • Minnesota: 4-0 vs. NOLA | 3-1 vs. OKC = 7-1
  • Oklahoma City 1-3 vs. MIN | 1-2 vs. NOLA = 2-5 (Western Conference 27-25)
  • New Orleans 0-4 vs. MIN | 2-1 vs. OKC = 2-5 (Western Conference 26-26)

Oklahoma City sneaks to the seventh spot by their win over the Houston Rockets, essentially.

Another option is if Utah loses both games and the Thunder lose and San Antonio wins

4. San Antonio
5. Minnesota/Denver winner
6. Utah
7. Oklahoma City
8. New Orleans

6th seed

There are a couple of different scenarios for Oklahoma City end up sixth, even with wins.

Utah loses both and Oklahoma City beats Memphis, it’ll look like this

4. New Orleans/San Antonio
5. Minnesota/Denver
6. Oklahoma City
7. Utah
8. New Orleans

If Utah splits but beats Portland and OKC wins:

3. Utah
4. Portland
5. San Antonio/New Orleans
6. Oklahoma City

5th seed

If the Thunder beat the Grizzlies and the Jazz go 0-2, they creates a bit of a logjam in the middle again, obviously.

Here’s the first scenario with a Minnesota win:

4. San Antonio/New Orleans winner
5. Oklahoma City
6. Minnesota
7. Utah
8. San Antonio/New Orleans loser

With a Denver win:

4. San Antonio/New Orleans winner
5. Oklahoma City
6. Utah
7. Denver
8. San Antonio/New Orleans loser

4th seed

This one is a little bit clear cut as the Thunder need to win against Memphis and have the Jazz split beat either the Warriors or the Blazers, while losing the other one. Completely possible as the Warriors may be resting to get their guys ready for the playoffs. Portland may have more to play for as they lost to Denver on Monday night.

If OKC wins, San Antonio/New Orleans winner, and Utah beats Golden State but loses to Portland

4. Oklahoma City (5-3 vs. UT/SA; 4-3 vs. UT/NO)
5. Utah (4-4 vs. OKC/SA; 4-4 vs. OKC/NO)
6. San Antonio (3-5 vs. OKC/UT)/ New Orleans (3-4 vs. OKC/UT)

3rd seed

Oklahoma City cannot claim the third seed as Portland owns the 4-0 head-to-head tie-breaker with the Thunder.

2nd seed

Golden State has locked this up as they’re 11 games up in the standings on the Thunder.

1st seed

Houston has this locked up as they own a 17½-game advantage on the Thunder.

 

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Chuck Chaney

Founder & Editor-in-Chief.
Member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.