Erik Kueslias and Steve Kyler preview the NBA Playoffs

With a loss though, they would fall all the way to the 8th spot.

For starters, the Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Timberwolves are facing a "win and get in" matchup to start off the night. Coach Mike D'Antoni guided his team to win streaks of 17, 14 and 11 games, and James Harden emerged as an MVP candidate while showing he could share the court with Chris Paul, a ball-dominant guard acquired in the offseason to help this team get over the hump.

The NBA has released the first-round playoff schedule, and the reigning NBA champs will host the postseason opener. A win over Memphis would leave OKC either fourth or sixth, depending on the outcome of the Jazz-Blazers game, but a loss would leave them in eighth, with the Rockets awaiting. Timberwolves2. Warriors vs. 7. San Antonio will capture No. 6 with a win and a Trail Blazers win and a Thunder win. Wizards 2. Celtics vs. 7.

76ers clinch No. 3 seed in East, Cleveland No. 4AP Photo PACS104, OKSO106, LAS101, PACS101, NYJJ120, MICO110, MNJM103, MNJM104, COJD115, NYJJ112, NYPS201Eds: Updates with 76ers item. Now if the Wizards lose and the Bucks win, it'll come down to who has the better "W-L Percentage vs. Playoff teams, own conference", according to the National Basketball Association. The Bucks will get No. 8 seed with a loss and a Miami win and a Wizards win. John Wall and Otto Porter didn't play, but still.

After all that, the Thunder have home-court advantage.

The Cavaliers also have a history of having their way with the Raptors in the few previous playoffs, since they have to go through Toronto to get back to the Finals. The Trail Blazers will either playr the Pelicans, Spurs, Thunder, Timberwolves or Jazz. The Thunder were swept by Portland this year, but won three of four against Utah.

New Orleans Pelicans (2/8 scenarios).

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Start with the East pairings: Lowry and the top-seeded Raptors play No. 8 Washington, No. 2 Boston faces No. 7 Milwaukee, No. 3 Philadelphia gets No. 6 Miami and No. 4 Cleveland - with LeBron James bidding for an eighth consecutive appearance in The Finals - opening against No. 5 in, a surprise team at the start of the season and one that isn't a surprise anymore. A fourth straight Warriors-Cavs matchup is no guarantee.

The Thunder will capture the No. 6 seed with a win over Memphis and a Utah win over Portland.

The series is set to commence in Oklahoma City with Game 1 on Sunday, April 15 at 5:30 p.m. (CT) and followed by Game 2 on Wednesday, April 18 at 7 p.m. (CT). They needed overtime to beat the Nuggets and get into the postseason.

When LeBron James took the floor for Cleveland against NY on Wednesday night, it represented a first for the four-time MVP - this is the first of his 15 seasons in which he's played in every regular-season game.

Portland can finish no lower than fifth, and both of the scenarios in which that could happen involve Memphis upsetting Oklahoma City, combined with a San Antonio win over New Orleans. The good news would always be the thought that they have three stars who are capable of winning games.

The reason for all the uncertainty is that seeds 5-9 are all separated by only one game.

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