NBA Teams Battle for Seeding Supremacy in Both Conferences

Oklahoma City Thunder at LA Lakers

Troy Haliburton

Saturday, March 3, 2018 7:27 PM GMT

Saturday, Mar. 3, 2018 7:27 PM GMT

The Pistons will look to keep their meager playoff hopes alive by taking on one of the teams in front of them in the standings, the Miami Heat. In the Western Conference, seeds 3-10 are all separated by just a few games and the Blazers and Thunder will square off in an important matchup for the Western Conference Playoff race.

Detroit Pistons vs Miami Heat

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Free NBA Pick: Detroit +6Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

The Miami Heat have had an up and down season, which can largely be attributed to their injuries to start the season. Hassan Whiteside has already missed 13 games this season, nearly half of all Heat games played. In those games Miami has a 4-9 record, and struggles mightily competing against teams without their only max-contract player.

Miami was just run off their home court on Thursday when the Lakers beat them 131-113. This goes along with the Heat’s rollercoaster of a season. On Tuesday the Heat were heroes after Dywane Wade’s game winning jumper against the Philadelphia 76ers. The only problem with Wade making his triumphant return to the Heat is that he is an inefficient player who thrives on scoring in isolation situations, which takes away from the ball movement and other player involvement that the Heat thrived on before his return.

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No Adebayo, Ellington or Tyler Johnson vs. Pistons tonight.

— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) March 3, 2018

The Heat will be very short handed taking on the Pistons with Wayne Ellington, Bam Adebayo, and Tyler Johnson will all be out of tonight's game. Meaning the Heat will have to rely even more on Wade tonight.

Detroit on the other hand will have their full complement of players but will be playing on short rest after having lost to the Orlando Magic last night. The Magic were on a seven game losing streak before upsetting the Pistons and seriously jeopardizing their playoff hopes. If the Pistons want to stay in the playoff race, they need this victory against a short-handed Miami Heat team who has not done a good job protecting their home court advantage with a terrible 8-17-4 mark ATS at home.

Oklahoma City Thunder vs Portland Trail Blazers

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Free NBA Pick: Thunder +4.5Best Line Offered: at Bovada

The Western Conference playoff race is so tight that the number three seed is just 3.5 games up on the ten seed. Any of those eight teams could end up finishing in any slot in the standings, meaning that inter-conference games between teams in that range carry a lot more importance than a normal regular season game.

There are all types of tie-breakers up for grabs and the Trail Blazers will have an opportunity to secure another tie-breaker if they can hold off and beat the Thunder. Portland and Oklahoma City have already played twice this season with the Blazers winning both of those matchups, they will have two more opportunities to steal a tie-breaker.

Oklahoma City still has the same doubts as they had earlier in the season when they struggled against weaker opponents but played extremely well against the best teams in the league.

A part of The Thunder offensive struggles is the fact that they thrive better in isolation situations. Oklahoma City isn’t nearly as good at shooting the basketball as the Blazers, so that also hurts. The Thunder rank 21st in the NBA in the 3-point shooting, by only knocking down 35% of their threes.

The Thunder do play defense and have the number four ranked scoring defense in the NBA, only giving up 98.6 points per game.

Things are turning sour in OKC at a rapid pace, making tonight’s game almost a must win situation for them. Look for Westbrook to lead his team to victory tonight.

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