The Pacific Division hasn't been decided yet, but the magic number is down to one. If the Lakers win the final game of their season in Sacramento, or the Clippers lose in either Atlanta or New York, the Lakers will clinch the division. The consolation for the Clips? A win against either the Hawks or Knicks would at least earn them first-round homecourt advantage. Either way, the Staples Centre will be hosting of plenty of postseason contests starting next weekend.
Here's the latest out of the Pacific:
- Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News put the Warriors' odds of retaining their first-round pick at about 20-25% after they beat the Timberwolves yesterday. Golden State's pick is top-seven protected, and as our tentative draft order shows, the team is currently the league's eighth-worst.
- Warriors fans shouldn't sweat it if the team loses its first-rounder, says Matt Steinmetz of CSNBayArea.com.
- J.A. Adande of ESPN.com argues that Metta World Peace should be suspended for two games more than James Harden misses. World Peace's elbow during yesterday's game resulted in a concussion for Harden, and will certainly mean a suspension for the Lakers forward — Las Vegas has set the over/under at 7.5 games (Twitter link). In a poll yesterday, 58% of respondents said the Lakers would still win at least one playoff series without the man formerly known as Ron Artest.
- With Steve Nash facing free agency, Eric Koreen of the National Post examines the pros and cons of a few potential destinations for the Suns star.
- Tom Ziller of Sactown Royalty ponders whether the Tyreke Evans era could be nearing an end for the Kings.
- Sacramento officials will return a portion of the $200K the NBA sent the city for pre-development work on the Kings' arena, reports Tony Bizjak of the Sacramento Bee.