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NBA final day of regular season preview: Playoff picture remains unclear in the West

The final round of NBA regular season games take place on Sunday, with all 30 teams involved in a packed fixture list.

However, here isn't quite the same end-of-season drama we've enjoyed in previous years as all of the postseason spots have already been taken.

In the East, the top six are already in order and only the seven and eight seeds are yet to be decided after the play-in tournament has taken place.

The line-up of the play-in tournament is also already decided in the East and the Heat will face Atlanta Hawks in Miami, with the winner of that game going straight to the Final Seeds game.

The loser will get another chance in the No.8 Seed game, where they will take on either Chicago Bulls or the Raptors ahead of their elimination meeting in Toronto.

Miami are -850 to make the Playoffs, Atlanta can be backed at -300, Chicago are +550 and Toronto are +230.

However, there is an intriguing fight for the fifth and sixth seeds still to play out in the West, with four teams battling it out for the final two spots and that is where we will focus our attentions.

Clippers and Dubs hold the advantage

Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors go into the final round of games in fifth and sixth respectively in the Western Conference with identical 43-38 records.

However, Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans are both 42-39 and could sneak into those automatic playoff spots depending on results.

The task for the Clippers and Warriors is simple, as if they finish their seasons with wins they will claim either the fifth or sixth seed.

The Clippers face a trip to a Phoenix Suns team who have already locked in fourth seed and the Dubs head to the already-eliminated Portland Trail Blazers.

A win for the Clippers would see them secure fifth seed and they would then take on the Suns in the first round of the playoffs.

The Clippers are -110 to win with a -12.5 handicap in the Point Spread, while Phoenix can be backed at +575 in the Money Line.

The Lakers are at home to Utah Jazz, while the Pels have an interesting match-up at Minnesota Timberwolves - who are potential play-in opponents if New Orleans miss out on a top-six spot.

Golden State in precarious position

Golden State know if they beat Portland they will take one of the top six seeds, but defeat would probably mean they end up in the play-in tournament.

The Clippers have the advantage over the Dubs due to a better record against other Pacific Division teams, and Golden State would also finish below both the Lakers and the Pelicans if they finish with the same record as those teams.

Lakers and Pelicans need results to go their way

The Lakers own the tiebreakers against New Orleans and as such will finish above them if they finish with the same record, but if they finish level with the Clippers they would be below their city rivals.

To add further confusion, the Pelicans would finish above both the Clippers and Golden State if those three teams were to finish with the same records.

The Pelicans are +140 to beat Minnesota in the Money Line and the Wolves can be backed at -160.

If all four teams do finish level, further tiebreakers would come into play as head-to-head win-loss percentages between teams is the first tiebreaker.

Following that, the division leader wins the tie over a team not leading a division and, if that doesn't resolve the issue, it then goes to win-loss percentage for teams in the same division and conference win-loss percentage.

As the Pelicans are not in the same division as the Lakers, Clippers and Warriors, who are all in the Pacific Division, it would come down to conference win-loss percentage to decide their final placings.

Sixers face Nets in series preview

The focus will clearly be on the playoff battle in the West, but there are a few other things to keep an eye on in the final round of games.

Philadelphia 76ers finish off their regular season with a trip to Brooklyn Nets - with the two teams already destined to meet in the first round of the playoffs as the third and sixth seeds respectively in the East.

Elsewhere, Boston Celtics play Atlanta in what could also be a first-round preview if the Hawks manage to claim seventh seed, while the meeting between Houston Rockets and Washington Wizards is the only non-conference clash.

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