Just one National Basketball Association playoff spot left

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Taj Gibson reacts as time runs out in the second half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday

Games on Tuesday and Wednesday will determine the other 11 seeds. It is a fitting conclusion to what has been preposterously close races in both conferences over the past few months.

All but one of the 16 playoff spots have been clinched, with the Minnesota-Denver game today deciding the final berth in the postseason. The victor will secure a playoff spot, and the loser will miss the postseason.

Neither Denver nor Minnesota has ever missed the playoffs in a 46-win season. It's a small dose of March Madness in mid-April - the kind of winner-takes-all matchup that is supposed to be confined to the college game.

The East isn't almost as complicated, though a lot can change over the next two days.

The end of the 2017-18 National Basketball Association regular season has become a sprint to the finish line.

In the Western Conference, the Rockets are locked in as the No. 1 seed and the Warriors are guaranteed the No. 2 seed.

After that? Well, that's anyone's guess.

The No.3 and No.4 seeds will come down to the Philadelphia 76ers (50-30) and Cleveland Cavaliers (50-31). The Eastern Conference already have their 8 teams together as they play it out to finalized their playoff seedings. New Orleans hosts San Antonio Wednesday, and the victor of that matchup will finish with no worse than the No.5 seed. Whoever finishes fourth will host IN in the first round. A win for Milwaukee coupled with a loss for the Miami Heat on Monday night saw the Bucks move past the Heat and into sixth place.

The Bucks wrap up No. 6 with a win at Philadelphia tonight. Washington hosts the Boston Celtics and visits the Orlando Magic to end the season. Going into Tuesday, Milwaukee, Miami and Washington all could finish either sixth, seventh or eighth in the East. If it plays out that way, the Wizards will be thrilled, as it would mean facing the battered Celtics instead of either the Raptors, Sixers or Cavs in the first round.

Houston is No. 1 in the West, followed by Golden State at No. 2.

With 6 days left of the 2017-2018 National Basketball Association regular season, competition has been heating up. The No.5 seed New Orleans Pelicans, No.6 seed San Antonio Spurs and No.7 seed Oklahoma City Thunder all have the same record (47-34).

Two Western Conference teams are fighting for one available playoff spot, with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Denver Nuggets squaring off on Thursday at 10:00am AEDT for a victor takes all clash. So, who makes the final cut?



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