Relevant NBA results from Wednesday night:

  • Bucks 117, Magic 99
  • Mavericks 111, Heat 92
  • Cavs 110, Grizzlies 98

These are good results. It means the Sixers are a game ahead of Miami for the 7 seed and just one game back from the Magic and Pacers for the 5th or 6th seed.

As it stands, there’s a scenario here where if the Sixers win out (vs. Orlando, vs. Brooklyn to finish 47-35), and Indy wins out (at Cavs, vs. Hawks to finish 48-34), the Sixers would take the 6 seed. That’s regardless of whether or not Orlando beats the Bucks in their season finale, because in the case of a 47-35 tie, the Sixers beat the Magic by virtue of the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Where it gets tricky is if the Sixers find themselves in a three-way scenario with both Orlando and Indiana. If that happens, Orlando actually gets the nod because division leader is the first tiebreaker. The Magic can wrap up the Southeast while the Sixers and Pacers are third in their respective divisions. After Orlando gets the top spot out of the three, it then goes to a two-team tiebreaker between Indy and Philly, which is determined by head-to-head win/loss, a situation the Sixers would lose because they finished 1-2 against the Pacers.

It kinda sucks, that possible scenario. That’s why it’s better for the Pacers to win out and move ahead of both Orlando and Philly, because a two-way tiebreaker with the Magic is much better than a three way involving Indy.

What about Cleveland, then? Or New York?

Well, the Cavs have to play Indy and Charlotte, so at worse they’d probably split, which would put them at 48-34. If they’re in some kind of three-way tie involving Orlando and another team, then they also lose out because the Bucks are leading their division. Philly and Cleveland played to a 2-2 draw this season, so the tiebreaker would likely come down to conference win/loss record.

It’s similar with the Knicks, who are far behind the Celtics, as is everyone in the Atlantic. The Sixers went 1-3 against the Knicks this season.

There are still a ton of scenarios at play here, but the most generic path is that the Sixers handle business against Orlando and Brooklyn, and then hope the Bucks hammer the Magic again while Indy continues to win. That’s the most straightforward way to the #6 seed, but there are other ways to get there.