With less than a week left, the D-League playoff picture is almost complete. The Iowa Energy have clinched the East Conference and the number one overall seed. The Reno Bighorns, Rio Grande Valley Vipers, and Tulsa 66ers all sit within a half game of each other atop the West Conference standings and in the race for the number two overall seed. Those three teams, along with the Erie BayHawks, Bakersfield Jam, and Utah Flash have clinched playoff berths.
Four teams remain alive in contention for the eighth and final playoff spot: the Fort Wayne Mad Ants currently hold the eighth spot with a record of 23-25, followed closely by Texas at 22-25, Idaho at 22-26, and Austin at 21-26. Here’s a quick look at the remaining games for each team.
Fort Wayne Mad Ants (23-25)
@Maine, Thursday 3/31
vs. Sioux Falls, Saturday 4/2
Texas Legends (22-25)
vs. Springfield, Wednesday 3/30
@Austin, Thursday 3/31
@Austin, Saturday 4/2
Idaho Stampede (22-26)
vs. Utah, Friday 4/1
vs. Utah, Saturday 4/2
Austin Toros (21-26)
@Reno, Tuesday 3/29
vs. Texas, Thursday 3/31
vs. Texas, Saturday 4/2
If there is a two-way tie between teams, the following criteria will be utilized in the order set forth:
1. Better record in head-to-head games.
2. Better winning percentage against all Teams with .500 or better record at the end of the season.
3. Better point differential in games head-to-head.
4. Coin toss.
If more than two teams finish the season tied, the following criteria will be utilized in the order set forth:
1. Better winning percentage among all head-to-head games involving tied Teams.
2. Better winning percentage against all Teams with a .500 or better record at the end of the season.
3. Better point differential in games involving tied Teams.
4. Coin toss.
Fort Wayne and Texas have the inside track as the only teams with a chance to finish at .500 for the season. The Mad Ants have the most favorable schedule with both of their remaining games against teams that have already been eliminated from playoff contention. The Legends will have to fend off Austin with back-to-back road games against the Toros to finish the season. The San Antonio Spurs just announced that Da’Sean Butler has been assigned to Austin, so it’ll be interesting to see if the rookie from West Virginia will factor into the season’s finish.
Idaho will need to win versus Utah and get some help if they are to qualify for the postseason. Will Antoine Walker extend his D-League season with a late playoff push after the Stampede started the season 2-13 (they were 0-7 before Walker joined the team). As always, games can be streamed for free online with NBA Futurecast.