More than just Lakers are jockeying for position in the final week of NBA regular season


USA TODAY Sports’ Mark Medina breaks down why the Lakers need to avoid the NBA play-in tournament.


In the final week of the season, the talk of the Los Angeles Lakers having to get into the postseason via the play-in tournament is all the rage.

But that’s not the only compelling playoff push with seven days left in the NBA’s 2020-21 regular season.

The top seeds aren’t locked just yet, and teams are jockeying for position throughout the standings.

We take a look the scenarios in the Eastern and Western conferences headed into Monday’s games and see who is in solid position, a precarious situation and on the outside looking in while factoring in the tiebreakers that could be the difference between a guaranteed playoff spot and the play-in game format.

Eastern Conference

The top three seeds

Philadelphia is close to locking up the top seed in the East. The Sixers are three games up on Brooklyn and 3½ ahead of Milwaukee.

The Bucks are trying to catch the Nets for the No. 2 seed, and they own head-to-head…

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