The Jazz have 5 games left. The Clippers have 4. Both teams have 47 wins. The Jazz have to end up with more wins in order to secure home court advantage because LA owns the tiebreaker.
Clippers Remaining Games and W/L Predictions: Best-Case/Likely Scenario
Dallas-W (eliminated from playoff contention)
@San Antonio-L (game doesn't matter at all to the SAS; so an L isn't likely, it's hopeful)
Houston-L (game doesn't matter at all to the HR)
Finishing Record 49-33
Jazz Remaining Games and W/L Predictions: Best-Case/Likely Scenario
The truth is that the Jazz need SA and the HR to take care of business in games that are totally irrelevant to them against the Clippers to guarantee that LA stays under 50 wins. Then the Jazz have to beat Portland twice (the TB have won 10 of their last 12, btw, and need a few more wins to push Denver completely out of playoff contention) and beat the MT to get to 50.
The Jazz, because we have one less loss than the Clippers, are in complete control over their own destiny when it comes to home court advantage. If we win three of our last five and the Clippers play .500 ball, we're guaranteed the fourth seed because the OKC Thunder already have 33 losses.
Let's say the Jazz go 2-3 over their last five and the Clippers go 2-2 over their last four, this obviously pushes the Jazz to the fifth seed with both teams having 49 wins.This would totally get compounded if the OKC Thunder ALSO go 6-0 over their remaining schedule (unlikely--Milwaukee, Phoenix, Denver x2, Minnesota, and Memphis) because then OKC would also have 49 wins, which would push the Jazz to the 6th seed.
The 6th seed would give us the Houston Rockets in the first round and also put the Jazz in line to play the GSW in the second round instead of the SAS in the unlikely event that the Jazz win their opening series(which probably isn't going to happen anyway).
The Jazz only need one more win OR one more Memphis loss to guarantee that they don't fall to 7, which is good.
Again, the Jazz can go 3-2 over their last five and still lose HCA if the Clips go 3-1. Or if the Jazz go 4-1 over their last five and the Clips go 4-0, HCA goes bye-bye then too due to tiebreakers.
Essentially, the Clippers are playing 4 games in which their opponent has nothing to play for at all. I mean, the Jazz have three games like this too but, ya' know, disappearing acts.
What I do like most is that this 5-game stretch is an opportunity to literally take HCA away from the Clippers and claim it. They're going to have to play their best basketball against the best basketball teams and I would have it no other way.
Most Likely Event
Jazz play their first two games of the playoffs in LA against a team with a severe mental edge over them.