Today finally the final day of NBA regular season

Washington Wizards guard Jerome Robinson, center, tries to steal the ball from Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul, left, during the second half Sunday in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP photo)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The last day of an NBA regular season typically sees just about every team in action, with plenty of drama surrounding down-to-the-wire playoff races and statistical titles on the line.

Typical doesn’t seem to exist in 2020.

The NBA’s regular season ends — sort of — today with just four games, none with any bearing on matchups for the first round of the playoffs that begin next week. The biggest items to be settled are which teams will wear home uniforms to start the Miami-Indiana and Oklahoma City-Houston series.

“Everybody’s excited about what’s at stake,” Oklahoma City guard Chris Paul said. “We’ll try to have as much of a home-court feel as possible, as far as the music and things like that, but when you get down to it I think everybody’s trying to make sure they’re going into the playoffs as healthy as possible.”

Playoffs start Monday.

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich calls a timeout during the third quarter against the Utah Jazz on Thursday in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP photo)

All the matchups that can be set are locked in: Milwaukee-Orlando, Toronto-Brooklyn, Boston-Philadelphia and Heat-Pacers in the Eastern Conference, with the Los Angeles Clippers-Dallas, Denver-Utah and Thunder-Rockets about to face off in the Western Conference. The West No. 1-seeded Los Angeles Lakers will meet the winner of the play-in series that starts Saturday.

The winner of today’s Heat-Pacers game — spoiler alert, don’t expect starters to play much if at all in that one — will be seeded No. 4 in the East, the loser will be seeded No. 5.

Oklahoma City would be the No. 4 seed and Houston would be the No. 5 seed in the West if the Thunder beat the Clippers today; there are also ways for the Rockets to be the No. 4 seed, all of them involving a Thunder loss.

A season that started with the league getting into the political battle with China on a preseason trip there, saw former Commissioner David Stern die on Jan. 1, former star Kobe Bryant and eight others including one of his daughters die in a helicopter crash later than month and then a four-plus-month shutdown for the coronavirus pandemic is, finally, ready for the playoffs.


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