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Seeding top to bottom in both basketball conferences is still to be determined in the final week of the regular season. The races in each conference for fifth and sixth place — the final two guaranteed playoff spots — should be wild. On the bright side, no team is at real risk of falling out of the tournament completely, meaning the ninth- and 10th-place teams are all but guaranteed more meaningful basketball, barring a massive collapse.
There are some crucial matchups Thursday night.
The 76ers have a chance to clinch the No. 1 overall seed in the East. They face the host Miami Heat as two-point underdogs with a total of 217.5. Why does the line look fishy? Philadelphia's Joel Embiid is listed as questionable, as is Miami's Jimmy Butler.
The Knicks, who now occupy the No. 6 spot in the East after Tuesday's loss to the Lakers, face the Spurs as 5.5-point favorites with a total of 216.5. The Spurs are coming off a high-scoring loss to the Nets on Wednesday night and play five games in seven nights to end the season. We like the Knicks to rebound in this spot.
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