A team is going to reach the Western Conference playoffs with a losing record for the first time in 23 years, which ordinarily would not be exciting news. On Thursday, four teams - Portland, Memphis, Phoenix and San Antonio - will finally decide which two clubs get spots in the play-in series to determine the No. 8 seed in the West playoffs. Portland and Memphis control their fates, while Phoenix and San Antonio must win and get help.
The promotion expires at 11:59 p.m. PT Wednesday.
Analytics are telling teams that the age of players entering the league matters relative to their success, but there are ways to make numbers tell the story you want.