A night in Reno.
The BayHawks resume their five-game road trip tomorrow at Reno (26-16) and follow that up with two games at Bakersfield (25-16) before rounding it up Tuesday at Fort Wayne (19-23).
Erie opened the road trip with a 133-126 loss Sunday at Iowa, which has the D-League’s best record at 32-11.
Erie (27-14) has clinched the playoffs and is right now a fourth seed. The top four seeds have home-court advantage for the first round and the top three seeds get to pick their first-round opponent.
Reno is just 1.5 games behind Erie and Bakersfield trails the BayHawks by two games. If the BayHawks lose those three, they could drop from fourth to seventh in a hurry.
Plus the Bighorns and Jam will own the head-to-head tiebreaker against the BayHawks.
And don’t think that game at Fort Wayne will be easy.
Erie is 4-1 against the Mad Ants, but they’re vying for the final playoff spot and have a former BayHawk in point guard Derek Raivio, who landed in Fort Wayne following a three-team trade last month.
Considering Erie is 1-4 against Iowa, 1-2 against Tulsa and 0-1 against Rio Grande Valley, it’s going to be hard for the BayHawks to pass those teams.
The BayHawks are four games behind Iowa in the East Conference and although they have two more games against the Energy at home, they can’t catch them without some help.
So the most logical seed for Erie to shoot for is third and even that is going to be hard because it’d have to pass either Tulsa or Rio Grande Valley. Those teams have the head-to-head tiebreaker edge against the BayHawks.
Tulsa has a half game lead on Rio Grande Valley heading into tonight’s game that features the defending D-League champion Vipers at home against Sioux Falls.
The conference champions get the top two seeds in the playoffs. Erie likely won’t win the East, but the BayHawks might lose home-court advantage in the first round if they’re not careful.