Rockets, Grizzlies tied for second, Pelicans running down Thunder; West playoff races are the best
There are just a dozen nights left in the NBA regular season, and you’d like to think the playoff situation is settling into place.
For example, the Golden State Warriors have locked up the top seed in the West.
After that, however, the West is still wide open. Let’s take a look.
No. 1 seed: As previously mentioned, the Golden State Warriors have officially secured up the top spot. They will have home court throughout the Western Conference playoffs.
No. 2-3 seeds: After an impressive win by Memphis over Oklahoma City on Friday night, this is currently a tie between Memphis and OKC. These two teams likely finish 2-3 (the Clippers are two games back and could move into the discussion, but they need some help). Memphis has the slightly easier remaining six games — both teams have three games on the road but the Rockets have a home-and-home against the Spurs remaining. The key for Houston is Sunday against the Thunder. For Memphis, their big test starts on the road Friday at Utah, followed by more road games against the Clippers and Warriors.
No. 4-6 seeds: The Clippers, Spurs and Trail Blazers are all in this mix and could still finish in any order. Well, not any order, Portland will be the four seed as the winners of the Northwest Division, however, they do not get home court in the first round if the five seed as the better record. Los Angeles and San Antonio are tied at 50-26, with Portland half a game back. The Spurs have the toughest schedule the rest of the way so if you’re betting they may be the team to bet against. That said, they are the Spurs. This is still a crap shoot.
No. 7 seed: Dallas is locked in here. I mean, they could fall out of it mathematically, but don’t bet on it.
No. 8 seed: Just days ago this seemed like a lock for Oklahoma City, but a couple of losses while New Orleans stays hot, and the Pelicans are just half a game back entering Saturday. The Pelicans have the much tougher schedule the rest of the way, so Russell Westbrook and company should have the advantage over Anthony Davis and company. But the Pelicans have seemed out of it before, be careful betting against them.