The NBA regular season will officially end in two days. And yet, despite that, only four teams in the Western Conference have locked up playoff spots.
The last few days saw the race out West dwindle slightly, as the Los Angeles Clippers were officially eliminated, and the Utah Jazz and Portland Trail Blazers locked up their playoff bids (though not their seeds). Now, five teams are battling for four playoff spots, and they’re all separated by one game, and a series of tiebreakers.
Western Conference Standings, April 9
Currently, the Golden State Warriors are still lined up to face the Oklahoma City Thunder in round one, which would be tremendously exciting. And yet, the Thunder, despite adding Paul George and Carmelo Anthony this offseason, are still dangerously close to missing the playoffs altogether.
Also of note for the Warriors is that the Jazz are now within striking distance of the Blazers, which could impact who Golden State plays in round two. Personally, I’d feel more comfortable with them taking on Portland than Utah.
Most of the teams in the race are playing today, meaning the standings will look a bit different Tuesday morning. The Thunder will be on the road to face the Miami Heat, while the Pelicans will be traveling to take on the Clippers. The Denver Nuggets will host the Blazers, while the San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves get easy games against the Sacramento Kings and Memphis Grizzlies, respectively.
Things will likely change a lot in the next two days but how cool would that Warriors-Thunder matchup be?