KSLSports.com - NBA Western Conference Playoffs Viewer Guide


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Ben Anderson

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – There are 12 days left in the NBA regular season, and with the postseason fast approaching, seemingly every game will change the final seeding for the playoffs in the Western Conference.

With just a handful of games left for each roster, the top-10 teams in the West are likely set, even if their seeding is not. New Orleans has a slim chance of overtaking the San Antonio for the final spot in the play-in tournament but trails the Spurs by 2.5 games with just seven games left to play.

With that in mind, and the understanding that each game will impact among these teams will affect the final standings, let’s look at the most important games left on the NBA’s regular-season schedule each of the 12 remaining nights.

(This list will be updated as games gain and lose importance to close the season)

Current Standings:​

  1. Utah Jazz: 47-18
  2. Phoenix Suns: 46-18 – .5 games back
  3. Denver Nuggets: 43-22 – 4 games back
  4. Los Angeles Clippers: 43-22 – 4 games back
  5. Los Angeles Lakers: 37-28 – 10 game back
  6. Dallas Mavericks: 36-28 – 10.5 games back
  7. Portland Trail Blazers: 36-29 – 11 games back
  8. Golden State Warriors: 33-32 – 14 games back
  9. Memphis Grizzlies: 32-32 – 14.5 game back
  10. San Antonio Spurs: 31-33 – 15.5 games back

May 4​


Dallas Mavericks @ Miami Heat:

The Dallas Mavericks currently sit in the Western Conference’s sixth seed but would clinch a spot in the top 10, guaranteeing themselves at worst a play-in tournament appearance with a victory over Miami.

Dallas would also move into the fifth seed overtaking the Lakers with a victory.

Golden State Warriors @ New Orleans Pelicans:

The Golden State Warriors need two more wins to clinch a spot in the play-in tournament and could cut that number in half with a win over New Orleans.

Additionally, a win would give the Warriors the tie-breaker over the Pelicans if the two teams were to finish with identical records at the season’s end.

This is the Warriors final road game of the season.

Toronto Raptors @ Los Angeles Clippers:

With a win, the Los Angeles Clippers would eliminate the Los Angeles Lakers from overtaking them in the final playoff seeding.

May 5​


Portland Trail Blazers @ Cleveland Cavaliers:

The Portland Trail Blazers can clinch a spot in the play-in tournament with a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Phoenix Suns @ Atlanta Hawks:

The Suns begin a stretch of seven consecutive games against teams likely to finish in the playoffs or play-in tournament to end their season.

New York Knicks @ Denver Nuggets:

The Denver Nuggets can only afford to lose one more game before they’d be eliminated from contention for the second seed in the West.

San Antonio Spurs @ Utah Jazz:

The Utah Jazz magic number to clinch a top-two seed is three, which they could cut into with a win over San Antonio.

The Spurs meanwhile can only afford to lose two more games before they’d be eliminated from being able to climb into the 5-7th seeds in the West. The game is also a potential first-round NBA Playoffs preview.

May 6​


Brooklyn Nets @ Dallas Mavericks:

The Mavericks can only afford to lose one more game before they’d be eliminated from being able to climb into the third or fourth seeds in the West. If they were to lose to Miami on May 4, this could eliminate them from having home-court advantage to open the playoffs.

Los Angeles Lakers @ Los Angeles Clippers:

If the Clippers were to lose their May 4 matchup with the Raptors, they could eliminate the Los Angeles Lakers from overtaking them in the final playoff seeding with a win in this matchup.

With a loss, the Lakers would no longer be eligible to finish higher than the fourth seed in the West. The game is also a potential first-round NBA Playoffs preview.

May 7​


Denver Nuggets @ Utah Jazz:

If the Nuggets were to beat the New York Knicks on May 5, they could clinch a top-four seed in the West by beating the Jazz.

Conversely, if the Jazz were to beat the Spurs on May 7, they could cut their magic number to clinch a top-two seed to one with a win over Denver.

The winner of this game will determine who owns the tie-breaker in the season series.

San Antonio Spurs @ Sacramento Kings:

This is the Spurs last game of the season against a team that won’t play in either the playoffs or play-in tournament.

Los Angeles Lakers @ Portland Trail Blazers:

If the Lakers lose to the Clippers on May 6, they’d lose any opportunity to own home-court advantage in the first round with a loss to the Trail Blazers.

May 8​


Brooklyn Nets @ Denver Nuggets:

The Nuggets will play their final home game of the season against Brooklyn, but will also conclude their toughest stretch to close the season after facing the Knicks, Nets, and Jazz over a four-day stretch.

Houston Rockets @ Utah Jazz:

The Jazz could clinch a top-two seed in this game if they beat the Spurs and Nuggets on May 5 and May 7.

San Antonio Spurs @ Portland Trail Blazers:

With a win, the Trail Blazers could prevent Spurs from overtaking them in the final seeding. The winner will also own the tie-breaker in the season series.

May 9​


New York Knicks @ Los Angeles Clippers:

This is the Clippers final home game of the regular season before finishing the year with four consecutive road games.

Phoenix Suns @ Los Angeles Lakers:

The Suns can sweep the season series with a win over the Lakers.

May 10


Utah Jazz @ Golden State Warriors:

This is the Jazz final road game against a playoff or play-in tournament team and a potential first-round NBA Playoffs preview.

Houston Rockets @ Portland Trail Blazers:

This is the Trail Blazers final game of the season against a non-top-four seed in the West before concluding the season on the road against the Jazz and Suns before returning home to face the Nuggets.

May 11​


Dallas Mavericks @ Memphis Grizzlies:

The Mavericks would prevent the Grizzlies from being able to overtake them in the final standings with a win.

Phoenix Suns @ Golden State Warriors:

A potential first-round NBA Playoffs preview. The Suns would sweep the season series with a win.

New York Knicks @ Los Angeles Lakers:

This is the Lakers final game of the regular season against a team with a winning record.

May 12​


Portland Trail Blazers @ Utah Jazz:

This is the Jazz final home game of the season and their final matchup against a team that will be playing in the playoffs or play-in tournament.

This game is also a potential first-round NBA Playoffs preview.

May 13​


Portland Trail Blazers @ Phoenix Suns:

This is the Suns final home game of the regular season. This game is also a potential first-round NBA Playoffs preview.

May 14


Sacramento Kings @ Memphis Grizzlies:

This is the Grizzlies final home game of the regular season.

Toronto Raptors @ Dallas Mavericks:

This is the Mavericks final home game of the regular season.

May 15​


Phoenix Suns @ San Antonio Spurs:

This is the first game of a two-game series between the Suns and Spurs to close the season and a potential first-round NBA Playoffs preview.

May 16: Final Day Of The Regular Season​


Memphis Grizzlies @ Golden State Warriors:

A potential matchup of two play-in tournament teams.

Denver Nuggets @ Portland Trail Blazers:

A potential first-round NBA Playoffs preview.

Phoenix Suns @ San Antonio Spurs:

The second game of a two-game series between the Suns and Spurs and a potential first-round NBA Playoffs preview.

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