The race to the NBA's 2018-19 regular-season finish line is about to enter its final sprint.
Less than a month remains before the checkered flag drops on April 10, which means teams are running out of time to secure their playoff spots or improve their postseason standings.
Only the Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors so far have punched their tickets to basketball's biggest dance, while the Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns have been mathematically eliminated.
There's plenty to sort out, in other words, so let's look at our latest NBA power rankings, conference standings and the biggest buzz around the Association's heavyweights.
NBA Power Rankings
1. Milwaukee Bucks
2. Toronto Raptors
3. Houston Rockets
4. Golden State Warriors
5. Denver Nuggets
6. Boston Celtics
7. Oklahoma City Thunder
8. Philadelphia 76ers
9. Portland Trail Blazers
10. Los Angeles Clippers
11. Utah Jazz
12. San Antonio Spurs
13. Indiana Pacers
14. Detroit Pistons
15. Brooklyn Nets
16. Sacramento Kings
17. Miami Heat
18. Minnesota Timberwolves
19. Orlando Magic
20. Los Angeles Lakers
21. New Orleans Pelicans
22. Washington Wizards
23. Charlotte Hornets
24. Chicago Bulls
25. Atlanta Hawks
26. Memphis Grizzlies
27. Dallas Mavericks
28. Phoenix Suns
29. Cleveland Cavaliers
30. New York Knicks
Eastern Conference Playoff Seeding
1. x-Milwaukee Bucks (50-17)
2. x-Toronto Raptors (48-20)
3. Philadelphia 76ers (42-25)
4. Indiana Pacers (42-25)
5. Boston Celtics (41-27)
6. Brooklyn Nets (36-33)
7. Detroit Pistons (34-32)
8. Miami Heat (31-35)
Western Conference Playoff Seeding
1. Golden State Warriors (45-21)
2. Denver Nuggets (43-22)
3. Houston Rockets (42-25)
4. Oklahoma City Thunder (41-26)
5. Portland Trail Blazers (40-26)
6. Los Angeles Clippers (39-29)
7. San Antonio Spurs (38-29)
8. Utah Jazz (37-29)
*x-clinched playoff spot
Klay Thompson Calls out Warriors Fans
Golden State has gone to the last four NBA Finals and left three of them as the world champs. It might be inevitable, then, for this superstar-laden squad to have trouble not just going through the motions of another regular-season slog.
Still, something seems off with this team, and it's not just the .682 winning percentage, which, if it holds, would be the lowest of head coach Steve Kerr's tenure. The Dubs are just 2-4 in their last six games and 4-6 over their last 10, a stretch low-lighted by Sunday's home loss to the Suns.
After that, All-Star shooting guard Klay Thompson took aim at a fanbase he feels is lacking energy.
"I expect our crowd to be a little more into it, too," Thompson told reporters. "Like, I know it's not the playoffs, but it is our last go-around at Oracle [Arena]. At least you could stand up when someone makes a good play, especially in the beginning. We need that energy."
A call-to-action coming from the soft-spoken Splash Brother is perhaps a sign of a much greater issue. Shouldn't the pursuit of the NBA's first three-peat in nearly 20 years be enough to energize this team?
Then again, Golden State's goals won't materialize for another couple months. So, maybe this is the same complacency that plagues every defending champion, and maybe the Warriors can sweep it under the rug with another championship run.
If nothing else, though, this shows that the Warriors understand what many observers can see: this might be the toughest test to date for this nucleus.
Punches Thrown in Cleveland
There's no such thing as a sleepy night in the NBA.
You might think Toronto taking a mid-March trip to Cleveland wouldn't be capable of producing a major story, but this is a strange league.
Case in point—Toronto's Serge Ibaka and Cleveland's Marquese Chriss exchanged punches during a late third-quarter altercation:
Both players were ejected, and neither spoke to reporters afterward. Ibaka, though, released a statement through a team spokesperson saying that he reacted to something Chriss said while Ibaka was on the ground.
Since this isn't the first on-court skirmish involving Ibaka, ESPN's Bobby Marks opined the Raptors big man could be facing a three-to-five-game suspension. Ibaka, Marks noted, would be out $149,000 for every game missed.
"We don't certainly want that in the game," Raptors coach Nick Nurse told reporters. "It's going to cost him a game, probably, right? It usually does when there's an altercation like that and we don't want that. We don't want to lose one of our guys for incidents like that. Whether it's Serge or anybody."
Kyrie Irving Apologizes for Media Treatment
Irving's transition from LeBron James' sidekick to the Celtics' team leader hasn't always been smooth.
In particular, Uncle Drew has seemed overly agitated with the media this season, especially when it involves speculation around his upcoming free agency.
When a video of Irving chatting with Kevin Durant caught viral fire, he said that type of distraction "ruins locker rooms," and bemoaned "I don't have a private life when I'm out there in the NBA," via Tom Westerholm of MassLive.com.
When photographers and camera operators captured his entry into the arena earlier this month, Irving remarked, "I'm not going to miss any of this s--t when I'm done playing," via Westerholm.
Even if Irving has some legitimate gripes, he told Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes the situations could've been handled better.
"The way I've handled things, it hasn't been perfect," Irving said. "I've made a lot of mistakes that I take full responsibility for. I apologize. I haven't done it perfectly. I haven't said the right things all the time."
The Celtics need to limit as many off-court distractions as they can. Despite being pegged as the East's preseason favorites, Boston is in danger of landing outside the conference's top four and presumably not having home-court advantage in any of its postseason series.