Three more weeks until the end of the regular season and the western conference is closer then ever. Six teams are trying to get to second place after the Los Angeles Lakers, and six teams still trying to stay in the playoffs. How will it end?
Let's break it down
Let’s first take a look at table
Los Angeles Lakers
Oklahoma City Thunders
Portland Trial Blazers
There is no doubt that the Lakers will stay first, the fight is for second to eighth. The Memphis Grizzlies are still in the picture. Most teams have between ten to fourteen games to go in the regular season, so as you can see that Memphis can finish (theoretically) fourth and the Utah Jazz tenth.
Let's take a look at what the teams have left (face over .500 teams)
Home – Trail Blazers, Spurs, Lakers
Home – Nuggets, Magic, Thunder, Spurs
Away – Trail Blazers, Hornets
Home – Celtics, Thunder, Suns
Away – Lakers, Rockets
Home – Spurs, Rockets, Nuggets
Away – Jazz, Thunder
Home – Spurs, Rockets, Lakers, Trail Blazers, Nuggets, Suns
Away – Celtics, Mavericks, Jazz, Trail Blazers
San Antonio Spurs
Home – Lakers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Rockets, Magic
Away – Thunder, Celtics, Lakers, Suns, Nuggets, Mavericks.
Portland Trail Blazers
Home – Mavericks, Thunder
Away – Thunder, Nuggets, Lakers, Hornets,
Home – Lakers, Jazz
Away – Thunder, Spurs, Celtics, Suns
Home – Mavericks, Rockets,
Away – Magic, Mavericks, Spurs, Nuggets, Thunder
Let's now break it down.
Denver has the toughest schedule, eight games on the road against the top teams and one home game that could go either way as Denver has beaten the Lakers twice this season but Kobe Bryant might want to prove a point.
Final standing: 5
Dallas has a good schedule, no hard road games and home games that they should win, if there are no surprises.
Final standing: 2
Utah also has a good schedule until the end of the season, the last game of the season against the Suns could be the game that would decide who would meet the Lakers in the second round.
Final standing: 3-4
Phoenix has a good schedule and has been playing great lately, so like Dallas they can move up. And just like the Jazz the last game of the season can change a lot.
Final standing: 3-4
Oklahoma has a tough schedule, even though most of the hard games are at home, I can't see them winning them all, so I have to say.
Final standing: 7-8
San Antonio also has a tough schedule at home and on the road, and Tony Parker is out. But the Spurs are the Spurs, they are a team that knows how to get it done so I believe they will be in playoffs. If it was a different team with this schedule I would have them out of the playoffs. You can never count out the Spurs.
Final standing: 6-8
Portland has a 50/50 schedule. Hard home games and tough road games, if they will be able to get some wins on the road then they will be in the playoffs
Final standing: 8
Houston has a good schedule, same as Portland.
Final standing: 9
Memphis has some tough games and I don't think they will be able to make it past tenth.
But they gave a hell of a season.
Final standing: 10
This is how I think it will end. Of course, as we all know, surprises do happen and teams suddenly lose a game they shouldn't have lost and win games no one thought they would win, but that is why we love this game.