If the NBA Playoffs started today, the Trail Blazers would own the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference. If they drop Sunday’s game against the Mavericks, they will run the risk of dropping out of the current postseason picture. On the other end of the spectrum, a four-game winning streak and some help would put coach Terry Stotts’ squad in position to be the No. 1 seed.
Needless to say, the competition in the Western Conference is extremely tight. In fact, it is historically close. The Ringer’s Zach Kram compiled all the records for teams through 30 games going back to the 2004-05 season. Kram’s findings show that the current race out west is an outlier.
What this means is that since the NBA expanded to 30 teams, no conference’s teams have been so closely clumped together this late. Simply skimming the standings each morning would reveal this notion, anyway—a whopping 14 Western teams won at least 14 of their first 30 games (no previous conference in the 30-team era had seen more than 12 teams do so), so only the Suns fall below the threshold of a playoff contender.
Winners in three of their last four games, the Blazers will host the Mavericks this evening.
You can read Kram’s full post by visiting The Ringer.