The Portland Trail Blazers exit the last weekend in February riding a couple pieces of news. They won back-to-back road games against the Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns, while the Minnesota Timberwolves lost star guard Jimmy Butler to a knee injury.
Jimmy Butler is expected to undergo surgery in coming days and could return within 4-to-6 weeks, league sources tell Yahoo. Final timetable will be set after procedure.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 25, 2018
Butler’s fall comes in the midst of a playoff race that features eight Western Conference teams in a tight battle for six playoff seeds. At the time of publishing...
- The San Antonio Spurs have 25 losses.
- The Blazers, Timberwolves, Denver Nuggets, and New Orleans Pelicans have 26 losses.
- The Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers have 27 losses.
- The Utah Jazz have 29 losses.
The Spurs, Clippers, and Blazers have the toughest remaining schedules of the group, the Jazz, Timberwolves, and Nuggets the easiest, but given the cross-pollination among the teams in each other’s schedules, a single game could make the swing.
Given this standings and structural pretzel, let’s throw open the question to you. Which two teams miss the playoffs in the West and where do the Blazers end up in the race from 3rd to 10th in the West? Comment below.