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A Guide to Teams Fighting Blazers for Playoff Seeding

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What’s happening with Western Conference playoff teams? We break down the remaining month of games for teams jockeying with Portland for seeding.

Portland Trail Blazers v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

The Portland Trail Blazers, despite being No. 3 in the Western Conference, don’t have much breathing room down the home stretch before the playoffs. It’s not impossible for the No. 10 seed Denver Nuggets (38-31) to catch the Blazers (42-26). That leaves Portland in an eight-team race for playoff seeding — battling for coveted home-court advantage in the first round. With the season ending less than a month from now, let’s take a look at the schedules and details of Portland’s conference opponents.

No. 4 seed Oklahoma City Thunder (41-29)

Games back of the Blazers: 2
Remaining game(s) against the Blazers? Sunday, Mar. 25 (in OKC)
Season series with Blazers: Portland leads 3-0
Remaining schedule strength: No. 1 — includes at Raptors, at Celtics, at Rockets
Games left at home: 6
Games left on the road: 6
Top performers: Russell Westbrook (25.3 points/10.2 assists/9.6 rebounds); Paul George (21.9 points/3.4 assists/5.6 rebounds)
Key injury/injuries? Andre Roberson, ruptured patellar tendon (out for the season)
One thing to read: “Power rankings Week 20: OKC Thunder losing believers among scribes” (Tamberlyn Richardson, Thunderous Intentions)

No. 5 seed Minnesota Timberwolves (40-29)

Games back of the Blazers: 2.5
Remaining game(s) against the Blazers? No.
Season series with Blazers: Teams tied at 2-2
Remaining schedule strength: No. 25 — Includes: vs. Rockets, at Knicks, vs. Grizzlies (x2)
Games left at home: 7
Games left on the road: 6
Top performers: Karl-Anthony Towns (20.7 points/12.2 rebounds/1.4 blocks); Andrew Wiggins (17.9 points/4.1 rebounds/1.1 steals)
Key injury/injuries? Jimmy Butler, meniscus (diagnosed out 4-to-6 weeks on Feb. 23)
One thing to read: “Andrew Wiggins Is Holding Timberwolves Back, Not the Other Way Around” (Grant Hughes, Bleacher Report)

No. 6 seed New Orleans Pelicans (39-29)

Games back of the Blazers: 3
Remaining game(s) against the Blazers? Tuesday, Mar. 27 (in New Orleans)
Season series with Blazers: New Orleans leads 2-1
Remaining schedule strength: No. 4 — includes vs. Rockets, vs. Celtics, at Warriors
Games left at home: 9
Games left on the road: 5
Top performers: Anthony Davis (28 points/11.2 rebounds/2.4 blocks); Jrue Holiday (19.3 points, 5.9 assists, 4.4 rebounds)
Key injury/injuries? DeMarcus Cousins, ruptured Achilles (out for the season); Alexis Ajinca, patellar surgery (likely out for season); Solomon Hill, torn hamstring (missed all season, expected to return sometime in March)
One thing to read: “Pelicans amazingly continue to thrive after Cousins’ season-ending injury” (Tony Jones, The Salt Lake Tribune)

No. 7 seed (tied) Utah Jazz (39-30)

Games back of the Blazers: 3.5
Remaining game(s) against the Blazers? Wednesday, April 11 (in Portland)
Season series with Blazers: Utah leads 2-1
Remaining schedule strength: No. 13 — includes: vs. Hawks, at Warriors, vs. Warriors
Games left at home: 7
Games left on the road: 6
Top performers: Donovan Mitchell (19.8 points/3.7 rebounds/3.6 assists); Rudy Gobert (13.9 points/10.7 rebounds/2.3 blocks)
Key injury/injuries? Dante Exum, shoulder (missed entire season, made season debut Mar. 15); Thabo Sefolosha, MCL (out for season)
One thing to read: “The Utah Jazz’s historic playoff push” (Mychal Lowman, SLC Dunk)

No. 7 seed (tied) San Antonio Spurs (39-30)

Games back of the Blazers: 3.5
Remaining game(s) against the Blazers? Saturday, April 7 (in San Antonio)
Season series with Blazers: Teams tied at 1-1
Remaining schedule strength: No. 2 — includes: vs. T’Wolves, vs. Warriors, vs. Rockets
Games left at home: 8
Games left on the road: 5
Top performers: LaMarcus Aldridge (22.2 points/8.3 rebounds/1.1 blocks); everyone else is just okay
Key injury/injuries? Kawhi Leonard, quad (nearing a return … possibly)
One thing to read: “Spurs in a new spot: Fighting for their playoff lives” (Tim Reynolds, AP)

No. 9 seed Los Angeles Clippers (37-30)

Games back of the Blazers: 4.5
Remaining game(s) against the Blazers? Sunday, Mar. 18 (in LA); Friday Mar. 30 (in Portland)
Season series with Blazers: Teams tied at 1-1
Remaining schedule strength: No. 6 — includes: at Raptors, at T’Wolves, vs. Pelicans
Games left at home: 7
Games left on the road: 8
Top performers: Lou Williams (23 points/5.4 assists/1.1 steals); DeAndre Jordan (12.1 points/15.3 rebounds/one block)
Key injury/injuries? Avery Bradley, hernia (out for season); Patrick Beverley, knee (out for season); Danilo Gallinari, fractured hand (expected back in later March)
One thing to read: “The Clippers’ road to the playoffs gets more difficult in a hurry this week” (Broderick Turner, Los Angeles Times)

No. 10 seed Denver Nuggets (38-31)

Games back of the Blazers: 4.5
Remaining game(s) against the Blazers? Monday, April 9 (in Denver)
Season series with Blazers: Denver leads 2-1
Remaining schedule strength: No. 8 — includes: at Grizzlies, at Raptors, at. T’Wolves
Games left at home: 4
Games left on the road: 9
Top performers: Gary Harris (17.7 points/three assists/1.8 steals); Nikola Jokic (17.2 points, 10.4 rebounds/6.1 assists)
Key injury/injuries? No, no disrespect to Tyler Lydon who is out for an unspecified amount of time.
One thing to read: “Win or lose Denver Nuggets fans, make sure you enjoy the ride” (Seriously, read this by Zach Mikash of the Denver Stiffs)

*Remaining schedule strength used from Tankathon. All info accurate of Mar. 16.