With eight days left in the NBA season, the Western Conference standings could be turned upside-down with just a couple key games. Portland has vacillated between the 3rd and 4th seeds for weeks, but as the season winds down, things are getting tight. It’s time for a daily standings update.
Last night’s results
Golden State now has a 2-game lead for the first seed. So we’ll ignore them.
With last night’s Houston win combined with Denver’s loss, the gap between the 2 and 3 seeds is down to 1.5 games. And Portland is right behind both of them.
2. Nuggets: 51-26
3. Rockets: 50-28 (1.5 games back)
4. Blazers: 49-28 (2 games back)
5. Jazz: 47-30 (4 games back)
The Jazz cannot be counted out, despite being 2 games behind Portland, due to their remaining schedule.
What Can Happen Tonight
Lots of changes are possible. The Rockets and Blazers could pull to within 0.5 and 1 game of the Nuggets, if Denver loses and Portland/Houston win. But these games are essential to the Spurs and Clippers, too: San Antonio is trying to avoid the 8th seed and a first-round date with the Warriors, while the Clippers hope to win out and maybe steal home court in the first round.
But the Spurs, Rockets, and Nuggets are all on the second night of a back-to-back.
Portland Trail Blazers:
vs. Memphis Grizzlies (Apr 3)
at Denver Nuggets (Apr 5)
vs. Denver Nuggets (Apr 7)
at Los Angeles Lakers (Apr 9)
vs. Sacramento Kings (Apr 10, B2B)
at Phoenix Suns (Apr 3)
vs. Sacramento Kings (Apr 5)
at Los Angeles Lakers (Apr 7)
vs. Denver Nuggets (Apr 9)
at Los Angeles Clippers (Apr 10, B2B)