The teams fighting for the eighth and final playoff spot in the NBA Western Conference is so tight that nearly every team in the conference is still in contention. Of course the winner of this fight will get the pleasure of being wiped out by the Golden State Warriors in the first round and will miss out on the Draft Lottery, so maybe getting this spot just isn’t worth it?
But since making the postseason is everyone’s goal, the teams in the race will likely being trying their best to get there. Here is the list of teams in striking distance of clinching the spot:
Denver Nuggets at 25-32- Denver would be an underdog to make it. They seem to be overachieving looking at the roster. Can they keep it up when the pressure ramps up? Probably not.
Sacramento Kings at 25-33- The Kings seem to be giving up on getting the spot since they traded Demarcus Cousins and got net to nothing in return.
Portland Trail Blazers at 24-33-m Portland is a real contender for the spot. They were in the playoffs a season ago so they know how to get it done. They could be a team the Blazers won’t be thrilled to see.
New Orleans Pelicans at 23-35- This is the team to watch with former UK stars Cousins and Anthony Davis leading the way. With these two bigs down low the Pelicans could be tough.
Minnesota Timberwolves at 23-35- Speaking of UK bigs, how about Karl Anthony Townes and the T-Wolves? Losing Zach Levine hurts their chances though
Dallas Mavericks at 22-35- It would be nice to see Dirk get to the playoffs one more time. At times Dallas has looked like a real contender. Can they get that back down the stretch?
None of these teams likely get anyone in Oakland very nervous. Golden State is too good for any of them. Just ask the L A Clippers who saw them put up 50 points in the third quarter alone on Thursday. But this might be the best race we have coming down the stretch. And with so many of these teams in it, there will be a lot of head to head games with these teams that are still in it.