With 25% of the season done, every Western Conf. team has a shot at making the playoffs except one

 
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joeblow
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:52 am    Post subject: With 25% of the season done, every Western Conf. team has a shot at making the playoffs except one

As of this morning, here are the Western Conference standings with the number of losses for each team:

(Would make the playoffs today)
Denver Nuggets - 7
LA Clippers - 7
Oklahoma City Thunder - 7
Golden State Warriors - 9
Los Angeles Lakers - 9
Memphis Grizzlies - 9
Portland Trail Blazers - 10
Dallas Mavericks - 10

(On the bubble of making it)
Minnesota Timberwolves - 12
Sacramento Kings - 11
New Orleans Pelicans - 13
San Antonio Spurs - 12
Houston Rockets - 12
Utah Jazz - 13
Phoenix Suns - 19

This is incredible. I doubt the league has ever had this amount of parity in a Conference at this stage of the year. I look at losses since as teams jockey for position (especially at the end of the season), you can always win more games until it's all over, but you can never get back one that was lost.

Yes, I know that the teams have not all played the same amount of games (the Pelicans and Warriors played the most at 25). But assuming that they all played the same amount without any changes in the loss column, almost any team except the Suns has a path to the playoffs, and many of those in the top eight could realistically get bumped out.

I mean, the top two teams have seven losses. The teams tied for the final seventh and eighth playoff slot have ten losses. By comparison, the team in 14th place has only thirteen losses. This is all with 70% of the season left to make up ground!

So realistically speaking, who will make it for sure? The Warriors are the only team that will definitely secure a spot, IMHO. I believe the next tier of "highly likely" include the Thunder and Nuggets (but they are not guaranteed). Next up I'd say our Lakers and the Clippers have a good chance (but not a "great" chance), and then it gets pretty dicey to guess who also can put it together.

Houston should be able to figure it out, but their defense took a big hit in the off-season while CP3 gets older and stays unhealthy. On paper the Pelicans should excel enough to get in if the Unibrow can stay healthy, and if Holiday can consistently believe he's better than he sometimes plays.

The Spurs seem to never just roll over and die under Pops - does the playoff streak continue with DeRozan on board? The Jazz seemed to have lost their confidence from last season, but maybe a role player like Korver can help boost their offensive output juuuust enough (along with a healthy should've-been-ROY in DMitch) to get back on track.

The Grizz have the best D in the west, the Kings and Mavs are surprisingly stronger this year (though I doubt things hold up for either), and the TWolves remain the conference's biggest question mark as they are playing better withOUT Jimmy Butler and his surliness on the roster.

And with all of that, I didn't even bring up the Blazers who finished third last year, and have only gotten better this year with their skilled and deep front line to pair with perhaps the second best back court in the league.

The Suns are the only team destined to be on the outside looking in. You remember them, don't you? They claimed to have the next Shaq and Kobe.

This has been an incredibly competitive season for these 14 squads so far, and I'm loving it.
~~~~

Bonus observation... what about the LEastern Conference? Over half of their teams don't even deserve the playoffs (Hornets, Wizards, Heat, Nets, Knicks, Cavs, Bulls, Hawks). Blah.
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gumby
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:41 am    Post subject:

Spurs out this year.

Been waiting forever for them to finally go under.

No team, even the Lakers lasts forever like that.

Time for the Spurs to go irrelevant for the next few years.

If they are really a good organization, they can rebuild. And we'll find out.

As for the rest, eventually there will be some separation, but if this were to hold this tight all the way through, every game after the all-star break would feel like a playoff game.

Bye.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:43 am    Post subject:

There is a WC discussion thread stickied above.
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Hammett
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:03 pm    Post subject:

Crazy how the Clippers lost all their stars yet Jerry West shows up and they're the top team in the West.
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governator
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:29 am    Post subject:

I think eventually the top-4 be able to separate themselves a little bit, I’m guessing GS, OKC, Lakers, Denver/Hou but we might see unprecedented multi 50 win teams missing the playoff
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:06 am    Post subject:

governator wrote:
I think eventually the top-4 be able to separate themselves a little bit, I’m guessing GS, OKC, Lakers, Denver/Hou but we might see unprecedented multi 50 win teams missing the playoff


You think the Lakers will get the 3 seed?
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activeverb
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:33 pm    Post subject:

governator wrote:
we might see unprecedented multi 50 win teams missing the playoff



Given that teams play 75% of their games within their own conference, the math of 10 teams in one conference winning 50 games (61% of their games) are pretty daunting.

Right now the #8 team in the west only projects out to 44 wins. Hard to imagine this will be the first year in NBA history where a 50 win team misses the playoffs.
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governator
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:58 pm    Post subject:

CandyCanes wrote:
governator wrote:
I think eventually the top-4 be able to separate themselves a little bit, I’m guessing GS, OKC, Lakers, Denver/Hou but we might see unprecedented multi 50 win teams missing the playoff


You think the Lakers will get the 3 seed?


We can, right there with OKC and Denver who already familiar with each other and if Houston can make a trade for an ‘Ariza’, they can get there too. NO, Jazz, Spurs, Dallas, Clippers, Memphis, Wolves, Portland don’t scare me at all. Sac town will be back to earth


Last edited by governator on Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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governator
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:59 pm    Post subject:

activeverb wrote:
governator wrote:
we might see unprecedented multi 50 win teams missing the playoff



Given that teams play 75% of their games within their own conference, the math of 10 teams in one conference winning 50 games (61% of their games) are pretty daunting.

Right now the #8 team in the west only projects out to 44 wins. Hard to imagine this will be the first year in NBA history where a 50 win team misses the playoffs.


U right
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audioaxes
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:44 pm    Post subject:

I said it several times... pretty much every team besides the Suns is arguably a playoff quality team and would make the playoffs in a weaker competition year
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