SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – There are seven days left in the NBA regular season, and with the postseason fast approaching, every game has the potential to change the final seeding for the playoffs in the Western Conference.
With just a handful of games left for each roster, the top-10 teams in the West are almost set, even if their seeding is not.
With that in mind, and the understanding that each game will impact among these teams will affect the final standings, let’s look at the most important games left on the NBA’s regular-season schedule each of the seven remaining nights.
(This list will be updated as games gain and lose importance to close the season)
- x – Utah Jazz: 50-18
- x – Phoenix Suns: 48-20 – 2 game back
- x – Los Angeles Clippers: 45-23 – 5 games back
- x – Denver Nuggets: 44-24 – 6 games back
- y – Dallas Mavericks: 40-28 – 10 games back
- y – Portland Trail Blazers: 39-29 – 11 games back
- y – Los Angeles Lakers: 38-30 – 12 games back
- Golden State Warriors: 35-33 – 15 games back
- Memphis Grizzlies: 34-33 – 15.5 game back
- San Antonio Spurs: 32-35 – 17.5 games back
- New Orleans Pelicans: 31-37 – 19.0 games back
x – Team has clinched an automatic playoff birth.
y – Team has clinched a spot in the West’s top ten.
New York Knicks: 106 @ Los Angeles Clippers: 100
With the loss, the Clippers remain three games back of the Phoenix Suns for the second seed and just one game ahead of the Denver Nuggets for the third seed.
This was the Clippers’ final home game of the regular season before finishing the year with four consecutive road games.
Phoenix Suns: 110 @ Los Angeles Lakers: 123
With the loss, the Suns fell two games of the Utah Jazz for the top seed in the Western Conference but maintained a three-game lead ahead of the third-seeded Clippers with just four games left to play.
With the win, the Lakers pulled to within one game of the Portland Trail Blazers for the sixth seed and two games of the Dallas Mavericks for the fifth seed.
Tonight’s Games: May 10
Utah Jazz: @ Golden State Warriors:
With a win, the Jazz could move 2.5 games ahead of the Suns for the top spot in the West with just three games left to play. The Jazz magic number (any combination of Jazz wins or Suns losses) to clinch the top seed sits as three and would move to just two with a victory.
This is the Jazz final road game against a playoff or play-in tournament team and a potential first-round NBA Playoffs preview.
With a Warriors victory, they could maintain a half-game lead over the Memphis Grizzlies for the eighth seed regardless of the outcome of the Grizzlies and New Orleans Pelicans game.
With a loss, the Warriors would no longer be able to climb higher than the eighth seed in the Western Conference.
Houston Rockets @ Portland Trail Blazers:
This is the Trail Blazers’ final game of the season against a non-top-four seed in the West before concluding the season on the road against the Jazz and Suns before returning home to face the Nuggets.
With a win, the Trail Blazers could move 1.5 games ahead of the Lakers for the sixth seed in the West with three games left to play.
New Orleans Pelicans @ Memphis Grizzlies:
With a win and a Warriors loss to the Jazz, the Grizzlies could move back into the eighth seed in the Western Conference standings with four games left to play.
With a loss, the Grizzlies would remain in the ninth seed regardless of the outcome of the San Antonio Spurs and Milwaukee Bucks. and could no longer climb higher than the eighth seed in the Western Conference.
With a Pelicans win and a Spurs loss, New Orleans could move to within a half-game of the Spurs with three games remaining.
With a Pelicans loss, they could no longer climb higher than the 10th seed in the West.
Milwaukee Bucks @ San Antonio Spurs:
With a Spurs win they could maintain a 1.5 game lead over the Pelicans regardless of the outcome between New Orleans and Memphis.
With a Spurs win and a Memphis loss, San Antonio could climb to within in one game of the Grizzlies for the ninth seed in the West.
With a Spurs loss, San Antonio’s lead over the Pelicans for the final spot in the play-in tournament could be trimmed to as little as a half-game depending on the outcome of the Pelicans and Grizzlies matchup.
Dallas Mavericks @ Memphis Grizzlies:
The Mavericks would prevent the Grizzlies from being able to overtake them in the final standings with a win.
Phoenix Suns @ Golden State Warriors:
A potential first-round NBA Playoffs preview. The Suns would sweep the season series with a win.
New York Knicks @ Los Angeles Lakers:
This is the Lakers’ final game of the regular season against a team with a winning record.
Portland Trail Blazers @ Utah Jazz:
This is the Jazz final home game of the season and their final matchup against a team that will be playing in the playoffs or play-in tournament.
This game is also a potential first-round NBA Playoffs preview.
Portland Trail Blazers @ Phoenix Suns:
This is the Suns’ final home game of the regular season. This game is also a potential first-round NBA Playoffs preview.
Sacramento Kings @ Memphis Grizzlies:
This is the Grizzlies’ final home game of the regular season.
Toronto Raptors @ Dallas Mavericks:
This is the Mavericks final home game of the regular season.
Phoenix Suns @ San Antonio Spurs:
This is the first game of a two-game series between the Suns and Spurs to close the season and a potential first-round NBA Playoffs preview.
May 16: Final Day Of The Regular Season
Memphis Grizzlies @ Golden State Warriors:
A potential matchup of two play-in tournament teams.
Denver Nuggets @ Portland Trail Blazers:
A potential first-round NBA Playoffs preview.
Phoenix Suns @ San Antonio Spurs:
The second game of a two-game series between the Suns and Spurs and a potential first-round NBA Playoffs preview.