Ben AndersonNBA PlayoffsSportsUtah Jazz

NBA Western Conference Playoffs Viewer Guide: May 11

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – There are six 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 six remaining nights.

(This list will be updated as games gain and lose importance to close the season)

Current Standings:

  1. x – Utah Jazz: 50-19
  2. x – Phoenix Suns: 48-20 – 1.5 game back
  3. x – Los Angeles Clippers: 45-23 – 4.5 games back
  4. x – Denver Nuggets: 44-24 – 5.5 games back
  5. y – Dallas Mavericks: 40-28 – 9.5 games back
  6. y – Portland Trail Blazers: 40-29 – 10 games back
  7. y – Los Angeles Lakers: 38-30 – 11.5 games back
  8. y – Golden State Warriors: 36-33 – 14 games back
  9. y – Memphis Grizzlies: 35-33 – 14.5 game back
  10. San Antonio Spurs: 33-35 – 16.5 games back
  11. New Orleans Pelicans: 31-38 – 19.0 games back

x – Team has clinched an automatic playoff birth.

y – Team has clinched a spot in the West’s top ten.

Yesterday’s Games

Utah Jazz: 116 @ Golden State Warriors: 119

With the loss, the Utah Jazz magic number to clinch the top seed in the West remains at three (any combination of Jazz wins and Phoenix Suns losses). The Jazz own a 1.5 game lead over Phoenix with three games left in the season.

This was the Jazz final road game against a playoff or play-in tournament team and a potential first-round NBA Playoffs preview.

With the Warriors’ victory, they maintain a half-game lead over the Memphis Grizzlies for the eighth seed and clinched a spot in the play-in tournament.

Houston Rockets: 129 @ Portland Trail Blazers: 140

With the win, the Trail Blazers moved 1.5 games ahead of the Lakers for the sixth seed in the West with three games left to play.

This was 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.

Portland now sits just a half-game behind the Dallas Mavericks for the fifth seed in the West.

New Orleans Pelicans: 110 @ Memphis Grizzlies: 115

With the win, the Grizzlies kept pace with the Warriors and sit just a half-game out of being tied for the eighth seed.

Memphis also clinched a spot in the play-in tournament.

With the Pelicans’ loss, they can no longer climb higher than the 10th seed in the West and will be eliminated from play-in contention with their next loss.

Milwaukee Bucks: 125 @ San Antonio Spurs: 146

With the San Antonio Spurs win, they moved 2.5 games ahead of the Pelicans with just four games left to play.

San Antonio would clinch a spot in the play-in tournament with the next New Orleans loss.

Tonight’s Games: May 11

Dallas Mavericks @ Memphis Grizzlies:

With a win, the Mavericks would prevent the Grizzlies from being able to overtake them in the final standings and would move a full game up on the Trail Blazers for the fifth weed with just three games left to play.

With a loss, the Mavericks would fall into a tie in the standings with Portland, but own the season tiebreaker two games to one and would no longer be able to climb higher than the fifth seed in the final standings.

With a Grizzlies win, they could keep pace with the Warriors just a half-game back of Golden State with three games left to play.

With a win and a Warriors loss to the Suns, the Grizzlies would take sole possession of the eighth seed.

With a Grizzlies loss, they’d own a two-game lead over the Spurs with three games left to play and could no longer climb higher than the eighth seed in the West.

Phoenix Suns @ Golden State Warriors:

With a win, the Suns would pull within one game of the Jazz for the top spot in the Western Conference with three games left to play.

With a loss, the Suns would move two games back of the Jazz and Utah’s magic number would drop to two (any combination of two Suns losses or Jazz wins) before clinching the top seed in the West.

With a win, the Warriors would maintain a lead over the Grizzlies for the eighth seed in the West regardless of the outcome between Memphis and Dallas.

With a loss, Golden State could climb no higher than eighth in the final standings and could drop to the ninth seed with a Grizzlies win.

This game is a potential first-round NBA Playoffs preview. The Suns would sweep the season series with a win.

New York Knicks @ Los Angeles Lakers:

With a win, the Los Angeles Lakers could move within a game of the Trail Blazers for the sixth seed in the West with three games left to play.

With a loss, the Lakers would fall two full games back of Portland.

This is the Lakers’ final game of the regular season against a team with a winning record.

Denver Nuggets @ Charlotte Hornets:

With a win, the Denver Nuggets can stay within one game of the Los Angeles Clippers, regardless of the outcome between the Clippers and the Toronto Raptors.

With a win, teamed with a Clippers loss, Denver could overtake the Los Angeles for the third seed by way of a tie-breaker with just three games left to play.

With a loss, the Nuggets could climb no higher than the third seed in the final standings.

May 12

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.

May 13

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.

May 14

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.

May 15

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.

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