Western Conference Playoffs - The Wild West Finish

Feb 29, 2012; Memphis, TN, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) drives by Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol (33) during the first half at the FedEx Forum. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-US PRESSWIRE

The West is always a conference that has a wild finish. Right now the #4 seed has 26 wins, and the #12 seed has 21 wins. And these teams each have at least 20 games to play still. It's not impossible to have the 66 game season end with some of these teams very far from the current seed they are slotted in right now. I hope this will be a handy guide to what's happening between these teams.

.

The Teams:

The Clippers are a Top 4 team, but some worry about their ability to finish this season. I don't know. We'll see. Memphis is always strong. Dallas knows how to get the job done. I never want to count Houston out, they always overachieve. Phoenix is on fire right now. Utah is coming together at the right time. Minny is rudderless without Rubio, and Portland blew it all up.

West Games Remaining
Team Wins Losses Win % Rank Total Home vs. West vs. Top 10 vs. Jazz
Los Angeles Clippers 26 18 59.1% 4 22 10 19 7 1
Memphis Grizzlies 25 18 58.1% 5 23 10 18 7 1
Dallas Mavericks 26 20 56.5% 6 20 8 16 9 1
Denver Nuggets 25 20 55.6% 7 21 7 15 6 1
Houston Rockets 24 22 52.2% 8 20 11 17 6 1
Phoenix Suns 23 22 51.1% 9 21 8 17 11 2
Utah Jazz 23 22 51.1% 10 21 10 17 6 --
Minnesota Timberwolves 22 24 47.8% 11 20 9 16 7 0
Portland Trail Blazers 21 24 46.7% 12 21 12 18 6 3

Denver has the least amount of home games left. The Clippers have the most games left against the Western Conference. The Suns have the most games remaining left to play the current Top 10 Teams in the NBA (Chicago Bulls, Oklahoma City Thunder, Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs, Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers, Indiana Pacers, and Memphis Grizzlies).

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Head to Head Meetings:

LAC MEM DAL DEN HOU PHX UTA MIN POR
LAC -- 2 1 1 0 2 1 1 1
MEM 2 -- 2 0 1 1 1 2 1
DAL 1 2 -- 1 3 0 1 0 2
DEN 1 0 1 -- 2 2 1 3 0
HOU 0 1 3 2 -- 1 1 0 1
PHX 2 1 0 2 1 -- 2 1 1
UTA 1 1 1 1 1 2 -- 0 3
MIN 1 2 0 3 0 1 0 -- 1
POR 1 1 2 0 1 1 3 1 --

If you want some easier games it's good to have a number of games against the teams here who are "tanking". Those teams appear to be the Minnesota Timberwolves and Portland Trail Blazers. Memphis plays these two teams 3 more times. Denver plays these two teams 3 more times. Utah plays these two teams 3 more times too. On the other hand, some teams only have 1 more game against these teams, like Houston. Maybe having an extra game, or one less game, against the tanking teams will make a difference? Maybe not. What do you think?

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After the jump ... the Games, and some predictions

The Games:

Games

LAC

MEM

DAL

DEN

HOU

PHX

UTA

MIN

POR

44

@ SAC

45

@ IND

@ POR

46

@ OKC

@ LAC

vs. DAL

@ MIA

vs. OKC

vs. MIL

47

@ NOR

@ LAL

@ DEN

vs. DET

vs. LAL

@ ORL

@ SAC

@ GSW

vs. MEM

48

vs. MEM

vs. MIN

vs. LAL

@ UTA

vs. GSW

@ IND

vs. DEN

@ SAS

@ LAL

49

vs. NOR

@ HOU

@ SAS

@ MIN

vs. DAL

@ CLE

@ ATL

@ OKC

vs. GSW

50

vs. PHX

@ MIL

@ HOU

@ CHI

vs. SAC

vs. SAS

@ NJN

vs. DEN

vs. OKC

51

vs. POR

@ OKC

vs. HOU

@ TOR

@ DAL

@ LAC

@ BOS

@ MEM

vs. NOR

52

vs. UTA

vs. GSW

@ MIA

@ CHA

vs. MEM

vs. NOR

vs. SAC

@ CHA

@ LAC

53

@ DAL

@ DAL

@ ORL

@ ORL

vs. IND

@ SAC

@ LAC

vs. BOS

vs. MIN

54

vs. LAL

@ MIA

vs. LAC

@ NOR

@ CHI

@ UTA

@ POR

@ POR

vs. UTA

55

@ SAC

vs. DAL

vs. MEM

vs. PHX

@ LAL

@ DEN

vs. PHX

@ SAC

vs. NJN

56

vs. SAC

vs. LAC

vs. POR

@ GSW

@ SAC

vs. LAL

vs. GSW

vs. GSW

@ DAL

57

@ MEM

vs. PHX

@ MEM

vs. GSW

@ POR

@ MIN

@ SAS

@ NOR

@ MIL

58

@ OKC

@ SAS

vs. SAC

vs. MIN

vs. UTA

@ MEM

vs. SAS

vs. PHX

vs. HOU

59

@ MIN

vs. UTA

@ GSW

@ LAL

vs. PHX

@ HOU

@ HOU

@ DEN

vs. GSW

60

vs. GSW

@ NOR

@ POR

vs. HOU

@ DEN

@ SAS

@ NOR

vs. LAC

vs. DAL

61

vs. OKC

@ MIN

@ LAL

@ HOU

vs. DEN

vs. POR

@ MEM

vs. OKC

@ SAC

62

@ DEN

vs. NOR

@ UTA

vs. LAC

@ DAL

vs. OKC

vs. DAL

@ IND

@ PHX

63

@ PHX

@ CHA

vs. HOU

@ PHX

@ NOR

vs. LAC

@ POR

vs. MEM

vs. UTA

64

vs. NOR

vs. POR

vs. GSW

vs. ORL

vs. GSW

vs. DEN

vs. ORL

@ DET

@ MEM

65

@ ATL

vs. CLE

@ CHI

@ OKC

@ MIA

@ UTA

vs. PHX

vs. GSW

@ SAS

66

@ NYK

vs. ORL

@ ATL

@ MIN

vs. NOR

vs. SAS

vs. POR

vs. DEN

@ UTA

Home

10

10

8

7

11

8

10

9

12

vs. West

19

18

16

15

17

17

17

16

18

vs. Top 10

7

7

9

6

6

11

6

7

6

vs. Jazz

1

1

1

1

1

2

--

0

3

Not looking at B2B games, and travel, some of these teams have easier paths than the other teams. Portland actually faces a gauntlet, it's good that they are tanking. Phoenix also has a really tough finish. Denver has a 7 game road trip still.

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Fearless Prediction:

Nothing will be decided until the last night of the season, again.

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