NBA Playoffs 2013: Western Conference Standings 4 / 16 / 2013 -- While you were sleeping

Greg Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Well, 81 games are now in the books.

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And here we go...

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The Good:

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  • The Utah Jazz beat (and swept) the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Jazz got the must win that they needed to stay alive in the West.
  • The Denver Nuggets beat the Milwaukee Bucks, and now have a stranglehold on the #3 Seed -- Memphis can't fight for this spot anymore, reducing their motivations a bit for their last regular season game.
  • The Phoenix Suns beat the Houston Rockets, meaning that the Rockets will have to have their full afterburners on for their last game, against LA, so they can get the 6th seed -- and face a injured Denver squad.

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The Bad:

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  • The Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Sacramento Kings, and they clinched the Top spot in the conference. If we make the playoffs, we will face a much better team.
  • The San Antonio Spurs lost to the Golden State Warriors, we want the Warriors to lose as many games as possible as we own their draft pick. (But silver lining is that their win should motivate Houston more)
  • The Dallas Mavericks beat the Memphis Grizzlies, and they are in a fight for homecourt in the first round. They will now be forced to fight at full strength in the last game against us. Thanks Dallas. -- I screwed this up. Memphis won, and they're still in the race for home court in the first round . . . Thanks brain tumor.

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The 'Meh':

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  • There were no other Western Conference games last night.

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Tonight:

Just one game, the Portland Trail Blazers / Tankers at the Los Angeles Clippers. Portland is tanking, hard. So they're going to lose this game. That means the Clippers will win and pull back into a tie with Memphis for home court in the first round. This means Game 82 for Memphis is a MUST WIN for them. Thanks Portland.

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The Races:

  • Race for #1: OKC (1 game left) is now up by 2.0 games on the SAS (1). This race is over.
  • Race for #3: DEN (1) is now up 1.0 games on MEM (1), and 1.5 games on LAC (2). This race is also over. The other result is now we have a Race for #4 between MEM and LAC. MEM leads, but only by half a game. LAC plays two more. MEM will not try to murder UTA in Game 82.
  • Race for #6: GSW (1) won last night against a reeling SAS, and hold a 1.0 game lead on HOU (1). HOU has to win in order to tie, and GSW has to lose. HOU has the tie breaker, and they can still bump GSW down, but it will require a little help. So HOU will be trying to win Game 82 also.
  • Race for #8: LAL (1) is ahead of UTA (1) by 1.0 games. LAL will play at home to a motivated HOU. UTA will play on the road to a motivated MEM. The only way for the Jazz to make it now is for HOU to win, and for MEM to lose. All four teams are playing for something here.
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