I can't wait for a year or two when the Utah Jazz, and fans, no longer have to worry about the NBA Draft -- the standings race in the West for the NBA Playoffs is heating up. The Lotto race? Almost all but decided right now.
What Happened Last Night?
- Portland (3) beat Toronto 113-97: Raptors got blown out
- Houston (4) beat the Clippers (6) 100-98: H-Town stronger than expected?
- San Antonio (5) beat Minnesota (15) 123-97: Yikes
- Oklahoma City (8) beat Chicago 109-100: Enes Kanter had a 18/18 game
- Denver (12) beat New Orleans (9) 118-111: Double OT game had Anthony Davis finish with 36/14/7/9
- Atlanta beat the Lakers (14) 91-86: Who cares?
San Antone took advantage of the Western Conference Chaos (...is a ladder) while OKC makes their move.
Western Conference Standings:
The Oklahoma City Thunder leap-frogged the New Orleans Pelicans by virtue of beating the Bulls, and the Nuggets better the Pels. Can OKC keep their 1.0 game lead? They both play 16 more games.
The other big news is that the San Antonio Spurs moved from 7th to 5th in one night as they win, the Clippers lost, and the Mavericks didn't play. This is the Western Conference playoffs. Beware. Stay Woke.
The Race to the Bottom:
So what we saw in the playoff race we see here (as above, so below?), with the Pelicans and Thunder flipping. That was really the only change, and it happens at the last section of this table. A lot of these teams are playing tonight, so there's at least that.
What Games are happening tonight?
- Raptors @ Pacers: Both teams need this game, both teams are historical rivals (yes, from back form Chris Mullin played there)
- Trail Blazers @ Wizards: Blazers on an East trip right now, Washington still playing w/o bigs
- 76ers @ Celtics: I think we know how this one will end
- Nuggets @ Grizzlies: Denver's been playing a lot better lately, and we know Memphis can be beaten at home, we've done it twice this year
- Nets @ Timberwolves: Deron Williams vs Ricky Rubio -- two of the most over rated PGs in the last 5 years?
- Cavaliers @ Heat: Something something media storyline something
- Thunder @ Mavericks: The #7 vs #8 team in the West? Huge game.
- Hornets @ Jazz: #MOLO revenge game
- Hawks @ Kings: Atlanta rested Paul Millsap and others last night, should be ready to go
- Lakers @ Warriors: I remember for years this match-up was hilariously one-sided in the other direction
The biggest games are TOR@IND, DEN@MEM, CLE@MIA, OKC@DAL, and UTA@CHA. I know most of us are only paying attention to one of these games though.
We're seeing more movement within the West playoff teams on a daily basis than we are from the lotto teams. That just tells you how close the West is. Utah, in both categories, have some work to do if they want to be something besides filler.