The NBA Trade Deadline is over. Teams have waived and signed players. We know which teams are tanking, and we know which teams are playing for the post season. It’s March, so our feature “While you were sleeping...” returns! So let’s get to it!
No teams switches spots but the there’s now a “race” between the Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs for first place in the West. This was, well, something we didn’t think would happen. The obvious outcome is that if none of them pull away then BOTH of them will be playing for keeps in the last week of the season - you know, when the Utah Jazz have to play both of them as the last two games of the season.
Anyway, let’s take a look at what happened:
-  Houston Rockets lost to the  Utah Jazz, 115-108
-  Los Angeles Clippers lost to the  Minnesota Timberwolves , 107-91
The name of the game is for UTA to win as many as possible, it’s sweeter when they do it against a good team on the road, and they did it to HOU. What makes it even sweeter is that LAC lost last night as well. This makes the Jazz 3.0 games behind Houston, and now 2.5 games ahead of LA. Not too shabby, thanks Minny!
This has nothing to do with us at this stage, but DeMarcus Cousins continues to be a bad investment right now.
-  Golden State Warriors lost to the Boston Celtics, 99-86
-  San Antonio Spurs beat the  Sacramento Kings, 114-104
-  Denver Nuggets lost to the Washington Wizards, 123-113
I count these outcomes as bad because if there’s separation between the two there’s a greater chance they go easy on Utah while Utah will still be needing to win as many games as possible. This only makes life harder for Utah.
Similarly, Denver not getting separation from the rest of the teams chasing them means that Portland has something to fight for - and Utah plays them twice more this year. Oh, and in case you forgot, Utah has trouble against teams that are led by shoot first, athletic, point guards.
-  San Antonio Spurs @  Oklahoma City Thunder
-  Los Angeles Clippers @  Memphis Grizzlies
-  Portland Trail Blazers vs. Philadelphia 76ers
-  Phoenix Suns vs.  Los Angeles Lakers
SAS is streaking (9 in a row), and OKC is falling (4 game skid). It’s likely that SAS wins this one. That probably is going to motivate OKC to play really, really well in their next game to avoid losing six in a row. That game will be against UTA. Lucky us.
LAC @ MEM is the game of the night, I can only hope they both lose here.
POR vs PHI is a POR win for sure, which makes them catch up to DEN by 0.5 more games. And this keeps them in the race and probably helps them play to win in April, which hurts UTA as well.
LAL @ PHX is one where LAL is going to tank it’s best to lose. They want to keep their draft pick, and have lost eight in a row and have no shame.