NBA Western Conference Playoffs Viewer Guide: May 6
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – There are 10 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 10 remaining nights.
(This list will be updated as games gain and lose importance to close the season)
- x – Utah Jazz: 48-18
- x – Phoenix Suns: 47-19 – 1 game back
- x – Denver Nuggets: 44-22 – 4 games back
- x – Los Angeles Clippers: 44-22 – 4 games back
- y – Dallas Mavericks: 37-28 – 10.5 games back
- y – Los Angeles Lakers: 37-28 – 10.5 game back
- y – Portland Trail Blazers: 36-29 – 11 games back
- Memphis Grizzlies: 33-32 – 14.5 game back
- Golden State Warriors: 33-33 – 15 games back
- San Antonio Spurs: 31-34 – 16.5 games back
- New Orleans Pelicans: 30-36 – 18 games back
x – Team has clinched an automatic playoff birth.
y – Team has clinched a spot in the West’s top ten.
San Antonio Spurs @ Utah Jazz:
The Utah Jazz beat the Spurs 126-94 and overtook the Phoenix Suns atop the West by one full game.
The win also cuts the Jazz magic number to clinch a top-three seed to just two. Once they reach 50 wins, the Los Angeles Clippers would no longer be able to overtake them in the standings by way of the tie-breaker.
The Spurs loss means they will be eliminated from being able to climb into the fifth or sixth seeds in the West with their next loss. The Jazz swept potential first-round NBA Playoffs preview.
With the loss, the Spurs lead over the New Orleans Pelicans for the final spot in the play-in tournament dropped to one and a half games.
Phoenix Suns @ Atlanta Hawks:
The Suns lost their first game in a stretch of seven consecutive matchups against teams likely to finish in the playoffs or play-in tournament.
With the loss, Phoenix dropped one game behind the Jazz in the Western Conference standings.
New York Knicks @ Denver Nuggets:
The Denver Nuggets leaped the Clippers for the third seed in the West with their 113-97 win over the New York Knicks.
Memphis Grizzlies @ Minnesota Timberwolves:
With the Memphis Grizzlies win, they overtook the Golden State Warriors for the eighth seed in the West by a half-game.
Brooklyn Nets @ Dallas Mavericks:
The Mavericks would be eliminated from climbing into the third or fourth seed with a loss to the Brooklyn Nets.
With a win, the Mavericks would retain the fifth seed over the Lakers for the night regardless of their outcome with the Clippers, preventing them from having home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Los Angeles Lakers @ Los Angeles Clippers:
With a loss, the Lakers would no longer be eligible to climb into the third or fourth seed in the West and would retain the sixth seed for the night regardless of the result between the Mavericks and Nets.
The Clippers can clinch a top-four seed in the West with a win and would climb ahead of the Nuggets for the third seed for the night.
However, the Clippers can only afford to lose two more games before they’d be eliminated from having access to the top seed in the West.
The game is also a potential first-round NBA Playoffs preview.
Memphis Grizzlies @ Detroit Pistons:
The Grizzlies currently own the eighth seed in the West and would hold onto that spot with a win over the Detroit Pistons regardless of the outcome between the Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder.
Oklahoma City Thunder @ Golden State Warriors:
With a win over the Thunder, the Warriors would stay within a half-game of the Grizzlies and could overtake Memphis in the standings should they lose on the road to the Pistons.
Denver Nuggets @ Utah Jazz:
A Jazz win would guarantee they hold onto the top spot in the West by at least one game regardless of the outcome between the Suns and Knicks.
Additionally, the Jazz would win the Northwest Division with a victory and guarantee the Nuggets couldn’t overtake them in the final standings by winning the season tie-breaker and would clinch a top-three seed in the West.
After beating New York on Wednesday, the Nuggets can clinch a top-four seed in the West by beating the Jazz. However, a loss would eliminate them from contention for the top seed in the West.
Phoenix Suns @ New York Knicks:
The Suns can overtake the Jazz atop the West with a win and a Utah loss to the Nuggets.
Los Angeles Lakers @ Portland Trail Blazers:
If the Lakers lose to the Clippers on May 6, they’d lose any opportunity to own home-court advantage in the first round with a loss to the Trail Blazers.
San Antonio Spurs @ Sacramento Kings:
This is the Spurs last game of the season against a team that won’t play in either the playoffs or play-in tournament.
A Spurs loss would eliminate them from being able to reach the fifth or sixth seeds in the West by way of losing the tie-breaker against the Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers.
With a win, the Spurs could guarantee themselves that they maintain at least 1.5 game lead over the New Orleans Pelicans with just six games remaining.
A Spurs loss, teamed with a Pelicans win would trim San Antonio’s hold on the 10th and final play-in tournament seed to a half-game.
New Orleans Pelicans @ Philadelphia 76ers:
The Pelicans need a win to stay within 1.5 games of the Spurs for the 10th and final seed in the Western Conference play-in tournament.
A loss, teamed with a Spurs win over the Sacramento Kings would extend San Antonio’s lead over the Pelicans by 2.5 games with just five games remaining.
Brooklyn Nets @ Denver Nuggets:
The Nuggets will play their final home game of the season against Brooklyn, but will also conclude their toughest stretch to close the season after facing the Knicks, Nets, and Jazz over a four-day stretch.
Houston Rockets @ Utah Jazz:
The Jazz could retake the top seed over the Suns regardless of the outcomes of games played on May 7.
San Antonio Spurs @ Portland Trail Blazers:
With a win, the Trail Blazers could prevent Spurs from overtaking them in the final seeding. The winner will also own the tie-breaker in the season series.
New York Knicks @ Los Angeles Clippers:
This is the Clippers final home game of the regular season before finishing the year with four consecutive road games.
Phoenix Suns @ Los Angeles Lakers:
The Suns can sweep the season series with a win over the Lakers.
Utah Jazz @ Golden State Warriors:
This is the Jazz final road game against a playoff or play-in tournament team and a potential first-round NBA Playoffs preview.
Houston Rockets @ Portland Trail Blazers:
This is 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.
Dallas Mavericks @ Memphis Grizzlies:
The Mavericks would prevent the Grizzlies from being able to overtake them in the final standings with a win.
Phoenix Suns @ Golden State Warriors:
A potential first-round NBA Playoffs preview. The Suns would sweep the season series with a win.
New York Knicks @ Los Angeles Lakers:
This is the Lakers final game of the regular season against a team with a winning record.
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.
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.
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.
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.