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An Updated Look Into the NBAs Western Conference Playoff Race

Three-Point Contest

Memphis Grizzlies

West playoff race nba
Jaren Jackson Jr. slams with authority, courtesy of Forbes

Record: 32-37

Current seed: 8th

What’s going right for the team: The young players from within the roster have been given a quality opportunity to experience the NBA’s playoff environment.

What’s going wrong for the team: The Memphis Grizzlies have held late leads in multiple games they’ve played from within the bubble. However, they haven’t been able to close the door in these contests to secure much-needed wins.

To make matters worse Jaren Jackson Jr. suffered a torn left meniscus, which will effectively end his season.

Portland Trail Blazers

Record: 31-38

Current seed: 9th

What’s going right for the team: Carmelo Anthony at the age of 36, is showing he can still play the game of basketball at a highly competitive level. He is averaging 15.3 points per game this season and has hit some big shots in recent games.

What’s going wrong for the team: Some are saying that Anthony deserves an apology from Max Kellerman (the ESPN Analyst) who two years ago stated that Anthony was a “washed” NBA player. These types of conversations can distract the players involved, which in turn takes away from the recent success of the team.

San Antonio Spurs

Lamarcus Aldridge and Demar DeRozan chat. Photo courtesy of Bleacher Report

Record: 29-38

Current seed: 10th

What’s going right for the team: The Spurs have given themselves a chance to keep their 22-year playoff streak alive, despite facing LaMarcus Aldridge’s season-ending injury back in June.

What’s going wrong for the team: If the Spurs don’t make the playoffs this season they will have to settle for being tied with the Philadelphia 76ers for the NBA’s record for most consecutive playoff appearances at twenty-two.

New Orleans Pelicans

Record: 29-38

Current seed: 11th

What’s going right for the team: During the NBAs bubble, Brandon Ingram has managed to play at an All-Star level, averaging 20.3 points per game. During this time period, Ingram’s game has been compared to that of former NBA MVP Kevin Durant.

The Pelicans also have a very favorable upcoming schedule. Over their final five games, they will play zero teams with a winning record.

What’s going wrong for the team: It is currently unknown how much longer Zion Williamson’s minute restriction will last.

Recently, the Pelicans lost a game to the Utah Jazz. They were winning most of the game, however, Williamson had to sit the fourth quarter due to the minute restriction. As a result, the Jazz went on a big run in the fourth quarter which led to the Pelicans losing a game they arguably should’ve won.

Pheonix Suns

Western Conference Playoff Race
Devin Booker (on left) with Kelly Oubre Jr. (on right) . Photo courtesy of the Phoenix Suns.

Record: 29-39

Current seed: 12th

What’s going right for the team: The Suns have won three straight games. This is due to clutch play from Devin Booker.

Booker has received much-needed help from core players such as Ricky Rubio and Deandre Ayton.

What’s going wrong for the team: The team may potentially lose out on acquiring a lottery pick if they continue to win.

Sacramento Kings

Record: 28-39

Current seed: 13th

What’s going right for the team:  Not much.

What’s going wrong for the team: Richaun Holmes had to quarantine for 10 days. This was due to him choosing to pick up a food delivery order, which violated Adam Silvers NBA bubble safety precautions.

Over that time period, the Kings managed to allow the Spurs and Suns to pass them in the NBA standings. This was in part due to the Kings blowing a 39 point effort from De’Aaron Fox in a loss to the Spurs.

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