Posted on: April 3, 2023, 02:48h.
Final up to date on: April 4, 2023, 10:51h.
Heading into the ultimate week of the NBA season, the playoff image within the Western Convention remains to be unclear, and Play-In Match spots are nonetheless up for grabs.
The Jap Convention playoff standings are far more organized, and the ultimate week of the season will decide the #1 seed and the seeding for the Play-In Match groups.
5 groups within the Western Convention, starting from fourth place to eighth place, are inside three video games of one another. On the again finish of the Play-In Match bubble, 4 groups are combating for the ultimate two spots. These Western Convention bubble groups are inside 2.5 video games of one another, together with the Dallas Mavericks, who would miss the Play-In Match if the season ended at the moment.
The Denver Nuggets occupy first place within the Western Convention, they usually’re near locking up the #1 seed. The Memphis Grizzlies are in second place and path the Nugs by three video games. The third-place Kings locked up the #3 seed within the West. The Kings ended the longest playoff drought among the many 4 main sports activities leagues with their first postseason berth since 2006.
Except for the highest three groups, the remainder of the playoff seeding remains to be up for grabs in one of many closest Western Convention races in over 30 years. The addition of the Play-In Match generated buzz and pleasure heading into the ultimate week of the season.
Phoenix Suns Lurking at #4
The Suns are at present in fourth place with a 43-35 document, and their #4 seed isn’t precisely a lock. They maintain a 2.5-game lead over the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors, they usually opened up a three-game edge over the LA Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans. If the Suns retain the #4 seed, they’ll most certainly meet any of these 4 groups within the opening spherical because the #5 seed.
The Suns turned a well-liked decide to win the championship after they landed All-Star ahead Kevin Durant in a commerce with the Brooklyn Nets. Durant performed solely three video games with the Suns earlier than he was sidelined by a sprained ankle in early March. He returned to the lineup final week and scored 30-plus in back-to-back video games, together with 35 factors in opposition to the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder on Sunday night time. Durant and the Suns solely have 4 extra video games remaining within the common season to develop chemistry earlier than the playoffs start.
With Durant within the combine, the Suns are the betting favourite to win the Western Convention at +210 odds. They’re third on DraftKings’ NBA futures board at +450 odds to win the championship, however they’re the very best group from the West.
Though the general public is backing the Suns with Durant, the stat geeks and information scientists at FiveThirtyEight paint a special image with their postseason predictions. The Suns have solely a ten% likelihood to advance to the NBA Finals and have only a 3% likelihood to win the championship, in accordance with FiveThirtyEight.
Banged-Up Clippers Holding onto the #5 Seed
There’s a rising sentiment that groups don’t need the #5 seed, as a result of that may entail a first-round matchup in opposition to Durant and the #4 Suns. Nevertheless, the Western Convention is so unpredictable that dodging anybody appears ridiculous and inconceivable heading into the ultimate week of the season.
Solely a half-game separates the Clippers, Warriors, Lakers, and Pelicans, but all 4 groups have 38 losses. Two of these groups might keep away from the Play-In Match by ending in fifth or sixth place. The opposite two can be relegated to the Play-In Match.
The Clippers and Warriors are at a drawback, with solely three remaining video games every. The Lakers and Pelicans have 4 video games left on the schedule to make up floor.
The Clippers (41-38) caught one other dangerous break within the damage division when taking pictures guard Paul George sustained a proper leg damage two weeks in the past. The Clippers will reevaluate his progress subsequent week, and there’s an opportunity he misses the opening spherical. The fifth-place Clippers are targeted on ensuring they preserve the #5 seed and keep away from the Play-In Match.
The Clippers are +2200 odds to win the championship and +850 odds to win the convention. Their general odds took a direct hit after George went down.
Warriors on Skinny Ice, Might Sink to Play-In
Followers anticipate the Golden State Warriors to flip a swap within the playoffs and efficiently defend their championship. Nevertheless, there are some large considerations involving ahead Andrew Wiggins and their horrendous highway document.
Wiggins hasn’t suited up for the Warriors since earlier than the All-Star break. He’s dealing with a private matter, which has led to rampant hypothesis on social media. The group has been imprecise about after they anticipate him to return. Even when Wiggins rejoins the Warriors within the playoffs, he’ll be rusty after lacking the ultimate quarter of the season.
The sixth-place Warriors (41-38) have solely three remaining video games, however two are on the highway in opposition to the Kings and Portland Path Blazers. The Warriors are one of many worst highway groups within the NBA this season, with a 9-30 away document, so there’s respectable concern they may find yourself within the Play-In Match.
The Warriors are +1300 odds to win back-to-back NBA championships. You possibly can again them at +550 odds to win the convention title in consecutive seasons.
Lakers and Pelicans Surging
The Lakers (40-38) have been on a tear with a 14-6 document over their final 20 video games after they lastly traded away sad level guard Russell Westbrook. The Lakers propelled themselves from the playoff bubble to seventh place over the previous couple of weeks. They achieved this outstanding feat though LeBron James missed a few of that stretch with a foot damage. They’re now inside putting distance of fifth place and the #5 seed.
The Lakers are +2000 odds to win the championship and +900 odds to win the Western Convention. The Lakers are a well-liked group that pulls a major quantity of public cash within the preseason. Futures bettors holding tickets on the Lakers to win the championship discovered a brand new life throughout their latest surge. FiveThirtyEight predicts the Lakers have an 8% likelihood to return to the NBA Finals and a 2% likelihood to win the championship for the second time since 2020.
The Pelicans (40-38) are 7-1 of their final eight video games and moved into eighth place. They may keep away from the Play-In Match if they’ll proceed their upward trajectory.
The Pelicans are in the midst of their greatest run of the season since they misplaced energy ahead Zion Williamson to a hamstring damage in early January. Williamson sustained a number of setbacks in his restoration and it’s nonetheless unknown whether or not he’ll be able to rejoin the squad when the playoffs start. He’s been figuring out with the group, however his standing stays a query mark.
The Pelicans are +15000 odds to win the championship, and +4500 odds to win the convention.
Timberwolves, Thunder Cling to Play-In
The Minnesota Timberwolves (39-40) are at present in ninth place and maintain a one-game lead over the Tenth-place Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder (38-41). There’s a slim likelihood they may ladder up and transfer into the seventh or eighth-place spots, however each groups solely have three remaining video games.
The Timberwolves are in the midst of a three-game dropping streak though huge man Karl-Anthony Cities returned to the lineup after lacking a number of months with a calf damage. They play two extra highway video games in opposition to the Brooklyn Nets and San Antonio Spurs earlier than ending the season in opposition to the Pelicans in Minneapolis.
FiveThirtyEight tasks the Timberwolves have a 3% likelihood to advance to the NBA Finals, with a 0.8% likelihood to win all of it. As anticipated, the Timberwolves are a protracted shot at +20000 odds to win the championship.
The Thunder are probably the most susceptible group, with a one-game lead over the Mavs and a 1.5-game lead over the Utah Jazz. They’ve two extra highway video games in opposition to the Warriors and Jazz earlier than returning residence to host the Grizzlies within the season finale.
FiveThirtyEight predicts the Thunder have lower than a 0.1% likelihood to succeed in the NBA Finals and win the championship. It’s no shock that the Thunder have astronomical odds to win the title at +100000.
The Bubble: Mavs and Jazz
The Mavs are a scorching mess proper now. They superior to the Western Convention finals final season, however are on the verge of lacking the Play-In Match.
The addition of level guard Kyrie Irving on the commerce deadline has been a catastrophe. The Mavs are 1-7 of their final eight video games and solely 6-14 for the reason that All-Star break. The Mavs gave up a number of key position gamers, together with two astute defenders and 3-point shooters in guard Spencer Dinwiddie and ahead Dorian-Finney Smith, as a part of the commerce bundle to amass Irving.
The Mavs are in at present eleventh place with a 37-42 document. They dropped three video games in a row, together with a heartbreaking loss in extra time in opposition to the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday night time. The Mavs path the Thunder by one recreation within the loss column. They’ve three video games remaining on the schedule, and all three are at residence in Dallas in opposition to the Kings, Bulls, and Spurs.
FiveThirtyEight tasks that the Mavs have a 6% likelihood to qualify for the playoffs. They’ll have to win out their ultimate three video games and hope the Thunder falter down the stretch in the event that they anticipate to sneak into the backdoor of the Play-In Match because the Tenth-place group.
The Jazz are at present in twelfth place and 1.5 video games behind the Thunder. The Jazz haven’t been mathematically eradicated from Play-In rivalry as a result of they’ve 4 remaining video games, together with three at residence in Salt Lake Metropolis. They play the Lakers twice extra, and face the Nuggets and Thunder. FiveThirtyEight estimates the Jazz have a 0.3% likelihood to safe the #8 seed within the playoffs.