NBA

NBA standings, Western Conference playoff picture: Lakers fall out of play-in; Kings still have top-seed hope

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With Denver on a three-game losing streak, the Kings, who have won 10 of their last 13, are not out of the running for the No. 1 seed. They trail the Nuggets by four in the loss column with just about a month to play and one head-to-head matchup remaining. 

Meanwhile, the Lakers dropped into a four-way tie, and for the moment out of the play-in picture, with their loss to the Knicks on Sunday. 

Below is a comprehensive snapshot of where things stand in the Western Conference playoff and play-in races entering play on Monday. This post will update daily throughout the remainder of the regular season, or until all seeds are clinched. 

Reminder on how the play-in tournament works: No. 7 plays No. 8 and No. 9 plays No. 10. The winner of the 7-8 game gets the No. 7 seed, while the loser plays the winner of the 9-10 game for the  No. 8 seed. 

READ: Eastern Conference playoff picture

NOTE: Our SportsLine model, developed by predictive data engineer Stephen Oh, simulates the entire season 10,000 times to produce the most unbiased and precise projections imaginable.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

The Nuggets have lost three straight to at least crack the window for the No. 2 Kings to catch them for the No. 1 seed. With 14 games to play, Denver leads Sacramento by four games in the loss column, but they still have one head-matchup remaining on the final day of the season. 

If Sacramento can make up three games over the next three-plus weeks — a tall order, but certainly not impossible as Denver has started to skid — it would go into that final game controlling its own destiny for the top seed as that game will also decide the tiebreaker with Denver.¬†

  • Projected seed:¬†1
  • Current first-round matchup:¬†TBD
  • Tiebreaker vs. Memphis:¬†Denver has clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Sacramento:¬†Season series tied 1-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Phoenix: Denver leads season series 2-0 with two to play

2. Sacramento Kings (40-26)

Sacramento trails No. 1 Denver by four games in the loss column, but they still have one head-matchup remaining on the final day of the season. If Sacramento can make up three games over the next three-plus weeks — a tall order, but certainly not impossible as Denver has started to skid — it would go into that final matchup controlling its own destiny for the top seed as that game will also decide the tiebreaker.¬†

That said, Sacramento’s more pressing business is holding off Memphis for the No. 2 seed, which would carry with it home-court advantage in a potential second-round series.¬†

  • Projected seed: 3
  • Current first-round matchup:¬†vs. Timberwolves-Mavericks play-in winner
  • Tiebreaker vs. Denver:¬†Tied 1-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Memphis:¬†Kings currently own via conference win percentage¬†
  • Tiebreaker vs. Phoenix:¬†Suns lead 2-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Golden State:¬†Warriors¬†lead 2-1 with one to play

Memphis remains tied with the No. 2 Kings, four up in the loss column on the No. 4 Suns. Memphis trails No. 1 Denver, which has secured the tiebreaker, by an effective five games. 

  • Projected seed: 2
  • Current first-round matchup:¬†vs. Warriors
  • Tiebreaker vs. Denver:¬†Nuggets have clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Sacramento:¬†Kings currently own via conference record
  • Tiebreaker vs. Phoenix:¬†Grizzlies own via division leader

4. Phoenix Suns (37-30)

The Suns fell four losses back of No. 2 Sacramento and No. 3 Memphis with their loss to the Kings on Saturday. Phoenix holds a three-loss lead over the No. 5 Clippers and No. 6 Warriors. With 15 games to play, it’s starting to feel like Phoenix is pretty locked into the 4-seed.¬†

  • Projected seed: 4
  • Current first-round matchup:¬†vs. Clippers
  • Tiebreaker vs. Memphis:¬†Grizzlies own via division leader
  • Tiebreaker vs. Sacramento: Phoenix leads 2-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Golden State:¬†Suns have clinched¬†
  • Tiebreaker vs. Timberwolves: Suns lead 2-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Dallas: Suns currently own via conference win percentage
  • Tiebreaker vs. Clippers: Suns lead 2-1 with one to play

5. Los Angeles Clippers (36-33)

The Clippers are tied in the loss column with the No. 6 Warriors with one matchup remaining. They are just one loss up on the No. 7 Timberwolves and No. 8 Mavericks. 

  • Projected seed:¬†5
  • Current first-round matchup:¬†at Suns
  • Tiebreaker vs. Phoenix:¬†Suns lead 2-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Golden State:¬†Warriors lead 2-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Timberwolves:¬†Wolves clinched¬†
  • Tiebreaker vs. Dallas:¬†Mavericks currently own via conference record
  • Tiebreaker vs. New Orleans:¬†Pelicans lead 1-0 with two to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Utah:¬†Jazz clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Lakers:¬†Clippers clinched

6. Golden State Warriors (35-33)

The Warriors jumped back above the play-in line with their win over the Bucks on Saturday. They are tied in the loss column with the No. 5 Clippers and have the tiebreaker secured, meaning they control their own destiny for the 5-seed. But do they want it? It will probably mean a first-round matchup with the Suns. 

  • Projected seed:¬†6
  • Current first-round matchup:¬†at Grizzlies
  • Tiebreaker vs. Phoenix:¬†Suns have clinched¬†
  • Tiebreaker vs. Timberwolves:¬†Warriors lead 2-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Dallas:¬†Tied 1-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Clippers:¬†Warriors lead 2-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. New Orleans:¬†Pelicans¬†lead 2-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Utah:¬†Warriors clinched

Play-In Tournament

7. Minnesota Timberwolves (34-34)

Minnesota is tied in the loss column with the No. 8 Mavericks, one loss up on the 9-12 seeds. 

  • Projected seed:¬†9
  • Current first-round matchup:¬†vs. Mavericks (Play-in)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Phoenix:¬†Suns lead 2-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Golden State:¬†Warriors lead 2-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Dallas:¬†Wolves clinched¬†
  • Tiebreaker vs. Clippers:¬†Wolves clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. New Orleans:¬†Tied 1-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Utah:¬†Wolves currently own via division record
  • Tiebreaker vs. Lakers:¬†Wolves clinched

8. Dallas Mavericks (34-34)

In their quest to climb above the play-in line, Dallas is one back of the No. 5 Clippers with the tiebreaker currently in their favor, and one back of the No. 6 Warriors with one head-to-head matchup remaining. 

  • Projected seed:¬†7
  • Current first-round matchup:¬†at Timberwolves (Play-in)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Phoenix:¬†Suns owns via conference win percentage
  • Tiebreaker vs. Golden State:¬†Tied 1-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Timberwolves:¬†Wolves clinched¬†
  • Tiebreaker vs. Clippers:¬†Dallas currently owns via conference record
  • Tiebreaker vs. New Orleans:¬†Dallas leads 2-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Utah:¬†Dallas leads 2-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Lakers:¬†Dallas leads 2-1 with one to play

9. Utah Jazz (33-35)

Utah currently sits in a four-way tie with the No. 10 Thunder, No. 11 Lakers and No. Pelicans. In tiebreaker scenarios that include more than two teams, the nod, in order, goes to the team with the best win percentage in all head-to-head matchups among the teams involved. 

  • Projected seed:¬†Lottery
  • Current first-round matchup:¬†vs. Thunder¬†(Play-in)
  • Tiebreaker vs. New Orleans:¬†Jazz Clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Lakers:¬†Jazz lead 2-0 with two to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. OKC:¬†Thunder lead 2-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Portland:¬†Blazers lead 2-1 with one to play

10. Oklahoma City Thunder (33-35)

See Utah section for four-way tie breakdown. 

  • Projected seed:¬†Lottery
  • Tiebreaker vs. New Orleans:¬†Pelicans clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Utah:¬†OKC leads 2-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Lakers:¬†Tied 1-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Portland:¬†OKC clinched

Outside Looking In

11. Los Angeles Lakers (33-35)

See Utah section for four-way tie breakdown. 

  • Projected seed:¬†8
  • Current first-round matchup:¬†vs. Jazz (Play-in)
  • Tiebreaker vs. Clippers:¬†Clippers clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. New Orleans:¬†Lakers lead 2-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Utah:¬†Jazz lead 2-0 with two to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. OKC:¬†Tied 1-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Portland:¬†Blazers currently own via conference win percentage

12. New Orleans Pelicans (33-35)

See Utah section for four-way tie breakdown. 

  • Projected seed:¬†10
  • Tiebreaker vs. Golden State:¬†Pelicans lead 2-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Timberwolves:¬† Tied 1-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Dallas:¬†Mavericks lead 2-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Utah:¬†Jazz clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Lakers:¬†Los Angeles leads 2-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. OKC:¬†Pelicans clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. Portland:¬†Pelicans clinched

The Blazers are two losses back of the final play-in spot after losing to New Orleans on Sunday.

  • Projected seed:¬†Lottery
  • Tiebreaker vs. Utah:¬†Blazers lead 2-1 with one to play
  • Tiebreaker vs. Lakers:¬†Blazers currently own via conference win percentage
  • Tiebreaker vs. New Orleans:¬†Pelicans clinched
  • Tiebreaker vs. OKC:¬†Thunder clinched

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Publish Date:2023-03-13 22:16:05

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