Who makes the playoffs?
Memphis has suffered a major blow with Rudy Gay's injury and OJ Mayo's lackluster play..
Portland has been injured and dealing with trade issues.
Utah just has struggled and Jerry Sloan is gone.
Denver Nuggets just traded their Superstar and PG; are they still a playoff team?
Phoenix, Houston, and Golden State are right within shouting distance at about 5 games back or so.
Golden State and Utah will make it. Even though Jerry Sloan is gone Utah will still fight for a playoff spot like always. The Warriors are playing quite well right now so I would expect them to make it as well. Utah finishes 7th and the Warriors finish 8th but do not upset top seeded Spurs unlike they did with Dallas in 2007. Portland will be 6th, they always have injuries yet somehow still make the playoffs. A real testament to how hard they play.
Nuggets welcome to the lottery. Its been awhile since you were there. (I don't think they've been in the lottery since they drafted Melo. Another testament to the greatness that is Melo) Memphis will be in the lottery for one more year.
West Playoff standings: Spurs, Mavs, Lakers (I would put them as 2nd but they are struggling this year and I think that is going to haunt them.), OKC, Hornets, Blazers, Jazz, Warriors
I think Suns and Memphis make it in. GSW is a dark horse pick though. Utah is going to tank so they can get a high draft pick and add talent. No one seems to want to play there unless they are overpaid. outside of Boozer who was overpaid to be there, who have they signed from another team that was really good. Raja Bell was a starter but nothing top notch and he is not doing nothing for them now. AK was drafted. They overpaid Okur and continue to overpay him to stay. Utah does not seem to be a top free agent destination. If I was Utah I was just save my money and when no players has any other options they would have to go there by default.
GS is tied with the Clippers for having played the most home games to date. Only eleven of their final twenty-seven games are at home, and they are 7-18 on the road. As Charles pointed out on Saturday night, the Warriors have no reason for optimism.
Utah is not going to tank. Not sure if they'll make the playoffs though.
No way Golden State makes the playoffs.
Portland is a lock.
Phoenix, Houston, Denver and Utah will battle for the last two spots.
@Sheltwon, If Utah tanks they don't get a draft pick because it will be given to Minny as part of the Big Al trade. Its top 16 protected so it would be stupid for them to tank. Besides its not in their nature to tank.
Still think Warriors will surprise you all and make the playoffs. Memphis loosing Gay is gonna hurt so playoffs are out of the question. Pheonix will just miss the playoffs besides they could really use a lottery pick and get either Jimmer Fredette or Kemba Walker to replace Steve Nash once he retires.
First off, dwilljazz8, Utah owns their draft pick this season. We traded the Memphis pick we got in the Ronnie Brewer trade.
Second, Aran needs to do something about this. These boards are like a breeding ground for Jazz fans.
Utah is making the playoffs.
- San Antonio
- Los Angeles
- Oklahoma City
- New Orleans
- Golden State
I was going to eliminate GS from contention just for reasons stated above. They are playing most of their games from here on out on the road. They don't play well on the road. That alone should knock them from consideration. The Warriors have improved their defense to halfway respectable and that could help them win some needed road games.
I want to say the Jazz because I want to see them do well post-Sloan, but their situation is very calamitous. The Jazz have been struggling both at home and on the road of late. The Jazz are only 17-13 at home. They start their post All-Star schedule with 3 road games, and then home games with the Celtics and Nuggets, who will themselves be playing hard, trying to maintain their playoff chances. How they play these first 5 games to me will decide if this team tailspins further, or climbs back to respectability. Personally, I expect a tailspin. The teams around them are better teams.
I think the Blazers are a top 8 team, but with Roy coming back, Camby and Miller looking as if they will be traded among potentially other players, that team will look be looking much different than the one who played great leading to the All-Star break. Can they come together and keep winning? Same questions in Denver. Can that team rally around each other and can the former Knicks players use the trade as fuel? I think Denver has the perfect coach to lead them in George Karl. He's going to get the most out of that roster.
Memphis I think is currently a top 8 team also, but with Gay out 4-6 weeks, Randolph and Mayo among a couple other players potentially trade bait, that's another team that could look very much different after the trade deadline. And, the loss of Gay is going to hurt them regardless of the trading circumstances.
So, with all of this said, I think Phoenix is going to make it, New Orleans, Portland and Denver. I'm not sold on the Hornets, but with the Hornets' struggles coming with Okafor going down and now he returning, and Paul and West getting a little bit of rest, I think they'll come out of the break playing good ball and solidify a playoff position.
Utah will make the playoffs or die trying, lol. This GS schedule is alot like the 2007 playoffs when the Warriors made the playoffs as an 8th seed and upsetted top seeded Dallas Mavericks. They play a ton of road games before they went into that series and they still made it. This season is very similar cuz their current record is very close to identical to what it was in 2007 at this time. They can do it besides Pheonix and Memphis won't make it because Gay is out and Nash is old. Pheonix will try very hard to make the playoffs but I think not having a legitamate 4 is going to hurt them. But I could see Pheonix barely making it in and the Warriors barely missing.
If they can go close to if not perfect at home from here on out, and be between .520-.550 on the road, that could get the job done. They have to show they can win on the road consistently, and we'll see if they can do it. Also, we'll see how their defense holds up. It's better but still not very good, and it's defense that usually wins out when it comes to these playoff chases.
But ultimately, if it were a battle between Phoenix and GS for that spot, I'd pick the Suns because of their veteran leadership, and the fact they finally have a legit C in Gortat and Lopez is starting to find himself after his injury break. Vince getting some rest I think should help him and they need to get him playing at a consistently at least decent level. If they can do that, with Nash at the helm, you can't count them out. The reality is there isn't much of a talent difference between #5 and #12 in the Western Conference and any of these teams could conceivably make or miss it, which makes things very interesting. The Rockets cannot be counted out either, especially if they trade for a C.