The Playoff gates have officially busted open, and all heads have swiveled to the West. There are four teams in this race, and everyone needs to keep a close eye on the Blazers, Pelicans, Grizzlies, and Kings. These four teams are all shooting for that elusive 8th position, and it’s going to be exciting to follow.
In this fight, the Memphis Grizzlies are in the most influential position seeded 8th, but can’t seem to make life easy for themselves who constantly slip up with a loss here and there. They also have the 3rd most robust schedule heading to the Playoffs, so nothing is guaranteed. Next is the Pelicans, where the entire NBA world will be fixated on if they get a glimpse at the potential presence of Zion Williams in the postseason. New Orleans has the 3rd most relaxed schedule, but the team is still trying to find some form.
The Portland Trail Blazers started strong since the break, but lost their durability and beginning to falter as of late. But the one to watch, and the one I would put my money on would be the Sacramento Kings. Sacramento is 6-and-1 since the All-Star break, and a win tonight against the 76ers would put them ahead of Portland for the 9th spot. Only the Bucks and Raptors have won more games than Sacramento over that span.
Apart from the Kings, narratives surrounding the other teams have consumed the spotlight, which is why Sacramento has managed to sneak into the Playoff conversation subtly. Don’t be fooled by the Kings, they are steam rolling right now and with the NBA’s longest current playoff drought, you know they are motivated.
Catch you Monday.