We’re a month past All-Star Weekend heading into the final stretch of the NBA regular season. While a few teams have solidified a spot in the postseason, it’s a full-on race to the finish for the final few spots. The situation differs a little for both sides of the league, so let’s take a look at how things are shaping up.
As always, there’s intense parity out West as the last 3 seeds are up for grabs to be dispersed between 6 potential squads. The Golden State Warriors seem to have finally gotten over the hump and become a solid team, so we don’t see them falling out of contention. The Houston Rockets have put together what looks to be a young and emerging nucleus that should continue to get better with more experience. Kobe Bryant has vowed to get the Lakers into the playoffs by any means necessary, so we’ll see how that plays out. As for the three teams on the outside looking in, the Jazz, Mavericks and Blazers are in a state of flux where they could make a run or implode at a moment’s notice.
There’s an 8-game gap between the 8th and 9th seeds in the Eastern Conference, so by every indication, the playoff picture over there has been taken, developed and framed. Aside from the Miami Heat who sit comfortably atop the standings, only 6 games separate the 2nd and 8th seeds. There are only 20 games left in the season, but anything can happen in the final weeks as we expect the East to shuffle around as teams run and gun for prime position going into the playoffs.
There has been quite a bit of unpredictably this season, but things have started to settle down as the legit teams have proven themselves and others have shown their true colors. You can never be too sure of how things will go, so keep checking back here to see how it’ll all end up.