Crunch time for the Western Conference


Anthony Davis shows emotion after a tough bucket

The NBA playoffs are just around the corner and it’s a really close race to see who gets to be in the actual NBA playoffs or have a chance to participate in the NBA playoffs with the somewhat new addition to the league called the Play-In Tournament.

The Western Conference has gotten many additions including superstar Kevin Durant who now plays for the Pheonix Suns plus star Kyrie Irving who now plays with the Mavericks making a nasty backcourt duo with Luka Doncic. Other teams have also made trades that improve their teams drastically including both Los Angeles teams the Lakers and the Clippers which gives them both better chances at competing for a championship.

It’s considered “Crunch Time” because as of right now 9 teams are fighting for a chance to be in the playoffs and the play-in tournament as the Nuggets, Grizzlies, and Kings are close to securing their spots already as teams participating in the NBA playoffs.

Here are the Standings of now (March 21st, 2023)

Russell Westbrook & Keagan Murray

Denver Nuggets 48-24  #1

Memphis Grizzlies 44-27 (3.5 Games behind 1st) #2

Sacramento Kings 43-28 (4.5 Games behind 1st) #3

Pheonix Suns 38-33 (9.5 Games behind 1st) #4

LA Clippers 38-34 (10 Games behind 1st) #5

GS Warriors 37-36 (11.5 Games behind 1st) #6

Dallas Mavericks 36-36 (12 Games behind 1st) #7

Minnesota Timberwolves 36-37 (12.5 Games behind 1st) 38

OKC Thunder 35-36 (12.5 Games behind 1st) #9

Utah Jazz 35-36 (12.5 Games behind 1st) #10

LA Lakers 35-37 (13 Games behind 1st) #11

New Orleans Pelicans 34-37 (13.5 Games behind 1st) #12

Portland Trailblazers 31-40 (16.5 Games behind 1st) #13

San Antonio Spurs (Eliminated from playoff contention) #14

Houston Rockets (Eliminated from playoff contention) #15


As you can see, the 4 through 12 seeds aren’t far from each other as it’s only a “4 games behind” difference from the 4-seeded suns and the 12th-seeded Pelicans. Any team can go on a winning streak and could possibly see themselves in the actual playoff picture but if a team has a horrible stretch, for example, they can possibly lose 4 games in a row which can drop them about 3 or more spots in the conference. The trash-talking has increased severely as players are doing anything they possibly can to get under players’ skin which can possibly affect their performance out on the court. It’s anybody’s game and NBA fans are enjoying it very much including myself as every game counts and the NBA teams and players are giving it their all for a chance to be in the playoff picture.

Devin Booker and Luka Doncic Scuffle