three weeks. There are only three weeks left before the end of the regular season. In both the East and West, each team still has to play between 8 and 11 games, so each meeting is worth its weight in gold for the different teams that haven’t validated their qualifying ticket or been kept away from their followers. .
After the East yesterday, a place to put in the West, where the suspense is also in place and where two teams have already composted their card for the playoffs: the Jazz (45-17) and the Suns (44-18), which are in the difference game. From now on, Utah and Phoenix, whom no one expected at the top of their conference early in the season, will be able to compete for the top spot in the West by May 16.
However, according to ESPN’s “sports projections” and Basketball-Reference, based on each franchise’s calendar, nothing should move in the top 2. Not even in the top four, where Clippers (43-21) and Nuggets verses (41-21) is also neck and neck, with the same number of defeats.
On the other hand, behind this world-created fourth place, which remains only to determine the ranking, everything remains to be done.
Lakers under threat from Mavericks and Blazers
Thus, the Lakers (36-26) defending champions should not count on their home advantage in this year’s playoffs.
Blame it, of course, on injuries to LeBron James and Anthony Davis, which held them back long into the second half of the season. After all, LA may be interested in holding onto fifth place and resisting a Mavericks comeback (34-27) until they face the Nuggets’ orphaned Jamal Murray in the first round…
Provided, of course, that Denver retain its fourth spot at the same time, which is not yet guaranteed. However, the Lakers are probably more inspired by having a part of the table made up of jazz and nuggets, rather than a part of the table made up of Suns and Clippers…hence the importance of staying in 5th place, assuming as the top 4 remains the same .
But in addition to Dallas, the Blazers (34-28) have yet to say their last word to appear in the top five. The Mavs come, above all, to play two and a half games ahead of the Grizzlies (31-30), their new challenger.
Tottenham Warriors as Grizzlies Hunters
The Grizzlies who now see Spurs (31-30) and Warriors (31-31) blow on their necks for eighth.
But unlike San Antonio, which will have the toughest schedule at the end of the season (according to Tankathon), Memphis can count on the second easiest schedule. A fact that could work well against Greg Popovich’s men. Leaving the Golden State as the only real threat from Ja Morant’s classmates?
It’s also interesting to note that the Warriors, who will be taking advantage of the fourth easiest season-ending calendar, must face the Grizzlies again in the next two weeks. Clearly, despite the unfavorable team dynamic, Stephen Curry and his family are far from bidding farewell to a place in the Top 8 of the Western Conference.
It is impossible to say the same about Pelicans (27-35) who, if they are four and a half games behind by eight, have four games in ‘play’. It’s hard, given the circumstances, to imagine teammates Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram reaching the playoffs this year.
How does play work in 2020/21
– 1 . game : a meeting between the seventh and eighth. The winner qualifies with the seventh play-off ticket.
– 2 . game : a meeting between the ninth and tenth. The loser is disqualified and the winner plays the loser in the match between seventh and eighth places.
– 3 . game : A meeting between the loser in game 1 and the winner in game 2. The winner takes the eighth place in the playoffs.
Finally, still according to ESPN’s “Sports Predictions” and Basketball-Reference, the current Top 7 won’t move a bit between now and May 16, the regular season end date. Only the identity of the eighth-place occupant is changing, with ESPN betting on the Warriors, unlike the reference basketball which instead opts for Grizzlies who don’t collapse under the pressure of their pursuer.
In addition to the Blazers, Grizzlies and Warriors, each niche site sees Spurs complete play at the end of the season, at the expense of the Pelicans, who started from a very far distance.
|ESPN Predictions (Qualifier Odds)||B-REF Predictions (Qualifying Chances)|
|1. Jazz (100%)||1. Jazz (100%)|
|2- The Sun (100%)||2- The Sun (100%)|
|3. Clippers (100%)||3. Clippers (100%)|
|4. Nuggets (100%)||4. Nuggets (100%)|
|5- Lakers (99.7%)||5. Lakers (98.8%)|
|6- Mavericks (96.0%)||6- Mavericks (96.8%)|
|7. Blazer (76.0%)||7- Blazer (73.2%)|
|8- Warriors (65.1%)||8- Grizzlies (66.3%)|
|9- Grizzlies (45.0%)||9- Warriors (40.5%)|
|10- Spurs (15.1%)||10- Spears (22.2%)|
|11- Pelicans (2.8%)||11. Pelicans (2.3%)|
Calendar difficulty (according to tankathon)
|Team/Remaining Matches||toughest opponents|
|Tottenham / 11||Jazz x2, Suns x2, Nets, Sixers|
|jackets / 10||Jazz, Suns, Nets, Nuggets, Lakers, Hawks|
|Nuggets / 10||Jazz, Nets, Clippers, Lakers, Knicks, Blazers|
|suns / 10||Jazz, Lakers, Knicks, Blazers, Hawks, Tottenham|
|Lakers/10||Suns, Clippers, Nuggets, Knicks, Blazers|
|swans/10||Sixers, Lakers, Mavericks, Grizzlies, Warriors x2|
|Jazz / 10||Suns, Nuggets, Blazers, Tottenham x 2, Warriors|
|Clippers / 8||Nuggets, Lakers, Knicks|
|Warriors/10||Jazz, Suns, Grizzlies|
|Mavericks / 11||Grids, heat, grizzlies|
|Grizzlies / 11||Mavericks and Knicks Warriors|