NBA Playoffs: Dramatic season end will determine 11 seeds and all series pairings

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - DECEMBER 23:(EDITORS NOTE: Image has been converted to black and white.) Donovan Mitchell
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - DECEMBER 23:(EDITORS NOTE: Image has been converted to black and white.) Donovan Mitchell /
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OKC Thunder, NBA Playoffs
HOUSTON, TX – APRIL 7: Russell Westbrook /

Wild West Update:

Tuesday Movers and Shakers:

The biggest news from Tuesday night highlighted two teams functioning at seemingly opposite speeds. Granted, for the Golden State Warriors reaching the weekend as healthy as possible was definitely the priority. That said, there is something to be said for momentum. No squad wants the bad taste of a 40 point differential to carry forward.  If there was one squad who can likely shake off  ‘the sky is falling‘ narrative it would be the Warriors.

Still, this can’t be an ideal situation for Steve Kerr as his Warriors deal with a number of other issues like a regressing defense and arguably their worst closing stretch in over five seasons.

In their last 17 games the Warriors are 7-10 and have just a single victory over a playoff team (yes the OKC Thunder) in this segment. Moreover, the Warriors who lost Steph Curry for the first round at a minimum have graver concerns. Over the past 10 games Golden State rank 27th defensively.

Sure, they still have three bonafide All-Stars and can’t be underestimated. Still, this squad has looked far more ‘gettable’ than any time in the past five seasons.

Dark horse Jazz:

Conversely. the Utah Jazz arrive at finale night sitting in third and with one of the most impressive plot lines of the past month. Consider the fact the Portland Trail Blazers clinched their playoff ticket on April 1st.  In hindsight, Portland may be asking if it was an April Fool’s Day joke. This because at the time Portland clinched the Jazz sat in tenth.

Like the two recent victories over the Warriors the Jazz have dispensed of a slew of squads as they jettisoned their way up the west ladder. In fact, since the Blazers clinched they haven’t won and the Jazz haven’t lost.  More on the Jazz below.

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Image and video hosting by TinyPic /

On the next slide take a scan of the four west games that matter and which seeds each seed can land in.