The Western Conference playoff race is essentially in two tiers right now. At the top, the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors are running away with the Nos. 1 and 2 seeds. After that, just four losses separate the next eight teams with fewer than 30 games remaining in the season.
Five teams — Oklahoma City, Denver, Portland, New Orleans, and the Clippers — all have 26 losses. The team that is farthest back, the Utah Jazz, is the hottest team in the NBA heading into the All-Star break having won 11 games in a row.
With eight teams vying for the final six playoff spots, two talented squads are going to miss out on the postseason. Which two? Let’s break down each of the eight, their remaining schedule strength according to PlayoffStatus.com, and the strengths and weakness of their playoff argument.