Inside the Jazz, Rockets, & Mavericks Last Five Games
By Isaac Harris
The race for the final couple of playoff spots in the West is a heated race. What does the final five games for the Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, and Utah Jazz look like?
At the time of this writing, the Mavericks and Jazz are currently tied with a 39-38 record, while the Rockets are just a game back in the 9th spot with a 38-39 record.
For the past week, the Mavericks have found themselves as the hottest team winning four straight games heading into their huge matchup with Houston on Wednesday night. For the Rockets, they are coming off a big win against the Thunder and look forward to gaining ground on the Mavs after Wednesday. The Jazz have won four out of their last five with the only loss being an overtime loss to the Warriors.
You can even keep in mind the two teams above them with the Memphis Grizzlies and Portland Trail Blazers. The Grizzlies are just two games ahead of the Mavericks while the Blazers are a game and a half. With the Grizzlies notably short handed and Portland still needing to play OKC, both teams could change in the standings.
But with just over a week to go in the NBA season, here is a look at each of the Rockets, Jazz, and Mavericks final five games that will determine the playoff seedings.
Los Angeles Lakers
*To be frank, Houston has a cake walk to finish out the season. After Dallas, they play four of the worst teams in the league with a real shot at finishing the season on a five game winning streak.
*The matchup with Dallas on Wednesday is a huge game for both teams for obvious reasons.
*The best bet for a Houston loss in their last four games would be the game against Sacramento, but even that is a stretch as each of those teams will be looking to increase their draft pick odds.
Los Angeles Clippers
@Los Angeles Lakers
*The Jazz has an interesting last couple of games starting with San Antonio tonight. Spurs are still playing their starters, but you never know who will play.
*The Clippers are interesting as they seem locked into the fourth seed, but they just welcomed Blake Griffin back and look to get him in playoff shape before the postseason.
*The Dallas game could make or break Utah for the playoffs and will be a playoff type of game that night.
*Even the Lakers game will be interesting as it will be Kobe’s last game (and at home) where the Lakers will try to send Kobe off right.
@Los Angeles Clippers
*Dallas is the only team to face both of the teams they are fighting with in the final five games. The Houston game is big, but the Utah game next week will be even bigger.
*Memphis will be an interesting game as the Grizzlies are struggling to hold on to the 5th spot without Conley and Gasol.
*With San Antonio locked into the 2nd seed, you can’t imagine they will be playing any of their main players in the last game of the season. Playing the Spurs at this point in the season could be a blessing in disguise for the Mavs.
Next: Wes Playing Good at the Best Time
Nobody can predict what will happen over the next week, but it should be fun at least. Houston should be all but locked into the playoffs with Utah and Dallas battling it out. Don’t forget the Blazers and Grizzlies also as they could slip down in the standings also.
The 5th through 8th seeds in the Western Conference is all but wide open.