The Ultimate 2014 NBA Playoffs Race Guide: Warriors, Mavericks, Suns, Grizzlies Fight for 3 Slots in the West
By James Patrick Quizon | April 4, 2014 4:40 PM EST
With six to seven games each to play for the final four contending teams in the Western Conference, the final stretch of the NBA regular season has just got very interesting. The Memphis Grizzlies, Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns are all still alive in fighting for the final three slots—No. 6, No. 7 and No. 8--- in the tough Western Conference postseason race.
NBA: Phoenix Suns at Toronto Raptors
Of course, all four knows a loss here and there can bring them to the bubble in this battle—tough to take considering all have been in the playoff picture at some point during the season. The wild west is hard to predict as well so it doesn’t matter if they end up at 6th or 8th—getting into the postseason means a fighting chance to upset the higher seeds.
Here’s a quick look at the scenarios and schedule for the teams involved in the mad dash to be part of the playoff picture:
Battle for the West’s Final Three Slots:
6. Golden State Warriors (46-29)
7. Dallas Mavericks (45-31)
8. Memphis Grizzlies (44-31)
9. Phoenix Suns (44-31)
The Golden State Warriors beat the Dallas Mavericks, on Wednesday in what was a crucial win that put the Dubs ahead of the four-team pack. It was without a controversial ending when a Jermaine O’Neal block on Monta Ellis was ruled legit by the (incompetent) referees.
Still, the Mavericks, being the veteran team, did not let the bad call and worse loss affect them and immediately turned it around on Thursday when they defeated the Los Angeles Clippers in a close one,
That win broke a three-way tie as the Mavs improved to 45-31, now half a game ahead of the Grizzlies and Suns which shares the eighth and final spot at 44-31.
Golden State Warriors (4 home, 3 away) - SAC, UTA, DEN, @LAL, @POR, MIN, @DEN
Dallas Mavericks (45-31) - @LAL, @SAC, @UTA, SAS, PHX, @MEM
Memphis Grizzlies (3 home, 4 away) - @DEN, @SAS, MIA, PHI, @LAL, @PHX, DAL
Phoenix Suns (2 home, 5 away) - @POR, OKC, @NOP, @SAS, @DAL, MEM, @SAC
A speedy browse at the schedule suggests that the Suns will be eliminated from this race… Then again, they are the surprise team of the season so maybe they have a few tricks up their sleeves. That schedule looks like a killer though: 5 away games including match-ups with the Trail Blazers, Spurs and Mavericks! Even their home games are tough as they will be up against the Thunder and Grizzlies!
The easiest games go to the Mavericks. Dirk Nowitzki’s next three will be against scrub teams Lakers, Kings and Jazz. Similarly, the Warriors will have peanuts as well going up against the Kings, Jazz, Nuggets (twice), Lakers and Timbewolves in the final stretch.
In other words, the battle for the 8th spot will be between the Grizzlies and Suns. Curiously, they meet in their penultimate games of the season.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17: King Williem-Alexander, Queen Maxima Hold Solemn Reception Ceremony for Victims
- Jennifer Lawrence & Nicholas Hoult Allegedly Split: Mad Max Actor Cheats with Kristen Stewart & Riley Keough - Reports
- Forever Lost: Indescribable Anguish for Malaysia Airlines MH17 Families, Remains of Some Victims May Never Be Found (PHOTOS)
- Taylor Swift Named Forbes' Second Highest Paid Country Musician [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Rugby Sevens Semis & Finals Live Stream, Schedule & Results – Commonwealth Games 2014
- A Beautiful Distraction: 5 Things You Need to Know About Sabina Altynbekova
- Boxing News 2014: 50 Cent Hits Mayweather Over Money Deal, Mocks Boxer in Instagram for Losing GF to Nelly
- Commonwealth Games 2014 Live Stream: Men’s & Women’s 100m Final, Athletics Schedule & Results Day 2
- Maria Sharapova Overtaken by Eugenie Bouchard in Poll of Sexiest Women in Tennis
- Apple iPhone 6 on Two Confirmed Release Dates, New Parts Leaked Suggesting Bigger iPhone to Come
- Google Nexus 6, 8 with Android L on Release Date Promises Killer Mobile Device Experience
- iPhone 6 Release Date Relevance to iOS Newbies: Specs Meaning, Price Considerations
- Xiaomi Mi4 vs OnePlusOne vs Nexus 5: Mi4 is the ‘Perfect’ Phone
- HTC One M8 Android 4.4.3 KitKat Update Roll Out, Introducing the HTC One Remix
- The Pirate Bay Releases ‘The Mobile Bay’: Mobile Torrent Download Made Easier but Remains Illegal
- Shocking Video of Pedigree Dog Culling in Bali Emerges [Video]