Community Shootaround: Western Conference Playoff Picture

Entering the 2019/20 season, eight teams were widely considered the frontrunners to claim the playoff spots in the Western Conference. Through the season’s first month, five of those clubs have delivered on their promise — the Lakers, Clippers, Rockets, Nuggets, and Jazz look like pretty safe bets to make the postseason.

However, the other three clubs from that group have won just 13 games combined so far, and will have to dig themselves out of an early-season hole if they hope to make the playoffs.

With Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson out long-term due to injuries, and Draymond Green, D’Angelo Russell, and Kevon Looney also battling health issues, the Warriors‘ postseason chances appear all but dead. They have the worst record in the conference so far at 3-13, and there’s little reason to expect them to improve anytime soon.

The Trail Blazers and especially the Spurs haven’t been bitten by the injury bug to the same extent that Golden State has, but both clubs are off to disappointing starts too, with matching 5-10 records to date.

With those three presumed playoff teams near the bottom of the standings so far, the Mavericks (9-5), Suns (7-6), and Timberwolves (8-7) currently fill out the West’s top eight, and the Kings (6-7) are just one game out of the postseason picture. The Thunder, Grizzlies, and Pelicans (all 5-9) aren’t entirely out of the mix yet either.

It’s still very early, so there’s time for teams like Portland and San Antonio to bounce back and make a run. And it remains to be seen if clubs like Phoenix and Minnesota can sustain their early success. But it suddenly looks like there could be a pretty wide-open race for the last couple playoff seeds in the West — or for the last three spots, if you’re not fully in on Luka Doncic and the Mavs, or one of the conference’s other top teams.

What do you think? After what you’ve seen over the last month, are you ready to make any predictions on which upstarts might make the playoffs in the West? Are the Mavs for real? How about the Suns and Timberwolves? Of the Blazers and Spurs, which club has the better chance to rebound?

Head to the comment section below to weigh in with your thoughts!

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14 thoughts on “Community Shootaround: Western Conference Playoff Picture

  1. krillin89

    I would have to assume the Mavs are at least “for real” enough to get at least the 8 seed. I don’t see them winning a championship, but they can hang with anyone not in the top 7 easily

  2. cleve1969

    The S.A. Spurs will make a trade or two … possibly DeRozan &/or Aldridge. Depending on who they get in return and with the young talent they have … they could still make the playoffs

  3. Tazza

    Think the Mavs are pretty safe to make the top 8, not much faith in the Suns to Wolves to keep preforming. Think the Spurs should potentially go up or down depending on a potential DeRozan or Aldridge trade. I think the Blazers will go up, they have had to adjust to a new couple teammates (Whiteside, Bazemore, Little, Melo, Hezonja, Tolliver) plus the losses of Nurkic and Collins to injury. Wouldn’t be surprised either if they made a trade

  4. Major Factuh

    Cautiously optimistic that the Mavs will challenge for more than just the 8 spot by the time it’s all said and done. Their play so far has more than exceeded what I thought they were going to do this year. I figured that this play was a year or two away; furthermore, this is being done with a ‘rusty’ KP. I’m really curious about the front office thoughts right now and what moves are being considered should they be in a striking position later this year.

  5. All Minnesota Sports

    If this version of Wiggins is for real for real and the Wolves get a better version of Treveon Graham out there then I honestly believe we hold a spot. Blazers are going to make it and the Suns fall out.

  6. IslandFlava

    So far Lakers, Denver, Dallas, Minny & San Antonio are performing at the level I expected them.
    Houston, Clips, Utah, Phoenix & Sacramento are doing better than I expected them to.
    While Portland so far has been quite disappointing.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if the top 8 now make the playoffs, only team I can see jumping in is Portland, leaving out either Phoenix or Utah.
    But probably stay as it is unless Portland wakes up sooner rather than later.

  7. x%sure

    Mavs & Wolves will replace Warriors & Blazers– the defending WC finalists!

    Kings replacing the Spurs?– next year if not this one. The Kings could still blow it.

  8. Spike4christ

    The Mavs are in. Warriors are out.
    Clippers
    Lakers
    Nuggets
    Rockets
    Jazz
    Mavericks
    Wolves
    Blazers

  9. harden-westbrook-mvps

    Dallas should round out the top six, but the final two spots are up for grabs. Golden State, OKC, and Memphis are lottery teams so that leaves six other teams fighting for the 7th and 8th seeds.

  10. david

    Dallas needs to acquire Iggy OR a drummond. To guard the likes of lebron, Kawhi, pg13, harden. And/or Jokic, AD, Clint Capela (its more to stop his crazy rebounding then actual guarding).

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