- Five teams are fighting for eighth and final place in the Western Conference playoffs – the Memphis Grizzlies, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs and New Orleans Pelicans.
- Only five games or less separate the teams and the Pelicans, the weakest of the teams in the standings, have the best statistical chances of qualifying for the playoffs.
- With 44 days to go before the playoffs, here is an overview of the playoff photos from the five teams and how they can qualify for the playoffs.
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With the NBA playoffs just 44 days away, perhaps the best race in the league is blocking the teams competing for the eighth seed in the Western Conference.
On Thursday, five teams compete for eighth and final place in the Western Conference playoffs – the Memphis Grizzlies (currently eighth), the Portland Trail Blazers, the Sacramento Kings, the San Antonio Spurs and the New Orleans Pelicans.
Currently, only five games separate the five teams. In a twist, 538 gives the Pelicans, who are at the bottom of the group, the best chance of qualifying for the playoffs.
Here’s an overview of each of the five teams, their remaining schedule strength (via Tankathon.com), playoff odds and what needs to go right to qualify for the playoffs.