SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – There are eight days left in the NBA regular season, and as the playoffs approach, every game has the potential to change the final standings for the Western Conference playoffs.
With only a handful of games for each roster, the West’s top 10 teams are almost over, even if their rankings aren’t.
With that in mind, and knowing that every match will impact these teams will affect the final standings, let’s look at the The most important games left on the NBA regular season schedule each of the remaining eight nights.
(This list will be updated as the games gain and lose importance to close the season)
- x – Utah Jazz: 50-18
- x – Phoenix Suns: 48-19 – 1.5 second leg
- x – Los Angeles Clippers: 45-22 – 4.5 return games
- x – Denver Nuggets: 44-24 – 6 return games
- y – Dallas Mavericks: 39-28 – 10.5 return games
- y – Portland Trail Blazers: 39-29 – 11 return games
- y – Los Angeles Lakers: 37-30 – 12.5 return games
- Golden State Warriors: 35-33 – 15 return games
- Memphis Grizzlies: 34-33 – 15.5 second leg
- San Antonio Spurs: 32-37 – 17.5 return games
- New Orleans Pelicans: 30-37 – 19.5 return games
x – The team landed an automatic birth in the playoffs.
y – The team landed a spot in the top ten in the West.
Houston Rockets: 116 @ Utah Jazz: 124
The Utah Jazz nabbed a top two seed in the West with the victory over the Houston Rockets and took a 1.5 game lead over the Phoenix Suns with four games remaining.
Brooklyn Nets: 125 @ Denver Nuggets: 119
The Nuggets lost their last home game of the season to the Brooklyn Nets, but are wrapping up their toughest stretch to end the year after facing the New York Knicks, Jazz and Nets over a four-day span. They went 2-1 down the home stretch.
With the loss, Denver fell 1.5 games behind the third-seeded Los Angeles Clippers with four games to go.
San Antonio Spurs: 102 @ Portland Trail Blazers: 124
With the loss, the Spurs can only finish higher than the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoffs.
The Spurs are just two games ahead of the New Orleans Pelicans for last place in the play-in tournament and two games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the ninth seed.
With the win, Portland is 1.5 games ahead of the Lakers for the sixth seed with just four games remaining in the season.
Memphis Grizzlies: 109 @ Toronto Raptors: 99
With the win, the Grizzlies take a two-game lead over Spurs with just five games to go in the season.
Tonight’s Games: May 9
New York Knicks @ Los Angeles Clippers:
This is the Clippers’ last home game of the regular season before ending the year with four straight road games.
With a win, the Clippers can advance two games ahead of the Nuggets for the third seed in the West.
Phoenix Suns @ Los Angeles Lakers:
The Suns can sweep the series off the season with a win over the Lakers and move on to less than a Jazz game for the West seed.
With a loss and victory for the Clippers, the Suns would only hold a two-game lead over Los Angeles with four games to go. The Clippers own the tiebreaker in the season series.
Utah Jazz @ Golden State Warriors:
This is Jazz’s final road game against a tournament playoff or play-in team and a potential first-round NBA playoff preview.
Houston Rockets @ Portland Trail Blazers:
This is the Trail Blazers’ last game of the season against a non-four seed from the West before concluding the season on the road against the Jazz and Suns before returning home to face the Nuggets.
Dallas Mavericks @ Memphis Grizzlies:
The Mavericks would prevent the Grizzlies from being able to overtake them in the final standings with a win.
Phoenix Suns @ Golden State Warriors:
A potential preview of the NBA playoffs in the first round. The Suns would sweep away the series this season with a win.
New York Knicks @ Los Angeles Lakers:
This is the Lakers’ last game of the regular season against a team with a record wins.
Portland Trail Blazers @ Utah Jazz:
This is Jazz’s last home game of the season and their last game against a team that will make the playoffs or play-in tournament.
This game is also a potential preview of the NBA playoffs in the first round.
Portland Trail Blazers @ Phoenix Suns:
This is the Suns’ last home game of the regular season. This game is also a potential preview of the NBA playoffs in the first round.
Sacramento Kings @ Memphis Grizzlies:
This is the Grizzlies’ last home game of the regular season.
Toronto Raptors @ Dallas Mavericks:
This is the Mavericks’ last home game of the regular season.
Phoenix Suns @ San Antonio Spurs:
This is the first game in a two-game series between the Suns and Spurs to close the season and a potential preview of the NBA playoffs in the first round.
May 16: last day of the regular season
Memphis Grizzlies @ Golden State Warriors:
A potential two-team play-in tournament showdown.
Denver Nuggets @ Portland Trail Blazers:
A potential preview of the NBA playoffs in the first round.
Phoenix Suns @ San Antonio Spurs:
Game two of a two-game series between the Suns and Spurs and a potential first-round NBA playoff preview.