Latest standings, points, projections and more (12th March 2023)

The NBA West playoff picture is still unclear. Each team has about 15 games left in the 2022-23 season, but 13 out of 15 teams in the conference have a chance of making the playoffs.

The league’s play-in system allows teams with the 10th-best record in each conference to advance to the playoffs. Because of this, it will take at least 10 more games to get a better grasp of the playoff picture.

This article takes a look at the current state of the Western Conference. We’ll also see which teams have the best chance of advancing to the playoffs.

The West playoff picture is still very unclear in the NBA

As of March 12, only the Denver Nuggets have a clear lead over their opponents. The Nuggets are currently 46-21, 5.5 games ahead of the Sacramento Kings and Memphis Grizzlies.

These three teams will likely finish as the top three seeds in the West. The Grizzlies have the second-lightest remaining schedule of the season, which should stand them in their favour. However, they will have to go at least two more games without Ja Morant.

Memphis and Sacramento battle it out for the second seed in the West (Image via Getty Images)

The Phoenix Suns, currently fourth in the conference, are just 3.5 games clear of the top play-in spot. In fact, the playoff picture in the west is so complicated that 10 teams are separated within just five games.

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So far, only the San Antonio Spurs and the Houston Rockets have been eliminated from the playoffs. Every other team has a chance to make it to the postseason, which is why every single game counts.

The West playoff picture is very complicated (Image via Getty Images)

Here is the West ranking as of March 12:

position team Record games afterwards
#1 Denver nuggets 46-21
#2 Sacramento Kings 40-26 5.5
#3 Memphis Grizzlies 40-26 5.5
#4 Phoenix Suns 37-30 9
#5 LA Clippers 36-33 11
#6 Warriors of the Golden State 35-33 11.5
#7 Minnesota Timberwolves 34-34 12.5
#8th Dallas Mavericks 34-34 12.5
#9 LA Lakers 33-34 13
#10 Utah jazz 33-35 13.5
#11 Pelicans from New Orleans 32-35 14
#12 OKC Thunder 32-35 14
#13 Portland Trail Blazer 31-36 15

The Nuggets have a clear lead for first place, while the Kings and Grizzlies will be fighting for second place. Almost every other seat in the conference is up for grabs.

West Playoff Image Projections

The Phoenix Suns have the second-toughest schedule going into the end of the season and may fall out of the West playoff picture. They’ll be without Kevin Durant for a few more weeks, so it shouldn’t be surprising if they drop to seventh or eighth place.

The LA Clippers, on the other hand, have one of the simplest schedules. This is also the case with the LA Lakers, who have the third simplest remaining plan. Despite the absence of LeBron James, the Lakers will likely remain in the playoff picture.

Anthony Davis did a great job in LeBron’s absence (Image via Getty Images)

The Utah Jazz, currently bottom of the play-in ranks, have the toughest schedule of the season. With 15 games remaining, they will likely fall behind in the standings. The jazz can be topped by OKC Thunder or New Orleans Pelicans.

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The play-in situation in the west is going to be very interesting. While it’s hard to predict who will compete in the tournament, we expect to see the Lakers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Golden State Warriors and the team that surpassed the Jazz.


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