More than halfway through the 2018-19 NBA season, the playoff picture has started to clear up. In the current Western Conference standings, the Golden State Warriors are at the top followed by the Denver Nuggets and Oklahoma City Thunder. These are the strongest teams in the Conference and have a high chance of making it to the NBA Finals.
These three teams are likely to stay in the top spots because their records are much better than the next five teams in the conference. They also have a higher chance of increasing their winning streak.
The real battle is between the last three teams in the conference. The Utah Jazz, San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers are currently in the final playoff spots, but that might change in the final months of the season. There are many games left before the playoffs, and I think the Clippers will definitely fall to the ninth or 10th spot.
The Clippers have a tough road ahead because LeBron James is going to do everything he can to get the Los Angeles Lakers to the playoffs. On Monday, Feb. 18, SportsCenter posted on Instagram about the playoffs. The caption said, “If the playoffs started today, there would be no LeBron for the first time since 2005.”
That said, the Lakers have a decent chance of making the playoffs. The Lakers have great players, and there’s a lot of potential on the team. They have players that can execute in the fourth quarter, and James will never give up. Young star Kyle Kuzma and veteran Rajon Rondo will help propel the Lakers on their way to the postseason.
The Sacramento Kings also have a chance for a playoff push well. The Kings’ roster has strong players in almost every position in De’Aaron Fox, Alec Burks, Buddy Hield, Marvin Bagley and Kosta Koufos. Their only hole is at center, which could be a problem against the Warriors. Kevin Durant can easily overpower Marvin Bagley.
I think the Lakers will easily beat the Kings for the number eight spot because the two teams have different styles of play. The Kings are also a younger team while the Lakers have more experience. The Lakers are stronger than the Kings, and they have powerful big guys that can grab rebounds and shoot consistent shots.
I think the official outcome for the Western Conference playoffs is going to be:
- Trail Blazers