//Basketball
The GAME predicts where the Western Conference teams will finish for the 2023 NBA Playoffs

Here Are Our NBA Western Conference Predictions — Agree or Disagree?

With the NBA Playoffs finally approaching, here’s where we think your Western Conference team will finish in the standings.

NBA Postseason! Well, almost. With just a few games left in the regular season, we’re making our predictions as to which team ranks where once the dust settles.  To be more specific, we wanted to tell you which teams will duke it out in the play-ins and which ones qualify right away. 

So that also means that in this article, we’ve obviously already ruled out those that are already out of the playoff picture. And we also won’t be writing about the teams who are already locked in their respective seeds.

Lastly, we could be completely correct or dead wrong! Who really knows, right? But that’s why they play the games and that’s why as onlookers, we can only predict. It’s just that with the way things are shaping up, it’s almost impossible to not get your mind going and imagine scenarios in your head.

Anyway, enough disclaimers and let’s get started with the Western Conference — which is a little more exciting in terms of determining seeding as the 5th to the 11th seeds are still pretty much in the air.

12th Seed — Utah Jazz (Eliminated)
Utah Jazz
(Photo credit: Utah Jazz on Instagram)

Current record: 36-42
Projected record: 36-46
Last 4 games: vs Lakers; vs Thunder; vs Nuggets; vs. Jazz

This Jazz team did much better than anyone thought they would after they blew up their core last NBA off-season. Despite that, however, it’s still not good enough to get them into the play-in picture as they have a monster last 4 games against teams that are either as desperate as they are to win or a top-seeded one.

Maybe next year, Jazz fans? Y’all hosted the All-Star weekend anyway!

11th Seed — Oklahoma City Thunder (Eliminated)
Oklahoma City Thunder
(Photo credit: Oklahoma City Thunder on Instagram)

Current record: 38-41
Projected record: 39-43
Last 3 games: vs Warriors; vs Jazz; vs Grizzlies

As exciting as this season has been for the Thunder and their fans, it looks like the road ends here for now. Right now, they’re so desperately clinging to the 10th seed that at least gets them into the play-ins but we think they’ll fall a game short of qualifying. 

10th Seed — Dallas Mavericks
Dallas Mavericks
(Photo credit: Dallas Mavericks on Instagram)

Current record: 37-42
Projected record: 40-42
Last 3 games: vs Kings; vs Bulls; vs Spurs

As much as talks all over the NBA social media universe have been about the meltdown of the Dallas Mavericks since the trade deadline, we’re inclined to believe that they have one last push left in them to actually make it to the play-ins. With the Kings already locked in for the 3rd seed regardless of the result of their remaining games, they might just be inclined to take their foot off the pedal a little bit and instead focus their energy on facing the formidable 6th seed which we’re predicting to be the… (keep on reading to find out)

9th Seed — Minnesota Timberwolves
Minnesota Timberwolves
(Photo credit: Minnesota Timberwolves on Instagram)

Current record: 39-40
Projected record: 40-42
Last 3 games: vs Nets; vs Spurs; vs Pelicans

It’s gonna be a tough last 3 game stretch for the Wolves and we only really see them winning their game against the Spurs — and even that statement isn’t made in confidence with the way they are playing right now.  

8th Seed — New Orleans Pelicans
New Orleans Pelicans
(Photo credit: New Orleans Pelicans on Instagram)

Current record: 40-38
Projected record: 42-40
Last 4 games: vs Kings; vs Grizzlies; vs Knicks; vs. Wolves

Of the teams looking to solidify their place in the postseason, perhaps the Pelicans have one of, if not the toughest schedules. They’re going up against 3 highly-seeded playoff teams and playing a Timberwolves team that’s also fighting for their season.  They’ve gone 7-3 in their last 10 and could’ve actually won 8 straight had it not been for Steph Curry’s 39-point explosion last March 29.  The point is this team has some good things going for them and they might be able to pull out some wins to help their team’s position despite their tough schedule.

7th Seed — Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Clippers
(Photo credit: LA Clippers on Instagram)

Current record: 41-38
Projected record: 42-40
Last 3 games: vs Lakers; vs Blazers; vs. Suns

Lady luck has rarely ever been on the Clippers’ side.  With no clear timetable on Paul George’s return from his unfortunate knee injury, we see the Clippers skidding all the way down to suddenly find themselves in a play-in situation. We see them taking the game against Portland who has already elected to deactivate Damian Lillard for the remainder of the season but we also see them losing to the streaking Lakers and the stacked Suns.

6th Seed — Golden State Warriors 
Golden State Warriors 
(Photo credit: Golden State Warriors on Instagram)

Current record: 41-38
Projected record: 44-38
Last 3 games: vs Thunder; vs Kings; vs. Trail Blazers

With news of Andrew Wiggins’s return, we think that the defending champs take the W on their last 3 games. Perhaps the most interesting one to watch is their game against the Kings (as it’s a possible first-round preview), where we’re expecting the Warriors to go to that extra gear and deliver a statement through an offensive onslaught.

5th Seed — Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers
(Photo credit: LA Lakers on Instagram)

Current record: 40-38
Projected record: 44-38
Last 4 games: vs Jazz vs Clippers; vs. Suns; vs. Jazz

Just like the Pelicans, the Lakers have also gone 7-3 over their last 10 games. With Anthony Davis averaging almost 40 over the last 3 games, it seems that the Lakers have switched on the playoff mode button out of necessity.  If they continue playing the way they do, then we don’t see them dropping any of their last 4 games. Including and most especially the one against their potential first-round foes, the Phoenix Suns.

Note: In case of a tie at 44-38, the Lakers take the 5th seed over the Warriors as they hold a 3-1 regular season record against their conference rivals.

So how about it? Did your team make the cut? Do you agree or disagree? We’re gonna find out in a matter of days. But one thing is for sure, playoff fever is definitely already here!

Banner images from NBA on Twitter.


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