Mar 16, 2018


The NBA season is winding down and the playoff standings are far from set. For teams in the midst of the madness, every game has a playoff feel. The San Antonio Spurs had dropped nine out of eleven games before their back to back wins this week. They beat the Magic handily on Tuesday 108-72. Nikola Vucevic and Jonathan Simmons were the only two Magic players to reach double digits in the game, scoring ten points each. The Spurs followed up that stellar defensive effort with a big win over the Pelicans on Thursday. The Spurs now sit in the eighth spot but only hold a one-game lead over the Clippers and Nuggets. Elsewhere in the west, the Utah Jazz have climbed their way into a playoff spot. The Jazz have been one of the hottest teams in the second half of the season. They’ve won 20 of their last 22 games including two major beatdowns this week. They beat the Pistons by 31 on Tuesday then took care of a weak Phoenix Suns team on Thursday by 28. Rookie sensation Donovan Mitchell had 41.2 fantasy points on 23 points and six rebounds. With a loss to the Rockets on Thursday, the Clippers fell down to the nine spot in the West. The Clippers have a tough stretch of games coming up, playing the Thunder, Trail Blazers, and Timberwolves back to back to back. Those games are going to be extremely important for the Clippers as they look to snag a playoff spot. 

In the East, the Raptors are running away with the number one spot. They’ve won 10 straight games and hold a five-game advantage over the Celtics. They took care of business against the Pacers, Nets, and Knicks this week. In the Nets game, D’Angelo Russell hit seven threes in the first quarter. However, D’Angelo cooled off quickly and only scored seven more points in the next three quarters and the Raptors ran away with a 14 point victory. Their win against the Pacers on Thursday was only the Pacers second loss in eight games as they have surpassed the Cavs in the standings. The Pacers face off against the Wizards on Saturday which is a big Eastern Conference matchup between the third and fifth seed teams. The Wizards trail the Pacers by a game with the Cavs sandwiched a half game in between them. With the tightness of the conference, a few losses can take a team from the third spot to the eighth spot quick. 

Big news came out of Golden State this week as they found out they will miss Klay Thompson for two weeks with a fractured thumb. This is compounded on top of the injury to Curry and a few other injured bench players. The door may be closing on the Warriors shot at the number one spot. They need the Rockets to drop at least 3 of their last 14 which may be a lot to expect out of Houston. Most importantly for the Warriors is that they get healthy before the playoffs.

Dan Quinn