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Mar 20, 2018

Wild West Playoff And Fantasy Preview 3/19/2018

For those of you who stopped paying attention to the NBA during the first two rounds of March Madness, you may be surprised by a few things with the NBA standings. For the first time in a while, there seems to be some space possibly forming between the 9th spot and the coveted 8th spot in the West. For the past month or so the West has been an absolute dogfight from spots four through ten, but now two games separate the Clippers in the tenth spot and Timberwolves in the 8th spot. While this does not sound like a major gap, with just over ten games left in the season, it means every game feels like a must-win for the Clippers. While the Clippers have a great chance to make up a game on Tuesday when they play the Timberwolves in Minnesota, they have a tough stretch of games this week. They have to head to Milwaukee to take on a tough Bucks team the very next night, and then they play the Pacers on the road on Friday.  

The Nuggets sit in the 9th spot in the West a game and a half out of a playoff spot. The Nuggets play a very beatable Bulls team on Wednesday, then have a much more difficult game against the Wizards on Friday. Just like the Clippers, these games carry a very heavy feeling of being must win if they want to eclipse that 8th seed come playoff time. The Nuggets have lost two big games against very beatable teams in the Grizzlies and the Lakers over the last week. A big reason for those losses is the fact that their leading scorer, Gary Harris, is out with a knee injury. Harris should be returning soon, which is important for the Jazz and fantasy basketball players, as Harris is averaging over 17 points and nearly 30 fantasy points this season. 

Elsewhere in the West the Spurs who are on the border of playoff contention have a very tough upcoming week. After playing the battered Warriors on Monday night, they play the Wizards on Wednesday and then a huge game against the Jazz on Friday. Look for Aldridge to possibly have a big week, his 3rd highest fantasy score this year came against the Jazz when he put up 54.5 fantasy points and his 4th highest total came against Golden State when he put up 54.4 fantasy points. The Spurs have won three straight heading into Monday after dropping eight of ten, and are now locked up with the Pelicans and the Jazz with a 40-30 record. 

The West is as wild as ever in the NBA right now and every day this week brings us big games that have huge playoff repercussions. It’s also interesting to note the Wizards and Pacers play in a few of these big games this week. While they have their playoff spots secured in the East, they both can fall anywhere between the 3rd and 6th spots over the next ten games, so they won’t be laying off anything. So while you play the daily fantasy contests with Draftboard, take some time to watch the real-life drama unfold as well, it’s almost as exciting as the fantasy drama.

Dan Quinn