The NBA Western Conference playoff picture is shaping up to be an intriguing one this season, with several teams vying for a place in the postseason. Two teams that are currently at opposite ends of the play-in line are the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers.
The Warriors, led by two-time MVP Stephen Curry, are currently occupying the eighth and final spot in the play-in tournament. Despite losing key players such as Klay Thompson and James Wiseman to injuries, Curry has been putting up incredible numbers and leading his team to victories when it matters most. However, the Warriors need to continue their winning ways and fend off the teams below them to avoid slipping out of the postseason picture altogether.
Meanwhile, the Lakers are in danger of slipping out of the playoff race altogether. The defending champions have been hit hard by injuries this season, with superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis missing significant playing time. The Lakers have struggled to find consistency without their two stars and are currently sitting in the seventh spot in the play-in line.
Although James and Davis are expected to return soon, the Lakers cannot rely solely on them to carry the team. They will need their supporting cast to step up and contribute on both ends of the floor if they hope to make a deep playoff run.
The play-in tournament, which was introduced last season, has added a new level of excitement to the playoff picture. It gives teams that would have missed out on the postseason a chance to fight their way in, while also giving teams that have clinched a spot a chance to improve their seeding.
Currently, the teams sitting above the Warriors in the play-in line are the Portland Trail Blazers, Dallas Mavericks, and Memphis Grizzlies. The Trail Blazers have one of the league’s best backcourts in Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, while the Mavericks have one of the rising stars in Luka Doncic.
The Grizzlies, on the other hand, have been one of the surprise packages this season. Led by point guard Ja Morant, the Grizzlies have been playing some of the best basketball in the league and are looking to make their mark in the playoffs.
As the regular season enters its final stretch, the Western Conference playoff picture is sure to heat up even more. With so many talented teams vying for a spot, every game will matter in the race to the postseason. It will be interesting to see which teams rise to the occasion and which ones falter under pressure.