The 2017-18 NBA season wraps up this Thursday but a bunch of the playoffs seeding are still up in contention, particularly in the Western Conference! See our preview and tips for the key games in Tuesday’s 9 game slate below.
Both the Thunder and the Heat are yet to be locked into playoff spot with two games each to play. The Thunder can climb as high as fourth in the Western Conference with a good finish to the season while the Heat currently sit in sixth place but could possibly drop as low as eighth. They will both be desperate for w in to avoid the powerhouse teams in their respective conferences in the first round.
The Thunder have won just five of their last 10 games but are coming off a great win in Houston on Sunday. Paul George, Carmelo Anthony and Russel Westbrook all had at least 22 points in that game, as the Thunder look to finalise their rotation before the playoffs begin. They are as healthy right now as they have been all season, only missing Andre Robinson from their best possible unit.
Miami are coming off a really disappointing loss to New York on Saturday in which they were smashed by the Knicks by 24 points. They’ll be back home for this clash but haven’t looked right recently with star centre Hassan Whiteside playing just 18 mins in the loss to New York. OKC start as 3-point favourites here and we think they cover comfortably.
Denver remain in a tight battle for a spot in the Western Conference playoffs. They currently sit ninth but with a good finish to the season can climb as high as fifth. They have won their last five games in a row to give themselves a chance at it and seven of their last ten. Their last two games will be tough, however, as they face Portland and Minnesota.
Portland’s run over the past few months has afforded them the advantage of currently sitting in third place in the Western Conference, one game clear of the trailing pack of six teams. They’ll also have two tough games to come though, and if they lose both they could fall as low as seventh place.
Denver start as four-point favourites here at home and rightly so after their hot form of late. Portland have lost their last three games in t row to re-enter the Western Conference playoff seeding battle and we think they lose another away from home here.
Another massive game in the context of the Western Conference playoffs here as the Pelicans travel to LA to take on the Clippers. LA might be eliminated for the playoff race but the Pelicans are still right in the thick of it. They currently sit in 5th place in the Western Conference and have won their last three games in a row on the back of some great Anthony Davis performances.
New Orleans can potentially jump to third spot in the Western Conference with a good finish to the season and they are the only team in the league with three games still to play.
With not much to play for anymore, the Clippers could start icing players for their remaining two games, and Lou Williams, Austin Rivers and Danilo Gallinari are already in doubt for the clash. We think the Pels cover here with a lot to play for.
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