Playoff Race Update » Blazers In Fourth Going Into An Important Back-To-Back

by Casey Holdahl
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The Portland Trail Blazers have only played once game since we last looked at the Western Conference playoff picture, though that's hardly been the case for many of the teams they're jockeying with for position in the standings. While there hasn't been much movement, thanks to a game-winning putback by our old pal Wesley "Iron Man" Matthews, the Trail Blazers moved into fourth by a few percentage points with the Thunder falling to the Pacers in Indianapolis Thursday night. The Thunder are the only team in the Top 8 of the West with a losing record in their last 10 games, and their schedule is probably the most difficult of the current playoff teams, which bodes well for Portland's chances of surpassing their Northwest Division rival, though Oklahoma City does hold the tiebreaker.

While there hasn't been much movement in the Top 8 over the last five days, the last week of games has given the indication that none of the teams currently on the outside looking in are primed to make a move up the playoff table with less than a month to play in the regular season. The Kings are five games back from the 8th-seed Clippers after losing their last two games and the Timberwolves, Lakers and Pelicans seem as though they're about ready to call it a season. That could play in the Trail Blazers' favor, as they still have games left to play against all four of those teams. 

So here's where the Trail Blazers stand in the Western Conference playoff race with an important road back-to-back to play versus the Pelicans and Spurs starting Friday night in New Orleans. Also, apologies for the bevy of mistakes in the first Playoff Race Update. The document the NBA sends over is rather hard to digest -- which is why we put this post together in the first place -- and the first post is by far the most difficult to compile, but that's no excuse. This version SHOULD be correct, but if you notice any errors, please let me know. 

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS, 1ST IN THE WESTERN CONFERENCE

Overall record: 46-21 | Conference record: 28-13 | Division record: 11-3
Home record: 24-10 | Away record: 22-11 | Games back: 0

Remaining home games: 7 (3/21 vs. Pacers, 3/23 vs. Mavericks, 3/24 vs. Pistons, 3/31 vs. Hornets, 4/2 vs. Nuggets, 4/5 vs. Cavaliers, 4/7 vs. Clippers)
Remaining road games: 8 (3/16 @ Thunder, 3/18 @ Spurs, 3/19 @ Timberwolves, 3/27 @ Grizzlies, 3/29 @ Timberwolves, 4/4 @ Lakers, 4/9 @ Hornets, 4/10 @ Grizzlies)

Remaining games versus teams over .500: 6 (4 home, 2 away) 
Remaining games versus teams under .500: 9 (3 home, 6 away)

Tiebreaker: The Trail Blazers and Warriors split their season series 2-2, so the tiebreaker then moves to division winner. The Warriors currently lead the Pacific Division by 7.5 games, while the Trail Blazers are 3.5 games behind the Nuggets for the Northwest Division title. In the event that neither team wins their division, the tiebreaker then moves on to conference record. The Warriors are currently 27-13 in the Western Conference while the Trail Blazers are 21-21. 

DENVER NUGGETS, 2ND IN THE WESTERN CONFERENCE

Overall record: 45-22 | Conference record: 30-14 | Division record: 9-2
Home record: 29-6 | Away record: 16-16 | Games back: 1

Remaining home games: 8 (3/12 vs. Timberwolves, 3/14 vs. Mavericks, 3/16 vs. Pacers, 3/26 vs. Pistons, 3/31 vs. Wizards, 4/3 vs. Spurs, 4/5 vs. Trail Blazers, 4/10 vs. Timberwolves)
Remaining road games: 9 (3/18 @ Celtics, 3/21 @ Wizards, 3/22 @ Knicks, 3/24 @ Pacers, 3/28 @ Rockets, 3/29 @ Thunder, 4/2 @ Warriors, 4/7 @ Trail Blazers, 4/9 @ Jazz)

Remaining games versus teams over .500: 11 (4 home, 7 away) 
Remaining games versus teams over .500: 4 (2 home, 2 away)

Tiebreaker: The Nuggets have won the first two games of the season series versus the Trail Blazers with two games left to play (in Denver on April 5 and then two days later in Portland on April 7).

HOUSTON ROCKETS, 3RD IN THE WESTERN CONFERENCE

Overall record: 42-26 | Conference record: 23-18 | Division record: 8-5
Home record: 24-10 | Away record: 18-16 | Games back: 4.5

Remaining home games: 7 (3/15 vs. Suns, 3/17 vs. Timberwolves, 3/22 vs. Spurs, 3/28 vs. Nuggets, 3/30 vs. Kings, 4/5 vs. Knicks, 4/7 vs. Suns)
Remaining road games: 7 (3/19 @ Hawks, 3/20 @ Grizzlies, 3/24 @ Pelicans, 3/26 @ Bucks, 4/2 @ Kings, 4/3 @ Clippers, 4/9 @ Thunder)

Remaining games versus teams over .500: 5 (2 home, 3 away) 
Remaining games versus teams under .500: 9 (5 home, 4 away)

Tiebreaker: The Trail Blazers own the tiebreaker versus the Rockets by virtue of winning the season series 2-1.

PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS, 4TH IN THE WESTERN CONFERENCE 

Overall record: 41-26 | Conference record: 22-21 | Division record: 4-9
Home record: 25-9 | Away record: 16-17 | Games back: 5

Remaining home games: 7 (3/18 vs. Pacers, 3/20 vs. Mavericks, 3/23 vs. Pistons, 3/25 vs. Nets, 4/3 vs. Grizzlies, 4/7 vs. Nuggets, 4/10 vs. Kings.)
Remaining road games: 8 (3/15 @ Pelicans, 3/16 @ Spurs, 3/27 @ Bulls, 3/29 @ Hawks, 3/30 @ Pistons, 4/1 @ Timberwolves, 4/5 @ Nuggets, 4/9 @ Lakers)

Remaining games versus teams over .500: 7 (4 home, 3 away) 
Remaining games versus teams under .500: 8 (3 home, 5 away)

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER, 5TH IN THE WESTERN CONFERENCE

Overall record: 42-27 | Conference record: 25-20 | Division record: 8-6
Home record: 23-9 | Away record: 18-18 | Games back: 5

Remaining home games: 9 (3/16 vs. Warriors, 3/18 vs. Heat, 3/20 vs. Raptors, 3/27 vs. Pacers, 3/29 vs. Nuggets, 3/31 vs. Mavericks, 4/2 vs. Lakers, 4/5 vs. Pistons, 4/9 vs. Rockets)
Remaining road games: 4 (3/22 @ Raptors, 3/25 @ Grizzlies, 4/7 @ Timberwolves, 4/10 @ Bucks)

Remaining games versus teams over .500: 8 (6 home, 2 away) 
Remaining games versus teams under .500: 5 (3 home, 2 away)

Tiebreaker: The Thunder own the tiebreaker versus the Trail Blazers by virtue of sweeping the season series 4-0.

UTAH JAZZ, TIED FOR 6TH IN THE WESTERN CONFERENCE

Overall record: 39-29 | Conference record: 25-20 | Division record: 7-8
Home record: 22-12 | Away record: 19-18 | Games back: 7.5

Remaining home games: 7 (3/16 vs. Nets, 3/25 vs. Suns, 3/27 vs. Lakers, 3/29 vs. Wizards, 4/1 vs. Hornets, 4/5 vs. Kings, 4/9 vs. Nuggets)
Remaining road games: 7 (3/18 @ Wizards, 3/20 @ Knicks, 3/21 @ Hawks, 3/23 @ Bulls, 4/3 @ Suns, 4/7 @ Lakers, 4/10 @ Clippers)

Remaining games versus teams over .500: 3 (2 home, 1 away) 
Remaining games versus teams under .500: 11 (5 home, 6 away)

Tiebreaker: The Trail Blazers and Jazz split their season series 2-2, with the next tiebreaker being division winner. If neither team wins the Northwest Division, the next tiebreaker is winning percentage against division teams. The Jazz (7-8) currently have a better winning percentage in the Northwest Division than the Trail Blazers (4-9). 

SAN ANTONIO SPURS, TIED FOR 6TH IN THE WESTERN CONFERENCE

Overall record: 39-29 | Conference record: 27-19 | Division record: 9-5 Home record: 26-7 | Away record: 13-22 | Games back: 7.5

Remaining home games: 8 (3/15 vs. Knicks, 3/16 vs. Trail Blazers, 3/18 vs. Warriors, 3/20 vs. Heat, 3/28 vs. Cavaliers, 3/31 vs. Kings, 4/2 vs. Hawks, 4/10 vs. Mavericks)
Remaining road games: 6 (3/22 @ Rockets, 3/24 @ Celtics, 3/26 @ Hornets, 4/3 @ Nuggets, 4/5 @ Wizards, 4/7 @ Cavaliers)

Remaining games versus teams under .500: 5 (2 home, 3 away) 
Remaining games versus teams over .500: 9 (6 home, 3 away)

Tiebreaker: The Trail Blazers currently lead the season series versus the Spurs 2-1 with one game to play.

L.A. CLIPPERS, 8TH IN THE WESTERN CONFERENCE

Overall record: 39-30 | Conference record: 25-21 | Division record: 11-3
Home record: 20-13 | Away record: 19-17 | Games back: 8

Remaining home games: 8 (3/15 vs. Bulls, 3/17 vs. Nets, 3/19 vs. Pacers, 3/30 vs. Cavaliers, 3/31 vs. Grizzlies, 4.3 vs. Rockets, 4/5 vs. Lakers, 4/10 vs. Jazz)
Remaining road games: 5 (3/22 @ Cavaliers, 3/24 @ Knicks, 3/26 @ Timberwolves, 3/28 @ Bucks, 4/7 @ Warriors)

Remaining games versus teams over .500: 6 (4 home, 2 away) 
Remaining games versus teams under .500: 7 (4 home, 3 away)

Tiebreaker: The Trail Blazers currently lead the season series 2-1 versus the Clippers with one game to play. 

SACRAMENTO KINGS, 9TH IN THE WESTERN CONFERENCE

Overall record: 33-34 | Conference record: 17-24 | Division record: 3-11
Home record: 20-14 | Away record: 13-20 | Games back: 13

Remaining home games: 7 (3/17 Chicago, 3/19 Nets, 3/21 Mavericks, 3/23 Suns, 4/2 Rockets, 4/4 Cavaliers, 4/7 Pelicans)
Remaining road games: 8 (3/15 @ 76ers, 3/24 @ Lakers, 3/26 @ Mavericks, 3/28 @ Pelicans, 3/30 @ Rockets, 3/31 @ Spurs, 4/5 @ Jazz, 4/10 @ Trail Blazers)

Remaining games versus teams over .500: 7 (2 home, 5 away) 
Remaining games versus teams under .500: 8 (5 home, 3 away)

Tiebreaker: The season series between the Trail Blazers and Kings is tied at 1-1 with one game left to play in Portland on April 10.

MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES, 10TH IN THE WESTERN CONFERENCE

Overall record: 32-37 | Conference record: 19-24 | Division record: 5-8
Home record: 23-10 | Away record: 9-27 | Games back: 15

Remaining home games: 8 (3/19 vs. Warriors, 3.26 vs. Clippers, 3/29 vs. Warriors, 3/30 vs. 76ers, 4/1 vs. Trail Blazers, 4/5 vs. Heat, 4/7 vs. Thunder, 4/9 vs. Raptors)
Remaining road games: 5 (3/17 @ Rockets, 3/21 @ Hornets, 3/23 @ Grizzlies, 4/3 @ Mavericks, 4/10 @ Nuggets)

Remaining games versus teams over .500: 9 (7 home, 2 away) 
Remaining games versus teams under .500: 4 (1 home, 3 away)

Tiebreaker: The Trail Blazers lead the season series versus the Timberwolves 2-1 with one game left to play in Minneapolis on April 1.

LOS ANGELES LAKERS, 11TH IN THE WESTERN CONFERENCE

Overall record: 31-37 | Conference record: 21-23 | Division record: 7-6
Home record: 18-16 | Away record: 13-21 | Games back: 15.5

Remaining home games: 7 (3/22 vs. Nets, 3/24 vs. Kings, 3/26 vs. Wizards, 3/29 vs. Hornets, 4/4 vs. Warriors, 4/7 vs. Jazz, 4/9 vs. Trail Blazers)
Remaining road games: 7 (3/15 @ Pistons, 3/17 @ Knicks, 3/19 @ Bucks, 3/27 @ Jazz, 3/31 @ Pelicans, 4/2 @ Thunder, 4/5 @ Clippers)

Remaining games versus teams over .500: 9 (4 home, 5 away) 
Remaining games versus teams under .500: 5 (3 home, 2 away)

Tiebreaker: The Lakers currently lead the season series versus the Trail Blazers 2-1 with one game to play in Los Angeles on April 9.

NEW ORLEANS PELICANS, 12TH IN THE WESTERN CONFERENCE

Overall record: 30-40 | Conference record: 20-23 | Division record: 7-7
Home record: 18-15 | Away record: 12-25 | Games back: 17.5

Remaining home games: 8 (3/15 vs. Trail Blazers, 3/16 vs. Suns, 3/24 vs. Rockets, 3/26 vs. Hawks, 3/28 vs. Kings, 3/31 vs. Lakers, 4/3 vs. Hornets, 4/9 vs. Warriors)
Remaining road games: 4 (3/18 @ Mavericks, 3/20 @ Magic, 4/5 @ Suns, 4/7 @ Kings)

Remaining games versus teams over .500: 3 (3 home, 0 away) 
Remaining games versus teams under .500: 9 (5 home, 4 away)

Tiebreaker: The Trail Blazers have won the three-game season series versus the Pelicans by virtue of winning the first two meetings this season.