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Permutations & predictions for the 2023 Western Conference Playoffs with 70 games played

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Predicting the NBA Western Conference Playoff Picture in 2023 has never been this tricky.

There are only 10 games left for the teams, but the difference between the 4th seed and the 11th seed in the West is just defined by four losses. There’s no doubt that predictions for NBA Playoff standings in the next couple of weeks will be wild.

NBA Western Conference Playoff picture 2023

Having said that, let’s look at the current positioning of the West teams in the standings, and make predictions for the NBA Western Conference Playoff Picture in 2023.

Eliminated teams

Houston Rockets (18 wins, 54 losses)

As expected, the Rockets struggled right from the get-go and the losses kept on piling up. Internal issues regarding players’ effort and winning desire piled on more problems to their lost season.

The good news is that they’re one of the the frontrunners in the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes.


San Antonio Spurs (19 wins, 52 losses)

A career-best season from Keldon Johnson couldn’t mask the lack of depth and talent in the Spurs’ roster.

They have some things to look forward to next season, including the potential of landing Wembanyama and the continuous growth of Jeremy Sochan.

Outside looking in

Portland Trail Blazers (31 wins, 40 losses)

Damian Lillard has been a scoring wonder this season but the Blazers’ abysmal defense is causing them to lose tons of games.

They have lost six straight, and 11 of their last 14 contests. Next up in their schedule is a matchup against the Utah Jazz, a team that is also desperate to cling onto a play-in spot.

New Orleans Pelicans (34 wins, 37 losses)

The injury to star forward Zion Williamson was a bummer, especially with how well the Pelicans played with him on the floor.


The Pels still have the opportunity to salvage their season, starting with two winnable games against the Spurs and the Charlotte Hornets.

Los Angeles Lakers (35 wins, 37 losses)

There’s still no timetable for the return of the injured LeBron James, but the Lakers are doing just enough to stay in the playoff hunt.

Anthony Davis and the rest of the Lakers squad need to at least win half of their remaining ten games to at least compete in the Play-In Tournament.

Current Play-In teams

Utah Jazz (35 wins, 36 losses)

Despite trading veteran starting guard Mike Conley Jr. before the trade deadline, the Jazz are still holding down the fort.

The continuous stellar play of Lauri Markkanen, along with inspired performances from their rookies Walker Kessler and Ochai Agbaji, keeps them afloat. Utah is getting into groove at the right time, winning three of their last four games.

Oklahoma City Thunder (35 wins, 36 losses)

Following the season-ending injury to prized rookie Chet Holmgren, many people anticipated that the Thunder will be content as a lottery team.

But the All-Star caliber play of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is steering them to a potential playoff appearance. Their upcoming four-game road trip against the Clippers, Lakers, and Blazers could make or break their season.

Minnesota Timberwolves (36 wins, 37 losses)

Star big man Karl-Anthony Towns has only played 21 games this season, but the Wolves are still in contention for a playoff ticket.

Their recent win against the New York Knicks snapped their three-game losing skid, but they face a vital stretch in the form of a three-game road trip against the Warriors, Kings, and Suns.

Dallas Mavericks (36 wins, 36 losses)

Luka Doncic may be coming back soon from an injury layoff, but the damage has already been dealt.

They have lost 10 of their last 15 games, and dropped to a play-in spot in the West. They have two upcoming winnable games against the Charlotte Hornets, but their March 22 matchup against the Warriors will be pivotal.

Current Playoff teams

Golden State Warriors (37 wins, 36 losses)

The Warriors finally ended their long drought on the road with a win against the Rockets. Still, it doesn’t hide the fact that they lost eight of their last 11 games.

But there’s a piece of good news for Dubs fans: Steph Curry is back.

Los Angeles Clippers (38 wins, 34 losses)

The Clippers’ loaded roster should be winning more games, but they’re getting their act together real fast.

The Clips have won six of their last seven games, and they’re flaunting a fully healthy roster at this crucial stretch of the season.

Phoenix Suns (38 wins, 33 losses)

We might have to wait for the playoffs to get more glimpse of the Kevin Durant-led Suns squad, that is if they could win more games and hold on to the fourth seed.

Upcoming games against the Lakers and Kings will be crucial.

Sacramento Kings (43 wins, 28 losses)

Arguably the most surprisingly good team this season, the Kings might be peaking at the best time.

They have won 11 of their last 14 games, including that high-scoring double overtime victory over the Clippers.

Memphis Grizzlies (44 wins, 27 losses)

We’re still unsure of the exact date of Ja Morant’s return, but the Grizzlies are doing well in their star’s absence.

Jaren Jackson Jr. and the Grizzlies have won six of their last seven games, with the only loss coming at the hands of the Miami Heat.

Denver Nuggets (48 wins, 24 losses)

Nikola Jokic is still at his best, and this time he has a fully healthy supporting cast.

With ten games left on their schedule, the Nuggets should be able to hold on to the first spot and top everyone’s Western Conference postseason permutations.

Predictions for NBA Western Conference Playoff picture in 2023

  • (1) Nuggets versus (8) Mavericks
  • (4) Suns versus (5) Clippers
  • (3) Grizzlies versus (6) Warriors
  • (2) Kings versus (7) Lakers

Play-In Explained

The teams 7th to 10th in the Western Conference standings will go into the Play-In Tournament.

The 7th and 8th seeds will face off for a spot in a single-elimination, with the loser relegated to a knockout game against the 9th and 10th seed matchup winner. The winner of that game will then secure the eighth and last playoff spot in the conference.

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