With the NBA season finally back, the 22 teams in Orlando have eight games to play before the playoffs. This gives an opportunity for teams to rise up, or fall down in the playoff seeding.
What’s been mainly focused on are teams outside of the playoffs looking in, but what many haven’t thought of is the chance for teams who are already in the playoffs to jump up and gain home court advantage, whoever that may be.
But to me what is most interesting about the next eight games is how close the western conference is. The Mavericks are currently in the 7th seed at 40-27, right ahead are the Thunder & Rockets at 40-24, and ahead of them are the Jazz at 41-23.
With these teams so close in the standings, any of them could fall or jump.
Even if the standings are close, that isn’t quite enough to say the Mavs may jump up, but what sells it for me is their schedule. The Mavs play the Rockets, Suns, Kings, Clippers, Bucks, Jazz, Blazers, and Suns. Dallas should win at least five of these games, but all of these games are winnable.
Compared to the other competitors, Dallas has the easiest schedule.
OKC plays UTAH, DEN, LAL, MEM, WAS, PHO, MIA, LAC.
Houston plays DAL, MIL, POR, LAL, SAC, SAS, IND, PHI.
Utah plays NOLA, OKC, LAL, MEM, SAS, DEN, DAL, SAS.
So, if Dallas can overachieve while their competitors underachieve, they may be able to jump up in the standings and avoid playing either LA team in the first round.