Checking in on every playoff and play-in race as final week of season begins

Denver Nuggets v Oklahoma City Thunder
Denver Nuggets v Oklahoma City Thunder / Joshua Gateley/GettyImages
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Western Conference 6-10

This has been one of the craziest races all season, and no matter how it plays out, we are going to end up with an incredible Western Conference Play-In Tournament. But one of these teams will be lucky enough to escape the play-in altogether and secure the 6 seed. The others will still be desperately battling to avoid the 9/10 game, and to host as many games as possible. The stakes here are extremely high.

6. Phoenix Suns 46-32

7. New Orleans Pelicans 46-32

8. Sacramento Kings 45-33

9. Los Angeles Lakers 45-34

10. Golden State Warriors 43-35

All of these teams had massive expectations and ambitions coming into the season and the fact that two of them will miss out on the playoffs completely is nuts (and speaks to how good and deep the West is). It’s even wilder to think the two teams at the bottom of the postseason race, the Lakers and Warriors, are two of the teams with the most championship pedigree in the entire league.

This will be wild to watch down the stretch and we are going to see these teams fighting for their lives. I’d imagine every game from here on out will basically be treated like the playoffs and those single-elimination games next week should be incredible.