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BBNBA: Western Conference Playoff Seeding is Tightening

Andrew D. Bernstein | NBAE via Getty Images

(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Good morning, folks. The Lakers are really going to waste an entire season of LeBron James. Ha! Let’s talk NBA.

RECAP

[13-51] Knicks – 108 @ [32-31] Kings – 113

  • The Sacramento Kings still have hope to end their 13-year playoff drought after taking care of the New York Knicks at home. With a current record of 32-31 and 19 games to go, the Kings are still three games back of the San Antonio Spurs for the final playoff spot out West. De’Aaron Fox posted 16 points, four rebounds, three assists, and four steals for Sacramento while Willie Cauley-Stein added nine points, seven rebounds, five assists, and two steals. The Kings will take on the Celtics this Wednesday then go on a four-game Eastern Conference road trip that could decide its playoff chances. Realistically, the Kings need to win around 13 or 14 more games down the stretch – and the Spurs/Clippers need to drop a few games they shouldn’t – but hope is not dead yet.
  • Kevin Knox scored 11 points on 4-6 shooting to go along with three rebounds for the Knicks.

[37-29] Clippers – 113 @ [30-34] Lakers – 105

  • While the Kings still have optimism they can make the playoffs, the Lakers might as well pack up the rest of the season. After falling to the Clippers – who is now a half-game ahead of the Spurs, sitting in seventh place currently – the Lakers would have to win damn near every game the rest of the way. With LeBron James, normally completing a task like that feels possible, but not this season. Now four games under .500 and the injuries beginning to pile up, there isn’t much this roster can do, even with LeBron. No offense to Rajon Rondo – who was played incredibly well the last few weeks – but he can’t be relied on to drop triple-doubles consistently as he did against the Clippers (Rondo posted 24 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 assists). I was incredibly confident a few weeks ago that LeBron could drag this garbage truck of a roster into the playoffs, but not even “Playoff Mode” LeBron can navigate through this filth.

  • The Clippers, however, continue to roll despite trading away Tobias Harris before the trade deadline. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander contributed 14 points and four assists for L.A. He also blocked LeBron.

Other notes

  • Julius Randle led the BBNBA in scoring with 30 points on 10-23 shooting to go along with eight rebounds and five assists for the New Orleans Pelicans. Anthony Davis played only the first three quarters (except for checking in for the final defensive play of the game that ultimately helped seal the Pellies a win over the Utah Jazz), but still registered 15 points and 11 rebounds in 22 minutes. Darius Miller went 3-6 from the field for seven points in addition to four rebounds and two assists as the Pelicans won its third straight game. Seriously, this situation is still crazy.

  • Eric Bledsoe and the Milwaukee Bucks lost a shocker to the Phoenix Suns behind 22 points, five rebounds, and seven assists from Devin Booker. Bledsoe added 15 points, five rebounds, and five assists for Milwaukee, but a fourth-quarter comeback from the Suns surprised the Bucks down the stretch.

  • Lastly, Jamal Murray went for 25 points in a close loss against the San Antonio Spurs. He shot 8-19 from the field and dished out eight dimes in the process.

  • Check out the rest of the stats below.

STATISTICS

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Julius Randle (NOP)115-112 W @ UTA3010-23 (0-2)85210+1738
Jamal Murray (DEN)103-104 L @ SAS258-19 (6-10)28104+728
Rajon Rondo (LAL)105-113 L vs. LAC2410-18 (4-10)1012105+138
Devin Booker (PHX)114-105 W vs. MIL228-18 (2-4)57104+1439
De'Aaron Fox (SAC)115-108 W vs. NYK165-12 (1-2)43402+1132
Eric Bledsoe (MIL)105-114 L @ PHX155-15 (0-6)55103-829
Anthony Davis (NOP)115-112 W @ UTA157-14 (1-1)113331-122
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (LAC)113-105 W @ LAL145-9 (1-2)14020-124
Kevin Knox (NYK)108-115 L @ SAC114-6 (1-1)30200-621
Bam Adebayo (MIA)114-113 W vs. ATL93-6 (0-1)63002-220
Willie Cauley-Stein (SAC)115-108 W vs. NYK93-8 (0-0)75200+525
Darius Miller (NOP)115-112 W @ UTA73-6 (1-4)42000024
Alex Poythress (ATL)113-114 L @ MIA61-6 (0-1)60011+1621
Jarred Vanderbilt (DEN)103-104 L @ SASDNP-CD----------------
Trey Lyles (DEN)103-104 L @ SASDNP-Hamstring----------------

TONIGHT IN THE NBA

7:00: Bulls @ Pacers

7:00: Magic (Briscoe) @ 76ers

8:00 (TNT): Rockets (Jones) @ Raptors (Meeks)

8:00: Trail Blazers (Kanter, Labissiere) @ Grizzlies

8:00: Thunder (Diallo, Noel, Patterson) @ Timberwolves (Towns)

10:30 (TNT): Celtics @ Warriors (Cousins)

Article written by Zack Geoghegan

Covering all things NBA. Follow me on Twitter: @ZackGeoghegan

6 Comments for BBNBA: Western Conference Playoff Seeding is Tightening



  1. DelrayCat
    11:05 am March 5, 2019 Permalink

    Its a bit of a tell tale sign that Golden State resigned Andrew Bogut for the playoff run. It leads me to believe that they think cousins may not be a good fit. He really slows them down offensively… Not that Bogut really doesn’t… But cousins gets crushed in a pick-and-roll for a team that switches everything and everybody is keying on him. Personally I don’t think they will win it this year… That team is not nearly as good as they have been. This will be hands-down the best playoffs we’ve seen in a long time… There are at least eight teams or more that could win it all.



    • bigbluebanana
      12:45 pm March 5, 2019 Permalink

      Idk, I disagree. Full disclosure, I’m almost as big of a Warriors fan as I am a UK fan. I’ve followed them religiously since Don Nelson was the coach. They’ve essentially kept rights on Bogut since he left. This is more of getting Cousins more relief.



    • bigbluebanana
      12:52 pm March 5, 2019 Permalink

      Also, I still do t think there’s a team in the NBA that can take Golden State to 7, let alone beat them. They are the real deal. That one year Cleveland beat them was totally because they got too arrogant and took their foot off the gas and by the time they realized it, Lebron had turned into the second coming! They learned big time from that.



    • DelrayCat
      2:20 pm March 5, 2019 Permalink

      The thing with GS is their defense has slipped tremendously this year. They used to be one of the best…now in the middle of the pack according to the experts. Green is not performing at his normal level and they have slowly lost some key bench pieces over the years. They are incredible on offense, but if they go down it will be because they can’t consistently stop teams and go on huge runs like they’ve been used to.



  2. Smyrna_Cat
    11:59 am March 5, 2019 Permalink

    “LeBron could drag this garbage truck of a roster into the playoffs.”

    Constantly being “snarky” is not really a writing style, you know? If you are going to actually “write” a section on the NBA, why don’t you actually make an effort and THINK about what is going on and write about that. The problem with the Lakers isn’t there “garbage truck of a roster” … I expect it is as good if not better than some of the Cav rosters. The problem is that they don’t play as a team, don’t seem to make much of an effort on D, and try to outscore the other team with difficult, highlight-worthy shots that sometimes go in but often miss. This seems to be a “showtime” team without the showtime talent and competitive spirit. LeBron has not played all that well, either. Sure his stats are pretty good, but he is taking LOTS of tough shots (and missing), and making far too many mistakes. The Lakers seemed to spend too much time trying to trade all of their players rather than build a team. Watching them last night, I never got a feeling they would pull this out. They were playing for their playoff lives, yet were just haphazard and seemed to focus more on “getting theirs” than helping the team win. It was a pretty sad display.



    • Parker_UKFanNC
      1:58 pm March 5, 2019 Permalink

      Because they spend too much time trying to trade all their players, that’s why they are a garbage truck of a roster. It’s essentially a bunch of young players and a few veterans. The roster was made to get Lebron and another star but they never got the other star. I don’t mind the writing style either. It’s his and if you don’t care for it you can read elsewhere.