Jazz, Lakers, Mavs? Who will make it?
MANILA, Philippines -- Last Friday, both the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks lost to Playoff-bound East teams. Yesterday, the Utah Jazz rallied to win against the Portland Trail Blazers. Today, the Mavs edged the Chicago Bulls while the Jazz are battling the Brooklyn Nets and the Lakers have yet to play the Sacramento Kings as of posting time.
Utah won, while LA and Dallas lost (and won again). I, for one, believe this is a foreshadowing of how things will look when the regular season ends. All three teams will finish close to each other, but, ultimately, the Jazz will advance, while both the Lakers and Mavs will fall by the wayside in the race for the final postseason ticket in the Western Conference.
For a greater appreciation of this postulate, let us look at the current standings and remaining schedules of all three clubs.
The really BIG game, of course, is the April 3 (Manila time) match between Dallas and the Lakers. If things stay true to form, then LA should win that and still have a legit shot at #8, but if Dallas emerges victorious, then that loss will probably be the death knell for Kobe & Co.
The Jazz definitely have the inside track because they have, slightly, the easiest schedule of the three, and they own the tie-breaker edge against BOTH Dallas and LA. The games that can potentially sink Utah’s campaign are 1) the home game against dangerous Portland on April 2 (Manila time) and 2) the road game against the road game against nothing-to-lose Minnesota on April 16 (Manila time). The Jazz should win both games if they don’t want any complications heading into the postseason. Needless to say, losing both, or even one, of those games might leave the door wide open for either or both the Mavs and the Lakers. - Rappler.com