NBA: The race for eighth in the West

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With only a few weeks remaining in the NBA’s regular season, the race for the 8th seed, or the last spots in the Western Conference playoffs has heated up. 

The Los Angeles Lakers are currently holding on to the 8th seed by a half a game lead over the Utah Jazz, and behind the Jazz are the Dallas Mavericks who are only a game back. The Portland Trail Blazers have also quietly made their way in to the picture and are only three games back for the number 8th spot. Here’s how it looks. 

8. Lakers 37-36

   Jazz     36-36

   Dallas  35-37

   Portland 33-38

Some very important games remain on the schedule for each team as well.

The Lakers host the Mavericks on April 2nd in a game that will be very important for both team’s playoff chances, and the Lakers also travel out to Portland on April 10th. The Lakers odds of making the playoffs may have gotten even slimmer with both Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash going down to injury last night against Milwaukee. 

The Dallas Mavericks travel to both Portland and Los Angeles before seasons end, giving them a great shot at sneaking their way in to the 8th spot. They’ve quietly worked their way in to the picture, and now it doesn’t seem so far-fetched that the Mavericks will make the playoffs. 

The Utah Jazz and Portland Trailblazers play each other two more times before the end of the season, with one of those meetings being tonight in Portland. 

All four teams have ample opportunity to earn the 8th spot and it could easily come down to the very last few games of the season. Since these teams are all set to play against at least one of each other, the tie breaker scenarios could end up getting very complicated come the end of the year. 

The always tough Western Conference is holding up to its reputation, but for whichever of these teams does make the first round of the playoffs, the Spurs who are sitting at the top of the west won’t be a very friendly match-up.