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Western Conference playoff picture heading into 2021 NBA Playoffs

The NBA playoffs are rapidly approaching at the end of May. We’re tracking the Western Conference standings and how the seeding looks, plus which teams are headed for the play-in tournament.

Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz drives the ball against Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns during the overtime of the NBA game at Phoenix Suns Arena on April 07, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Jazz 117-113 in overtime. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The 2021 NBA Playoffs are rapidly approaching as the regular season heads into its final month. The playoffs are expected to begin on May 22 following the play-in tournament, which will begin on May 18. Seeds 7-10 in the Western Conference will partake in the revamped play-in tournament, which was conceived inside the NBA Bubble in Orlando last year.

The playoff picture in the Western Conference is fairly unclear at this point. It’s not like last season when we saw the Los Angeles Lakers run away with first place. There are three teams with a realistic shot at taking the No. 1 seed in the West: the Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Clippers. Hell, the Denver Nuggets aren’t too far behind those three teams and the Lakers will eventually get LeBron James back. Chances are the Lakers will be grouped outside the top 4 in the conference, toward the back-end of the playoff picture along with the Dallas Mavericks, Portland Trail Blazers and Memphis Grizzlies.

Here we’re going to be tracking the standings in the Western Conference and providing a look into how the playoff picture is shaping up.

* represents teams who are currently in position to participate in the play-in tournament.
X represents teams who have clinched a playoff berth.

Western Conference Standings

Place Team Wins Losses Games Back
Place Team Wins Losses Games Back
1-X Utah Jazz 50 18 -
2-X Phoenix Suns 48 20 2
3-X Los Angeles Clippers 45 23 5
4-X Denver Nuggets 44 24 6
5 Dallas Mavericks 40 28 10
6 Portland Trail Blazers 39 29 11
7* Los Angeles Lakers 38 30 12
8* Golden State Warriors 35 33 15
9* Memphis Grizzlies 34 33 15.5
10* San Antonio Spurs 32 35 17.5
11 New Orleans Pelicans 31 37 19
12 Sacramento Kings 30 38 20
13-e Minnesota Timberwolves 21 47 29
14-e Oklahoma City Thunder 21 48 29.5
15-e Houston Rockets 16 52 34