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NBA playoff picture: How the West standings look after All-Star break

Here’s how the Western conference looks ahead of the last stretch of the season.

Houston Rockets v Phoenix Sunsˆ
Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns reacts during the second half of the NBA game against the Houston Rockets at Footprint Center on February 16, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Rockets 124-121.
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Western Conference has not been as competitive as in years past, but the top of the standings still features the best teams in the league. With the All-Star break beginning to wind down, the 2021-22 NBA season enters the final stretch with teams jostling for a playoff spot. In the West, that means plenty of marquee games across the board. Here’s how the West standings look heading into the final set of games.

Western Conference Standings and Playoff Picture

1. Phoenix Suns (48-10)
2. Golden State Warriors (42-17) 6.5 GB
3. Memphis Grizzlies (41-19) 8.0 GB
4. Utah Jazz (36-22) 12.0 GB
5. Dallas Mavericks (35-24) 13.5 GB
6. Denver Nuggets (33-25) 15.0 GB

Play-in tournament

7. Minnesota Timberwolves (31-28) 17.5 GB
8. Los Angeles Clippers (30-31) 19.5 GB
9. Los Angeles Lakers (27-31) 21.0 GB
10. Portland Trail Blazers (25-34) 23.5 GB

11. San Antonio Spurs (23-36) 25.5 GB
12. New Orleans Pelicans (23-36) 25.5 GB
13. Sacramento Kings (22-38) 27.0 GB
14. Oklahoma City Thunder (18-40) 30.0 GB
15. Houston Rockets (15-43) 33.0 GB

Playoff Predictions

This conference is not quite as packed as the East, but there are some intriguing battles in the top part of the standings and in the bottom of the play-in tournament area. It’s hard to see the Trail Blazers keeping their recent form going, so either the Spurs or Pelicans are likely to take over that spot in the play-in tournament. We’ll see if either the Grizzlies or Jazz can catch the Warriors for the No. 2 seed, with Memphis having the better chance at the moment. The likely playoff teams from the West in no particular order will be the Suns, Warriors, Grizzlies, Jazz, Mavericks, Nuggets, Timberwolves and Lakers. If the Clippers get Paul George and Kawhi Leonard back, they will probably be in over the Timberwolves. Look for San Antonio or New Orleans to flame out in the play-in tournament.