NBA Western Conference Playoff Standings Update: Race Is Wide Open

Jazzy

The playoff race in the NBA Western Conference is ridiculous. It is insane how tightly these teams are packed together with nine (!) teams within five games of each other ranging from the fourth-seed Clippers to the 12th-seeded Trail Blazers.

With roughly 17 games left and a schedule that heavily favors head-to-head play, we are in for a while wild ride.

There's not a game left on the schedule for the Suns that doesn't matter. It's going to be like the final month of a pennant race in baseball which is awesome.

In other words, the playoffs have already started.

That's pretty much the story for all the West and that means every night key teams are going to be playing each other so the standings can shift quickly. Here's quick look at the most recent action and an update on the standings:

Updated Western Conference Standings Via NBA.com:

Wc_standings_032612_medium

Key Games Sunday, March 25:

- Utah Jazz (7) LOST to Atlanta Hawks, 133-139 in 4OT(!)

Jazz Vs. Hawks Post Game Thread -- 20 extra minutes of prolonged failure! - SLC Dunk
What a crazy game. All of our starters played AT LEAST 50 minutes tonight. Derrick Favors played 19. Alec Burks played 21. Enes Kanter played 11...All of that LOOKS GREAT . . . . if they do that in a 48 minute game.

The Jazz are one team the Suns will need to pass at some point. They play once in early April and once in the final week of the season -- both on the road.

- Denver Nuggets (9) LOST to Minnesota Timberwolves (11), 100-117

Nuggets at Timberwolves recap: Denver defense defenseless in Minnesota - Denver Stiffs
For the third time in four games the Nuggets lose by 17 points or more.

It's hard to imagine the Nuggets falling out of the playoffs but with a few injuries and a trade to deal with, it's possible they could be a lottery team instead of a playoff team. Suns play the Nuggets twice more, once on the road and once at home.

- Memphis Grizzlies (6) BEAT Los Angeles Lakers (3), 102-96

Grizzlies 102 - Lakers 96: Zach Randolph and the Bench Lead the Way - Straight Outta Vancouver
First, let me say that in the Grizzlies 102-96 win over the Los Angeles Lakers last night, there were moments where I looked at this team and legitimately thought, "We can win the title this year."

Memphis is a dangerous team with Zach Randolph now back on the floor. The Suns face them one more time on the road.

- Oklahoma City Thunder (1) BEAT Miami Heat, 103-87

Suns get the Thunder one more time (at home) this year. They looked good beating Miami on Sunday.

- San Antonio Spurs (2) BEAT Philadelphia 76ers, 93-76

The Spurs are rolling deep which is not so much good news for the Suns since they play three more times, starting Tuesday.

- Portland Trail Blazers (12) BEAT Golden State Warriors (13), 90-87

These two teams seem to be lottery bound, but nothing is impossible in the West. Don't bury them yet.

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