Portland closes campaign against elite conference teams and Los Angeles pin all their hopes on the recovery of LeBron and AD
The NBA will celebrate at the end of the regular season as a new experience the play-in tournament that will determine the teams that will be in the playoffs.
The battle that is taking place in the Western Conference has turned out to be of great interest to the teams involved.
A couple of months ago it was hard to think that LeBron James Y Los angeles lakers they had to be one of the participants in this new qualifying tournament, but injuries, as the main cause, have complicated the final stretch for the California franchise.
However, the conditions have been given so that perhaps they can avoid that scenario and get directly into the playoffs.
The Dallas Mavericks for the moment they are in sixth position, tied for a record with the Trailblazers, places that avoid the play-in, but only one game behind the Lakers.
For the final part of the calendar of these three teams it is crucial in the classification and the teams that will be part of the play-in.
The most neuralgic case is that of the Lakers, who have lost six of the last ten games, and hope that LeBron can be as healthy as Anthony Davis, but they will miss Wednesday’s game against Houston.
The play-in is scheduled to start on May 18 and will run until May 21, later on, the playoffs will begin on May 22 with some teams being able to play up to two games depending on position and results.
Avoiding these games would be vitally important to the health of James, who would enjoy an additional rest before starting the postseason.
Lakers face Houston Rockets, the worst team in the league, Indiana Pacers, a team that has already secured its place in the play-in, and New Orleans Pelicans, which although mathematically is alive, the chances are very low with the injury of Zion Williamson.
Dallas also faces the Pelicans, Toronto Raptors and Minnesota Timberwolves, teams already eliminated.
The contrast is made by Portland Trail Blazers that in their final matches they will see Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns Y Denver Nuggets, three of the best four teams in the Western Conference.
So for these teams there is only one place left to qualify directly for the postseason and ensure they do not have to face, for example, the Golden State Warriors and a Stephen Curry probably playing the best basketball of their career, in a game where they can say goodbye to their season.