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Quarter season playoff seeding predictions. Who falls and who rises?

Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images

A long absence of content from me over here on Clips District but I'm back and ready to make some great stuff. Gonna tackle a bold topic today, that topic is gonna be my way too early playoff seeding predictions. This article will be for the western conference. So let's just jump straight in

#10. Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers started off the season so bad it looked like the Pelicans were really going to get the 1st overall pick. But the Lakers have turned the tide since then and currently sit at 11-15 and sit at the 12th seed. They sit behind Minnesota (13-13) and Utah (15-14). Anthony Davis is playing some absolutely amazing basketball and is having by far the best season of his career. It's crazy to see considering people like myself completely counted Anthony Davis out merely 2 months ago before the season started; Lebron is still playing really good as well and it's leading the team on a much better trajectory than earlier in the season. In addition to that, this team can't afford to lose because of the lack of a first round pick so there is almost zero incentive to lose. Despite that the construction of this team is not good so even though this team makes the play-in, it's hard to imagine them progressing any further

#9. Portland Trail Blazers

Portland started off the season pretty good and have mostly sustained that momentum. Currently they sit at 14-12 and retain the 6th seed in the conference. Although the Blazers remain outside of the play-in currently, the western conference is an extremely tight conference. To put that into perspective i'll compare the difference in games back between the first and the current 10th seed Utah Jazz. The 1st seed Pelicans are only 4.5 games ahead of that 10th seed Utah Jazz team and even furthermore only 5 games ahead of the 11th seed Minnesota Timberwolves. This Blazers team is a good team but in this conference I don't think they stack up to be better than as many teams as they currently are. In the East this team would be higher as the gap between 10 and 1 in seeding is 8.5  games which is far more significant. But in the west I think they fall and finish around here.

#8. Minnesota Timberwolves

Minnesota has been pretty underwhelming post Gobert trade, but this team still is a good one and despite the underwhelming play mentioned prior, I still believe that this team is just having growing pains. It's a big change when you run 2 centers in your starting lineup and it's not easy so i'm not too surprised at the current play. They sit at 13-14 at the moment and this might seem crazy to put them up here despite the injury to Karl Anthony-Towns. But I think they can maintain a record good enough to land around here and I think that'll be courtesy of Anthony Edwards. I know Gobert being in the paint doesn't help Edwards out but his defense surely does and I believe in Edwards shooting ability.

#7. Dallas Mavericks

This might be controversial or it might not be. But to me it's not and I feel this is the perfect place for Dallas. We all know how amazing Luka is as a player and he's pretty much the only reason they are here at this point. I wouldn't be surprised if this team made a higher seed but looking at the rest of the teams in the conference I just can't predict them to make it past the 7th seed. They currently sit at 14-13 following a blowout win over the Thunder. But whenever they play really good teams I don't think they will be able to win enough of those games to make a higher seed. They didn't gain enough in the off-season to make me think they'd be any better than previous seasons. They gained Christian Wood but in the process lost Jalen Brunson to FA and Kristaps Porzingis via trade mid-season last year. So even with a good addition like Wood, who comes off the bench by the way. I don't think it's enough to put them over the top in the west.

#6. Phoenix Suns

I like this Suns team a lot and they currently sit at number 4 in the conference at a record of 16-11. But there are other teams that are on hot streaks that I see being enough to overtake the Suns spot and bump them down to 4. Chris Paul has not been good this season and is averaging under 10 points as well as shooting 38%. He's going to bring this team down a notch as all he's been able to consistently provide is playmaking. Granted that is a big factor in the team's success. But he is still regressing massively and is far worse than last season. I think as well that Jae Crowder will be gone by the trade deadline and that's one less role player for this team although granted Crowder isn't playing particularly well. They could easily finish in the top 4 just as easily as I think they can finish here at 6.

#5. Los Angeles Clippers

As i'm writing this the Clippers just blew out the Celtics so just pointing that out. Go Clippers! Anyways moving aside from that, the Clippers are having a very good season and playing very well. Paul George is leading this team so far to the promise land and they currently sit in the 7th seed at 16-13. Kawhi has been playing which is good, although it hasn't been very much. The fact he's playing is good and he will help this team win some games even if he load manages. Good production as well out of players like Norman Powell, Marcus Morris and Ivica Zubac also help propel this team and I believe that with how good this team runs together that it can continue for the rest of the season and get them up to here at the number 5 spot. 

#4. Golden State Warriors

The Warriors had an unusually bad start to the season and were at one point one of the worst teams in the conference. But since that bad start they have gotten back to their winning ways and currently sit 14-13 and 9th in the conference. It's a huge jump for sure but this team has been playing so good recently and rarely lose at home currently sitting at 12-2 when at home. In contrast of course there is the fact that they are 2-11 on the road, but I think that record as well as their home record will only continue to climb with Steph Curry playing the way he is and with certain players like Poole getting better as the season goes on. Gimme the champs as the 4 seed

#3. Memphis Grizzlies

The Grizzlies are playing amazing basketball right now and are led by Ja Morant and Desmone Bane. They currently sit at number 2 in the conference at 18-9. This team is just playing like the most well oiled machine possible. 2 star players leading the way with lots of other talent doing they're parts to provide everything else. There are little to no issues with this team and they are great. But there is one problem that unfortunately I believe will hurt this team just a little bit. And that would of course be the injury of Desmond Bane. He's gonna miss significant time and losing the 2nd best scorer and player on the team will surely hurt them. I'll reiterate that it won't hurt them by much. But when the conference is as stacked as it is, any sort of loss is enough to bump down a spot.

#2 Denver Nuggets 

The Nuggets currently sit at number 3 in the conference at a record of 16-10 and are lead by none other than Nikola Jokic. I love this Nuggets team a lot and that's for one simple reason. They are healthy. Yes I know MPJ has missed some time but he has still played a solid 16 out of 26 games which is good and Jamal Murray has playing in 22 and looked like his former 18 point per game self. Jokic having a healthy team is a dangerous team. We've seen how good this team can be when they are fully healthy and with the stellar season Jokic is having. I believe this Nuggets team can finish at the 3rd spot.

#1 New Orleans Pelicans

The Pelicans just don't seem fair. A roster with Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, CJ Mccollum, Jonas Valanciunas, Herb Jones and Jose Alvarado is legal? That's insane. Yeah this team just has a lot of talent and they already sit at the number 1 spot in the conference sitting at 18-8 at the moment. Zion didn't miss a beat after missing last season and this team has skyrocketed since his return. With how young this team is you gotta imagine that as the season progresses they will grow as well. And when you have 3 all-star caliber players in Brandon Ingram, Zion and Mccollum at the front. Your gonna be in a good place.


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