The Utah Jazz have maintained the top spot in the Western Conference despite winning only 5 of their last 10 games. Today, we take a look at the current Western Conference standings and the movement that could occur in the week ahead.
Last weekend, LeBron James suffered an ankle sprain. James is out indefinitely. James' injury could have a substantial impact on the Western Conference standings as we approach the playoffs.
*The Western Conference standings as of Monday, March 22
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The Clippers, Jazz, Suns, and Lakers had created separation from the rest of the Western Conference, but the gap has decreased over the last few weeks. With LeBron James out indefinitely, the Lakers are in danger of dropping down to the #6 seed or even #7 seed.
Let's take a look at the upcoming schedule (Monday-Sunday) for the Jazz, Clippers, Suns and Lakers, and how that could impact the standings.
Utah Jazz - @ Bulls, vs Nets, vs Grizzles, vs Grizzles
The Jazz finally travel back home this week to take on the Nets and Grizzles. The Jazz should be able to maintain their lead in the standings if they can win three out of four games this week.
LA Lakers - @ Pelicans, vs 76ers, vs Cavaliers, vs Magic
I would expect the Lakers to drop at least a game or two this week without James and Davis in the lineup.
LA Clippers - @ Hawks, vs Spurs, @ Spurs, vs 76ers
The Clippers face three teams that would be in the playoffs if the season ended today. The Clippers have struggled of late, losing six of their last ten.
Phoenix Suns - @ Heat, @ Magic, @ Raptors, @ Hornets
The Suns are on the road this week. They face a tough Miami Heat team that has played well lately. They will face the Hornets without Lonzo Ball who was ruled out for the season with a wrist injury.