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Berry Tramel

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Oklahoma City Thunder: Watch out for the Clippers

by Berry Tramel Modified: April 1, 2014 at 10:05 am •  Published: April 1, 2014

Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin is congratulated by a teammate after he scored in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday, March 27, 2014, in Dallas. The Clippers won 109-103. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin is congratulated by a teammate after he scored in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday, March 27, 2014, in Dallas. The Clippers won 109-103. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

A few days ago, I compared schedules and calculated the likely Western Conference finish. A lot has happened since then.

The Clippers won in Houston. The Suns lost to the Lakers. The Warriors lost to the Knickerbockers.

So with the Thunder in the middle of three straight days off, here’s a revised look.

The Thunder isn’t likely to catch the Spurs, even with an OKC victory Thursday night. The Spurs have a 3 1/2-game lead and show no signs of slowing down from their 18-game winning streak.

The Clippers could catch the Thunder. The Clips are two games behind OKC but have an easy schedule down the stretch, while the Thunder has a relatively tough schedule.

The Rockets had a good chance at catching the Clippers, but losing at home to the Clips has made that unlikely.

The Blazers seem settled at fifth.

The Warriors aren’t as solid at sixth. Dallas could challenge Golden State.

Memphis has passed Phoenix as the likely winner of the coveted last spot.

 

San Antonio 58-16

Games remaining: 8. Four home, four road. Six vs. playoff contenders, two vs. also-rans.

Back-to-backs: two.

Schedule: Golden State, at OKC, Memphis, at Minnesota, at Dallas, Phoenix, at Houston, LA Lakers.

Likely record: 5-3, so 63-19.

Likely finish: First.

 

Oklahoma City 54-19

Games remaining: 9. Three home, six road. Five vs. playoff contenders, four vs. also-rans.

Back-to-backs: three.

Schedule: San Antonio, at Houston, at Phoenix, at Sacramento, at LA Clippers, New Orleans, at Indiana, at New Orleans, Detroit.

Likely record: 6-3, so 60-22.

Likely finish: Second.

 

LA Clippers 53-22

Games remaining: 7. Five home, two road. Four vs. playoff contenders, three vs. also-rans.

Back-to-backs: two.

Schedule: at Phoenix, Dallas, LA Lakers, Oklahoma City, Sacramento, Denver, at Portland.

Likely record: 6-1, so 59-23.

Likely finish: third.

 

Houston 49-23

Games remaining: 10. Four home, six road. Four vs. playoff contenders, six vs. also-rans.

Back-to-backs: three.

Schedule: at Brooklyn, at Toronto, Oklahoma City, Denver, at LA Lakers, at Denver, at Minnesota, New Orleans, San Antonio, at New Orleans.

Likely record: 9-1, so 58-24.

Likely finish: fourth.

 

Portland 48-27

Games remaining: 7. Five home, two road. Three vs. playoff contenders, four vs. also-rans.

Back-to-backs: none.

Schedule: at LA Lakers, Phoenix, New Orleans, Sacramento, at Utah, Golden State, LA Clippers.

Likely record: 7-0, so 55-27.

Likely finish: fifth.

 

Golden State 45-28

Games remaining: 9. Four home, five road. Three vs. playoff contenders, six vs. also-rans.

Back-to-backs: three.

Schedule: at Dallas, at San Antonio, Sacramento, Utah, Denver, at LA Lakers, at Portland, Minnesota, at Denver.

Likely record: 6-3, so 51-31.

Likely finish: sixth.

 

Dallas 44-30

Games remaining: eight. Three home, five road. Five vs. playoff contenders, three vs. also-rans.

Back-to-backs: one.

Schedule: Golden State, at LA Clippers, at LA Lakers, at Sacramento, at Utah, San Antonio, Phoenix, at Memphis.

Likely record: 6-2, so 50-32.

Likely finish: seventh.

 

Memphis 44-30

Games remaining: Eight.Four home, four road. Four vs. playoff contenders, four vs. also-rans.

Back-to-backs: one.

Schedule: at Minnesota, Denver, at San Antonio, Miami, Philadelphia, at LA Lakers, at Phoenix, Dallas.

Likely record: 5-3, so 49-33.

Likely finish: eighth.

 

Phoenix 44-30

Games remaining: eight. Three home, five road. Six vs. playoff contenders, two vs. also-rans.

Back-to-backs: one.

Schedule: LA Clippers, at Portland, Oklahoma City, at New Orleans, at San Antonio, at Dallas, Memphis, at Sacramento.

Likely record: 3-5, so 47-35.

Likely finish: ninth.

 

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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