The race for the playoffs is too close for comfort in the west with the Mavericks, Rockets, and Jazz in a close race for the No.7 and No.8 spots. Only two teams can make it. Which will it be?
Kyle Curry – It is a little difficult to go against the Rockets. They have had a rough season and are doing far worse than anyone predicted. Dwight Howard and James Harden both tried to get the other to be traded which caused some turmoil and issues inside the locker room. They both struggled from the start of the season but they are starting to hit their stride in the last half of the season. They have two games that I think they are for sure locks to win against the 76ers and the Timber Wolves but the rest of their season could go 50/50. They play OKC a couple times, as well as one game left between them and the Cavs and Bulls.
The Rockets’ final game this year is against the Kings on their own home court which could prevail to be a win or go home game. I just do not think that the Kings or Jazz have the pieces yet that the Rockets have. Even though their whole team has struggled, they have an ample amount of shooters that can spread the floor and sink the threes just as well as making the short jumpers. Dwight just needs to stay a strong presence down low, play some lock down defense, grab the boards and make himself available for passes under the rim. As long as the Rockets play halfway decent, they should have no problem getting that final eighth spot in the West.
Ben Buchanan – Right now the bottom of the west is very competitive. Although the Houston Rockets have been very disappointing this season, they’re still 2 games up on the Jazz for the 8th seed. It should come down to the wire to see how makes the playoffs as the 8th seed in the West. In my opinion, the team that will round into shape the nicest and ultimately lock up the 8th seed would be the Houston Rockets. Regardless of how they’ve been playing so far this year, I would argue they have a star presence in James Harden that the Jazz lack. If the Rockets can correct some defensive breakdowns and effort issues they should solidify their spot in the 2016 NBA Playoffs.
Jr, Williams – The Rockets have managed to play .500 basketball this season, however, they’re not guaranteed to make the postseason, especially considering the Dallas Mavericks are right on their heels for the No.7 spot. The Utah Jazz are putting up a fight for the 8th spot after winning five of their last six games, and I think they will win at least seven more games before the season ends, which could potentially put them in contention for the No.8 seed.
If I we’re to pick two teams to advance to the postseason, it would be the Houston Rockets and the Dallas Mavericks. Both teams have a solid combination of talent and veterans capable of answering the call. Sorry Utah fans, maybe next season.