Mike Rice

Feb 15

My 2010-11 Western Conference Final Standings

By Mike Rice Posted in: Blazers, Celtics, Clippers, Grizzlies, Hawks, Pelicans, Jazz, Kings, Knicks, Lakers, Mavericks, Nuggets, Pacers, Rockets, Sixers, Spurs, Suns, Thunder, Warriors

A hot topic around this time of year is predicting playoff positioning and final standings. I have done my research and determined how the Western Conference will end up at the end of the season. Each team has about three games that could be game changers and affect their final record. But remember, you heard it here first!


The 2010-11 Western Conference Final Standings

W            L

1. San Antonio Spurs................ 65           17

2. Los Angeles Lakers............... 57           25

3. Dallas Mavericks................... 56           26

4. Oklahoma City Thunder........ 53           29

5. New Orleans Hornets........... 48           34

6. Portland Trail Blazers............ 47           35

7. Memphis Grizzlies................ 46           36

8. Utah Jazz.............................. 46           36

9. Denver Nuggets................... 45           37

10. Phoenix Suns...................... 43           39

11. Houston Rockets................ 42           40

12. Golden State Warriors........ 39           43

San Antonio Spurs – 65-17, 1st (50-32 last season, 7th)

46-9 now (1st), finish the season 19-8

Key games that could make a difference in final record

3/1 at Memphis

3/25 at Portland

4/13 at Phoenix

Los Angeles Lakers – 57-25, 2nd (57-25 last season, 1st)

38-18 now (3rd), finish the season 19-7

Key games that could make a difference in final record

2/23 at Portland

4/1 at Utah

4/8 at Portland

Dallas Mavericks – 56-26, 3rd (55-27 last season, 2nd)

38-16 now (2nd), finish the season 18-10

Key games that could make a difference in final record

3/1 at Philadelphia

3/15 at Portland

4/2 at Golden State

Oklahoma City Thunder – 53-29, 4th (50-32 last season, 8th)

34-19 now (4th), finish the season 19-10

Key games that could make a difference in final record

3/4 at Atlanta

3/9 at Philadelphia

3/30 at Phoenix

New Orleans Hornets – 48-34, 5th (37-45 last season, 11th)

33-23 now (5th), finish the season 15-11

Key games that could make a difference in final record

3/2 at New York

3/4 at Memphis

3/19 vs. Boston

Portland Trail Blazers – 47-35, 6th (50-32 last season, 6th)

31-24 now (6th), finish the season 16-11

Key games that could make a difference in final record

2/23 vs. LA Lakers

3/2 at Sacramento

4/13 at Golden State

Memphis Grizzlies – 46-36, 7th (40-42 last season, 10th)

30-26 now (9th), finish the season 16-10

Key games that could make a difference in final record

3/17 at New York

3/27 vs. San Antonio

4/12 at Portland

Utah Jazz – 46-36, 8th (53-29 last season, 5th)

31-24 now (7th), finish the season 15-12

Key games that could make a difference in final record

2/25 at Indiana

3/7 at New York

4/1 vs. LA Lakers

Denver Nuggets – 45-37, 9th (53-29 last season, 4th)

31-25 now (8th), finish the season 14-12

Key games that could make a difference in final record

2/25 at Portland

2/24 vs. Boston

3/10 at Phoenix

Phoenix Suns – 43-39, 10th (54-28 last season, 3rd)

26-26 now (10th), finish the season 17-13

Key games that could make a difference in final record

2/27 at Indiana

3/20 at LA Clippers

3/27 vs. Dallas

Houston Rockets – 42-40, 11th (42-40 last season, 9th)

26-30 now (11th), finish the season 16-10

Key games that could make a difference in final record

2/27 at New Orleans

3/2 at LA Clippers

3/8 at Phoenix

Golden State Warriors – 39-43, 12th (26-56 last season, 13th)

24-29 now (12th), finish the season 15-14

Key games that could make a difference in final record

2/16 at Utah

3/1 at Indiana

3/14 at Sacramento

First Round Matchups

San Antonio vs. Utah

LA Lakers vs. Memphis

Dallas vs. Portland

Oklahoma City vs. New Orleans


  1. Hmm, you did more research than I did, but me being a Portland fan, I say we win tomorrow against the Hornets and that is one of the more important games between the two teams. I think we'll finish 5th and compete against the Thunder with the series being 2-2 against the two teams.

    I made my prediction last night, with no real research, just based on how the season has been going, but I think it went something like this...

    1- Spurs
    2- Mavs
    3- Lakers
    4- Thunder
    5- Blazers
    6- Hornets
    7- Grizzlies
    8- Jazz

    Round 1
    Spurs vs Jazz - Spurs win in 6
    Mavs vs Grizzlies - Mavs win in 6 or 7
    Lakers vs Hornets - Lakers win in 5
    Thunder vs Blazers - Blazers win in 6

    Round 2

    Spurs vs Blazers - Spurs win in 7
    Mavs vs Lakers - Lakers win in 6


    Spurs vs Lakers - Spurs win in 6 or 7

    I would be fine going against Dallas. The matchups have been convincing that the series can go either way, and I still expect them to choke like they normally do. They are a very strong regular season team, but don't show up in the playoffs. I know we can't bank on that happening, but recent history has got to give you some confidence against that team. I think we'll win the next two at home.

    Now, if we were 5th and against OKC, I think we would win in 6. I don't think OKC will beat us in the Rose Garden. The crowd is more active and this team looks hungry for a series victory. I also think we'll take either Game 1 or Game 2 from the Thunder and get the split. If Roy and Camby come back strong, then I don't think they can beat us. Only way I see them beating us is the officiating being terrible, which any game containing the Overrated City Thunder is a horribly officiated game.

    by Herr on 2/15/2011 4:52 PM
  2. Rice, I like those standings and that you are commited to your origional win total from training camp. I feel pretty good about our chances against Dallas, we match up pretty well and they are known to choke in the playoffs, especialy with butler out. i think tomarrows game should be on your list of game changers for the blazers because you have New Orleans finishing a game ahead of us, if we can win there thats a potential 5th spot according to your research (unless you had us losing). One more thing, do you think thereis any chance at all that Oden can shock everyone and be ready for the playoffs, the way bynum did for the lakers last year???

    by RipRoar on 2/15/2011 4:54 PM
  3. First, I think the top 4 spots are set, which to me leaves 5-10 up for grabs:

    1. Spurs
    2. Lakers
    3. Mavericks
    4. Thunder

    New Orleans - 26 left: 13 Home/13 Road, 18 against potential playoff teams (7 of their last 8 games)

    Denver - 26 left:12 Home/14 Road, 17 playoff teams (5 of their last 8) *The ROAD is going to kill them. 10 of 12 Road games from March on are against playoff teams, and the other two are the Clips and the Kings + They have 2 B2Bs in their last 6 games*

    Utah - 27 left: 12 Home/15 Road, 18 playoff teams (6 of their last 8) *Fall off at end - Okay, losing Coach Sloan is just going to kill them!

    Portland - 27 left:16 Home/11 Road, 21 playoff teams (6 of last 8) *7 B2B, with the last 2 being over the final 4 games, both sets being split H/R*

    Memphis - 25 left:14 Home/11 Road, 17 playoff teams (3 of last 8) *Big push at end - In their last 9 games, they have only 4 playoff teams, 6 are at home, and there's only 1 B2B

    Phoenix - 30 left: 14 Home/16 Road, 17 playoff teams (5 of last 8) *March is a killer - 8 Road/8 Home, 9 playoff teams + Clips, Kings, Houston on Road, and 3 B2Bs

    Potential playoff teams - EAST: Boston, Miami, Chicago, Atlanta, Orlando, New York, Philadelphia, Indiana, Charlotte; WEST: San Antonio, Dallas, Los Angeles, Oklahoma City, New Orleans, Denver, Utah, Portland, Memphis, Phoenix

    I am assuming Melo will be gone soon! I am also trusting that Roy and Camby are back soon.

    The Grizzlies and the Blazers have an advantage of being at Home, the Grizzlies have the lightest schedule to finish up with, Denver probably has the toughest path as they are terrible on the road, and Phoenix has the most work to do. Utah is just a huge question mark! Just guessing, but I say:

    5. Hornets
    6. Blazers
    7. Grizzlies
    8. Nuggets
    9. Jazz
    10. Suns

    by SisillaRiann on 2/15/2011 8:27 PM
  4. Looks pretty accurate so far...The only thing I really have is that I think Denver will be ahead of Utah on that 8th spot, maybe higher. Yeah their schedule isnt looking too hot, but they are a very good team, and Melo is going anywhere imo,everyone else is healthy..wouldnt count em out just yet. But thats just my opinion, so who knows. Other than that, I would agree with most of what I see so far. Lets hope for a win against NO tommorro!

    by whitefeather21380 on 2/15/2011 10:52 PM
  5. for some reason, when i clicked the blog link, i knew you were going to stick to your 47 win total (prophetically speaking, i'm saying 49)! i'll chime in with my own.

    if denver trades Carmelo Anthony:
    1. spurs
    2. mavericks
    3. thunder
    4. lakers
    5. blazers
    6. grizzlies
    7. suns
    8. jazz

    if denver does not trade Carmelo Anthony
    1. spurs
    2. mavericks
    3. thunder
    4. lakers
    5. blazers
    6. grizzlies
    7. nuggets
    8. suns

    my feeling is that an Anthony will be traded, so i'm trending toward the first. i also bumped the jazz down because of their coaching change.

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 2/16/2011 11:34 AM
  6. Kassandra are you saying that NOH will be out of the play-off race intirely.

    I have posted twice before on this sight and it doesn't show up so I don't know about this one either.

    by Hg on 2/16/2011 11:49 AM
  7. oh brother, Hg, no! let me revise:

    denver without Anthony:

    1. spurs
    2. mavericks
    3. thunder
    4. lakers
    5. blazers
    6. hornets
    7. grizzlies
    8. suns

    denver with Anthony:

    1. spurs
    2. mavericks
    3. thunder
    4. lakers
    5. blazers
    6. hornets
    7. grizzlies
    8. nuggets

    there; updated!

    ~ Kassandra

    by Kassandra on 2/16/2011 12:25 PM
  8. Well...Rudy Gay is out for a MONTH, so.......I may have the Grizzlies too high! Terrible time to lose your best player, smh. Feel bad for them.

    by SisillaRiann on 2/16/2011 5:24 PM
  9. EowynAmarie: In response to your first comment, I can see you are a student of the NBA. Nice job on the research. You could be right on the Nuggets at #8, especially now that R. Gay is out for five weeks. They might not be able to overcome that like the Blazers have.

    by Mike Rice on 2/16/2011 5:34 PM
  10. RipRoar: Oden will need the whole summer to get the rust off. He is in a different situation than Bynum because all of his injuries are in different locations, whereas Bynum has one problem area.

    by Mike Rice on 2/16/2011 5:36 PM
  11. Kassandra: If the Blazers win 49 games then they should give Nate a statue in front of the Rose Garden!

    by Mike Rice on 2/16/2011 5:37 PM
  12. Herr: If you look at the past history of the playoffs, in the West there are no bad teams, just fans who are unrealistic in their outlook.

    by Mike Rice on 2/16/2011 5:38 PM
  13. Well, of course there are no bad teams in the playoffs, I was merely suggesting that the Mavs have underperformed in the playoffs in the past. My outlook on them, even if it may be unrealistic, is they don't have the intensity to play playoff basketball. Really talented team, no doubt about it, and they could win a championship and even be considered a contender, but if you're in the playoffs the last thing you want to do is give a team confidence, and that's what the Mavs have done with teams they should have beat turning around and beating them. I believe it was in 2007 or so where the Warriors beat the Mavs while having a 42-40 season. Basically, I'll need some convincing from them to consider them a championship team.

    But if the Blazers do go against them in the playoffs, I expect the Blazers to play 110% and not worry about who their opponent is, and only worry about winning the game at the end of the day. Doesn't matter who we go against, every team is going to be a challenge. The only teams I hope to avoid are Denver, San Antonio, and the Lakers at this moment.

    by Herr on 2/17/2011 2:50 AM
  14. Rice, thanks for responding. maybe i am just too optamistic with Oden. i do think we become contenders if hes healthy. Him and aldridge together would be like the two towers team the spurs won with a decade ago.

    by RipRoar on 2/17/2011 1:34 PM
  15. Yeah Oden is going to need TIME...think thats a given...Big fella has been out alot of games, anytime he barely starts to get into sometype of rythem he gets injured, that can take a mental toll on anyone. I am fairly confident through that Oden will find his way.

    Kassandra...you got the Lakers down in #4...wow Hey I dont like em either lol, but I just do not believe that a veteran team with Phil Jackson on his last year will fall that far, they lost against the cavs lastnight, but still think their gonna be top 3 easily, prabaly #2. All things considered the Spurs should have been left for dead couple years ago, but look at where the ageless wonders are now? Never count out a veteran team thats got finals experience with a hall of famer coach.

    And on the radio after lastnights victory over the Hornets, alot of talk about how were gonna crush the Lakers later..Once again their going to have ALL week to think about the Cavs loss, and at same time well be changing things around with Brandon Roy making his appearance. So well see.. I try not to count my eggs before they hatch, anything can happen in this league...Guess we will all find out soon enough :)

    by whitefeather21380 on 2/17/2011 5:30 PM
  16. Oden is in a rough spot. He doesnt have a lot of experience in the Pro's. He's been injured most of his duration in the NBA. I believe that comes with more reprocussions than physical injury. I think it has damaged his spirit, and maybe taken away some of his drive and confidence.. I dont know where that came from? Saw somebody talking about Oden... But what I really wanted to say, was, Mike Rice!!!! You rock, man!! Not a soul on the planet Id rather listen to during a game.. My favorite game, Blazers basketball. Portland born, still live in Portland, and probably here to stay!

    by TPetty76 on 2/17/2011 11:57 PM
  17. Mike ... if we go 17-9, we'll get to 49 ... i'd say the artists better get some bronze out and ready!

    by Kassandra on 2/20/2011 3:57 PM
  18. To be honest i think we can hit 50 again..
    and being the fan that i am there isnt a team out there i think the blazers should loose to in all honesty. We we play great ball like we have seen them play some of this season were unstoppable. We play the lakers I think we should Win, we have the talent, We have the athletisizm, WE have the Skills...
    WE have LA, B-roy, marcus Canby, DRE, Westley Mathews, Rudy fernandez......
    and other players contributing as well like Dante, patti Mills....

    by Jesse Jones on 2/21/2011 2:54 PM
  19. Now that it's a week later, it's the perfect time to update because the trade deadline is about up and Melo is off to NY. Here's my prediction..

    1. Spurs
    2. Lakers
    3. Mavericks
    4. Thunder
    5. Hornets
    6. Trailblazers
    7. Suns
    8. Grizzlies

    As for the later rounds in the playoffs.. (PLAYOFFS??)

    Second round
    1. Spurs / 4. Thunder
    2. Lakers / 6. Trailblazers (blazers win 4-2)

    1. Spurs / 6. Trailblazers (spurs win 4-2)

    I clarify that they'll beat the Mavs in the 1st round in a hard fought 7 game series but i got no crystal ball to tell. In reality I think it will be easier for them to land a certain playoff seed, especially a certain number like 6 or 5 because the hornets and blazers will eventually stretch that win margin where the only wildcards at that point will pretty much be rockets/jazz/suns/grizzlies maybe nuggets. Tho right now is really interesting!

    by Ballinrotation365 on 2/22/2011 3:45 AM
  20. Hey Rice. So... about that statue of Nate McMillan. Hope they plan on building it! Blazers need to go 17-7 inorder to win 50 games. At this point, how is that NOT possible?

    Too bad the guy in Chicago will get the COY, but at least it won't be stolen. I'd like to hear if you've change your opinion on the standings now that the trade deadine is passed. I believe Denver got a steal for what they had to give up. I think they'll hit the playoffs. Last night showed they are a tough team.

    by Herr on 2/26/2011 10:39 AM
  21. Herr:

    You need to watch the Casey Holdahl TV. Mike Rice says he may have to re-figure the standings with the addition of Wallace, the Change in OKC and NOH. I don't remember but I think he is changing his mind about the 47 wins


    by Hg on 2/26/2011 11:03 AM
  22. Minus the Hornets and Jazz standings, this is really close to how the standings are now that the season has ended

    by leoonfire95 on 4/11/2011 10:05 PM
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