20. Utah Jazz (18): The Jazz have been the Knicks of the West (losers of five straight and seven of their last 10), but unfortunately for Utah, they play in a much tougher conference, where any sort of slippage will have you out of the postseason in the blink of an eye.
19. Indiana Pacers (19): Are the Pacers getting cold feet as the playoffs near? Is a first round date with the league’s MVP and the East’s best team too scary for Indiana? Maybe they’d rather have the lottery pick than a four and out in the playoffs, which makes sense for them as a rebuilding team.
18. Charlotte Bobcats (23): The Bobcats are in the worst position possible for any team – they aren’t going to make the playoffs and they have essentially no shot at a good lottery pick. It’s like having your head cut off, but still being alive.
17. Golden State Warriors (20): It’s too bad that the Warriors won’t be in the playoffs, because as much as they have struggled this year, they have enough offensive firepower to really make a series interesting. Monta Ellis, Steph Curry, Dorrell Wright and David Lee are very hard to guard; however, the same can be said about every starting five that the Warriors are asked to defend as well.
16. Phoenix Suns (16): They showed a lot of poise in their triple-overtime thriller against the Lakers, but it’s extremely apparent that they lack the talent and manpower to make a late season run at the playoffs – especially with the more-talented and jelled Rockets making that same push for the same spot.