The Jazz have four games left, and there still isn't a clear picture who they could play in the postseason. It's still mathematically possible for Utah to miss the postseason altogether despite sitting at the No. 4 spot in the Western Conference. However, FiveThirtyEight gives Utah a 98 percent chance of making it.
Losses by the Thunder and the Spurs Tuesday night have suddenly given the Jazz an opportunity to control their own destiny for home-court advantage in the first round, but Utah's last four games will be anything but easy as they face the Clippers and Warriors at home and the Lakers and Trail Blazers on the road.
Here's an updated look of Utah's potential playoff opponents. All playoff odds are from FiveThirtyEight.
Playoff status: Clinched No. 1 seed
While the Spurs proved this past Sunday that the Rockets can be beaten, Houston has won 29 of its last 31 games. This is the one team the Jazz want to avoid at all costs. The Rockets swept the Jazz in the regular season and could quite possibly sweep them in the first round of the playoffs behind the formidable trio of probable MVP James Harden, Chris Paul and Eric Gordon. Houston claimed the top spot in the Western Conference weeks ago, so Utah has to avoid that No. 8 spot if it wants a decent shot of making it to the second round.
Golden State Warriors
Playoff status: Clinched No. 2 seed
Golden State may be without Steph Curry, but it proved it can still get the job done against tough Western Conference teams with a 111-107 win over Oklahoma City Tuesday night. And remember, Golden State's playoff spot is already set while the Thunder are plenty motivated as they have yet to tie up their playoff spot. The Warriors is the team that everyone thought would roll through the West with Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson. It appears that Curry could miss the entire first round, and the Warriors seem to struggle to match up with Utah's tough defense without him. That said, even the Curry-less Warriors are not the first team the Jazz want to face in the postseason.
Portland Trail Blazers
Playoff status: Clinched playoff spot
While Portland is currently No. 3 behind the Rockets and Warriors, the Trail Blazers haven't been unstoppable over the last few weeks. Portland is 6-4 over the past 10 games, and the last two losses were against Memphis and Dallas. Both of those teams are well out of the playoffs. The season finale between the Jazz and Trail Blazers could very well be a preview of the opening round of the playoffs. Portland is not nearly as deep as several other teams in the West as only three players average more than 10 points a game. Worse, star Damian Lillard suffered an ankle sprain on Tuesday, and Portland simply can't afford to lose him. Even though Portland would likely have home-court advantage, the Jazz may actually be the favorite in the series should this happen.
San Antonio Spurs
Playoff status: 99 percent chance of making the playoffs
San Antonio was on an impressive run against potential Western Conference opponents, including Houston, Oklahoma City, Utah, Golden State, Minnesota and New Orleans. But the Spurs unexpectedly fell out of the No. 4 spot after falling to the Clippers 113-110 on Tuesday night after having a 19-point lead in the second quarter. The Jazz hold the tiebreaker over the Spurs with a 3-1 record against San Antonio. This remarkable turn of events makes getting Kawhi Leonard back to full speed as soon as possible after a quad injury that much more important for the Spurs, who are 31-8 at home but just 14-25 on the road. Losing home-court advantage would be particularly bad for this team.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Playoff status: 93 percent chance of making the playoffs
Oklahoma City has lost an uncomfortable number of close games recently, including a one-point loss to Boston, a three-point loss to Portland, a four-point loss to San Antonio, a one-point loss to Denver and a four-point loss to Golden State. That's a grand total of 13 points across its last five losses. That doesn't bode well for the Thunder's hopes of reaching the second round as playoff games tend to be close. Still, it's best not to dismiss a team led by the likes of Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. If Oklahoma City can figure out how to win close games, it will be a formidable playoff opponent.
Playoff status: 88 percent chance of making the playoffs
Minnesota started the season 2-0 against the Jazz, but Utah won the last two over the Timberwolves once it got healthy and came together as a team. Utah dominated Minnesota 121-97 on Sunday. However, the big question surrounding the Timberwolves is how soon Jimmy Butler will be back from knee surgery. Even if Butler is back by the postseason, there's also the question of how well he can perform after his long recovery as he hasn't played since Feb. 23.
New Orleans Pelicans
Playoff status: 58 percent chance of making the playoffs
While there's no good time to go on a four-game losing streak, New Orleans picked a particularly bad time. True, all four teams the Pelicans lost to are likely headed into the postseason, but this late-season swoon could cost them a playoff bid. While it's unlikely at this point that the Jazz and Pelicans will play each other in the first round, it's still mathematically possible. Utah is 3-1 over the Pelicans this season.