On Thursday, several teams were in play for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference as the play-in portion of the bubble comes to an end.
Earlier this afternoon, the Memphis Grizzlies punched their ticket into the playoffs with a win. Not long after, the Phoenix Suns kept their playoff hopes alive with a win over the Dallas Mavericks.
Phoenix now waits to see the outcome of the Portland Trail Blazers and Brooklyn Nets game tonight. If Portland wins, the Suns are out of the playoff picture. However, if the Nets win, Phoenix is locked into the No. 8 seed.
TNT NBA analyst Charles Barkley has been calling for Portland to upset the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the playoffs. He even suggested the team would represent the Western Conference in the NBA Finals.
With Portland facing a win-or-go-home game, Barkley is confident as ever. He thinks LeBron James isn’t going to sleep well tonight with Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers coming for that final playoff spot.
"LeBron not gonna sleep good tonight, cause Dame's coming" pic.twitter.com/8woB1H2GVL
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) August 14, 2020
Lillard has been dominant during the NBA’s return in the bubble. Over his past two games he’s averaging 56 points per game after dropping 61 against the Mavericks earlier this week.
Regardless of who wins tonight, the Lakers are in for a tough first-round matchup. Phoenix won all eight of its play-in games, while Lillard and the Trail Blazers are a handful for any team.