Welcome to the mild, mild West

Which teams will stumble into the West playoffs? (PER Diem: March 23, 2012)

Updated: March 23, 2012, 1:46 PM ET
By John Hollinger |
Chris Paul, Steve NashGetty ImagesWith West contenders like the Clippers slumping, teams like the Suns still have a shot at the playoffs.

Remember when being a playoff team in the West meant something? When a 48-win Golden State team was consigned to the lottery? In 2008 and 2010 you had to win at least 50 games just to get a seat at the table. Last year you needed 55 just to have home-court advantage in the first round.