All 30 teams in the league will be in action on Friday night, with the regular season coming to an end. Just two games remain on everyone's schedules, and with how tight the Western Conference standings are, we should expect to see plenty of movement in the NBA playoff picture. One game separates the No. 6 New Orleans Pelicans from the No. 7 Phoenix Suns, and there is currently a three-way tie for the 8-seed between the Sacramento Kings, Golden State Warriors, and Los Angeles Lakers. This is why a matchup between the Pelicans and Warriors is critical on Friday night.

Fresh off their win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night, a game that the Warriors truly needed to work for without Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, Golden State has their eyes set on possibly jumping the Kings for the 8-seed in the play-in tournament. Although they have dealt with a lot of inconsistencies this year, the Warriors have kicked things into higher gear with the NBA playoffs about to begin. Stephen Curry and Co. have won nine of their last 10 games, their only loss coming on a last-second shot against the Dallas Mavericks last week.

Their confidence is high right now, and the Warriors understand the task at hand. While they have been better on the road than at home this season, this game against the Pelicans will have a playoff-like feel to it. If there is one thing the Warriors can count on, it is their fans in Chase Center to bring the energy and help this team win.

The Pelicans are in a unique situation right now. New Orleans can't move past the 6-seed, where they currently find themselves, but they can certainly drop into the play-in region of the standings if they don't handle their business against the Warriors and then the Lakers on Sunday afternoon. Brandon Ingram remains out for the Pelicans, and after suffering some sort of wrist injury against the Kings on Thursday, Zion Williamson could be in danger of missing this game against Golden State as well.

It is worth noting that the Pelicans do not own the tiebreaker over the Suns. A loss on Friday to the Warriors, plus a win by the Suns over the Kings, would result in New Orleans dropping down into the play-in region of the standings. Coincidentally enough, their opponent in that 7-seed vs. 8-seed game would be the Warriors heading into the final game of the season.

So much can happen during these final two days of the regular season, and the NBA playoff picture will be finalized. Can the Warriors continue to work their way up the standings late in the season, or will the Pelicans take one step closer to clinching the 6-seed?

Lakers vs. Grizzlies (8:00 PM ET)

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) greets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (26) and forward Anthony Davis (3) during the second half at Arena.
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The first meaningful game featuring a Western Conference team in the NBA playoff picture involves LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and the Lakers hoping to climb out of the 10-seed. The Memphis Grizzlies, who have been without basically their entire starting group all season, have actually been decent down the stretch of the year. Taylor Jenkins has his guys fighting hard, which is why the Lakers can't relax in this game. A win is all Los Angeles needs, as they no longer control their destiny in terms of moving out of the 10-seed.

  • The Lakers are currently tied for the 8-seed with the Kings and Warriors but are behind both teams regarding tiebreaker scenarios.
  • A win over the Grizzlies and losses by the Kings AND Warriors moves the Lakers up to the 8-seed in the conference.
  • A win over the Grizzlies and a loss by the Kings OR Warriors moves the Lakers up to the 9-seed in the conference.
  • The Lakers will not move up in the standings if both the Kings and Warriors win on Friday.
  • Los Angeles is locked into the 10-seed with a loss to the Grizzlies and wins by the Kings AND Warriors.

Hawks vs. Timberwolves (8:00 PM ET)

Karl-Anthony Towns is on the verge of returning from his meniscus tear for the Minnesota Timberwolves, and he has been upgraded to questionable ahead of Friday night's game against the Atlanta Hawks. Getting Towns back on the court in any capacity is huge news for the Timberwolves, especially since they have been left thin in their frontcourt with only Rudy Gobert and Naz Reid handling business. As long as Anthony Edwards plays, though, Minnesota has a chance to win any game they play because Edwards has that “it” factor. The Timberwolves are still contending for the 1-seed in the West.

  • The Timberwolves are tied for the 2-seed with the Oklahoma City Thunder; just one game back of the Denver Nuggets for the 1-seed.
  • A win against the Hawks and a loss by the Nuggets moves the Timberwolves up to the 1-seed with one game left.
  • A loss to the Hawks, plus wins by the Nuggets and the Thunder, moves the Timberwolves down to the 3-seed in the West.

Nuggets vs. Spurs (8:00 PM ET)

Once again, the Denver Nuggets have a chance to claim the 1-seed in the Western Conference playoff picture. In terms of the NBA playoff picture, the Boston Celtics own the best record in the league and home-court advantage through the NBA Finals. Nikola Jokic is on his way to winning his third MVP award, and the Nuggets have been hot as of late offensively. Right now, it is hard to look at the West and think there is a team that can actually beat Denver four out of seven games.

  • The Nuggets can clinch the Northwest Division title and the best record in the Western Conference with a win AND losses by both the Timberwolves and the Thunder.
  • Denver leads Minnesota and Oklahoma City by one game for the 1-seed.
  • The Timberwolves and Thunder own tiebreakers over the Nuggets if tied.
  • A loss to the Spurs, plus wins by the Timberwolves and Thunder, takes Denver out of contention for the 1-seed and moves them to the 3-seed in the West.

Bucks vs. Thunder (8:00 PM ET)

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) drives for the basket around Milwaukee Bucks guard Malik Beasley (5) during the first quarter at Fiserv Forum.
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Giannis Antetokounmpo is not going to play the rest of the regular season for the Milwaukee Bucks due to a calf strain, and it is not hard to believe that the Bucks will rest their starters for this game. If they do so, the Oklahoma City Thunder's path to possibly claiming the 1-seed in the West will grow. The Thunder are not resting anyone at this point in the season, as they can still move up in the standings. The NBA playoff picture in the West is not yet complete.

  • The Thunder are one game back of the Nuggets for the 1-seed, currently tied with Minnesota.
  • Oklahoma City owns the tiebreaker over Denver.
  • A win against the Bucks, plus loses by the Timberwolves and Nuggets, moves the Thunder into the 1-seed.
  • A loss to the Bucks, plus wins by the Nuggets and Timberwolves, locks the Thunder into the 3-seed.

Pistons vs. Mavericks (8:30 PM ET)

There is not much to discuss here, but the Dallas Mavericks can still potentially claim home-court advantage for their first-round series against the Los Angeles Clippers. Kyrie Irving is out, and Luka Doncic may also play limited minutes, if he plays against the Detroit Pistons. A win or loss doesn't really matter at this point for Dallas.

  • The Mavs are one game behind the Clippers for the 4-seed in the West.
  • Dallas will face Los Angeles in the first round of the playoffs.
  • A win over Detroit, plus a loss by the Clippers, puts the Mavs into a tie for the 4-seed with Los Angeles.
  • The Clippers own the season tiebreaker over the Mavericks.
  • A loss to the Pistons locks Dallas into the 5-seed.

Pelicans vs. Warriors (10:00 PM ET)

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) dribbles past Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins (22) in the third quarter at the Chase Center.
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

This is the most important game of the Warriors' season and quite possibly the turning point in what has been the most dominant dynasty since 2015. Changes could come to the Warriors in the offseason, especially if they fail to make the playoffs via the play-in tournament. It never hurts to get a second chance, which is why Golden State would much rather go on the road as the 8-seed than play a win-or-go-home game against the Lakers or Kings in the 9-seed vs. 10-seed play-in game. A win over the Pelicans would go a long way in the Warriors possibly achieving this. The winner and loser of this Pelicans-Warriors game will directly impact the NBA playoff picture.

  • The No. 6 Pelicans currently lead the No. 7 Suns by one game.
  • The Warriors are in a three-way tie for the 8-seed with the Kings and Lakers.
  • New Orleans can clinch the 6-seed with a win AND a loss by the Suns.
  • A loss to the Warriors and a win by the Suns pushes the Pelicans down to the 7-seed in the West.
  • A win over New Orleans, plus losses by the Kings and Lakers, moves the Warriors into sole possession of the 8-seed.
  • A win over New Orleans and a loss by the Kings moves the Warriors up to the 8-seed.
  • A loss to New Orleans AND wins by both Sacramento and Los Angeles push the Warriors back down to the 10-seed.

Jazz vs. Clippers (10:30 PM ET)

At this point, the Clippers are locked into the 4-seed vs. 5-seed matchup with the Mavericks. However, they have yet to actually clinch the 4-seed in the West. They can achieve this with a win over the Utah Jazz on Friday. Kawhi Leonard remains out due to a knee injury, and James Harden is questionable to play due to foot inflammation.

  • The Clippers can clinch the 4-seed over the Mavs with a win over Utah.
  • A loss to the Jazz, plus a Mavs win, puts the Clippers into a tie with Dallas for the 4-seed with one game left.
  • The Clippers own the tiebreaker over the Mavericks.

Suns vs. Kings (10:30 PM ET)

Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) handles the ball against Sacramento Kings guard De'Aaron Fox (5) during the third quarter at Footprint Center.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Just like the Pelicans-Warriors game, this Suns vs. Kings matchup is another huge game pertaining to movement in the NBA playoff picture. The Suns need a win to avoid being in the play-in tournament. The Kings, who are locked into the play-in tournament, are looking to avoid falling into the 9-seed vs. 10-seed region. So much is on the line between these two teams from the Pacific Division, but only one of them will be coming away with a key victory late in the year. The Suns have won the last two meetings against the Kings, but these two teams are tied at 2-2 against one another this season.

  • The No. 7 Suns are one game behind the No. 6 Pelicans.
  • The Kings are two games behind the Suns and in a three-way tie with the Warriors and Lakers for the 8-seed in the West.
  • A win over the Kings and a loss by the Pelicans moves the Suns up to the 6-seed in the West.
  • A loss to the Kings and a win by the Pelicans locks the Suns into the play-in tournament.
  • A win over the Suns AND losses by the Warriors and Lakers locks the Kings into the 7-seed vs. 8-seed game.
  • A loss to the Suns AND wins by either the Warriors OR Lakers moves the Kings into the 9-seed vs. 10-seed game.