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Western Conferece Playoff Preview

by Photo of Ankit Ahuja

We Preview All the Intriguing Matchups, and Who We Think Comes Out of the West

Western Conferece Playoff Preview

The Western Conference has been better than the Eastern Conference for quite some time now. Since Tim Duncan entered the league in 1997-98, teams from the West have won 11 of the 17 NBA Titles. Duncan's Spurs are responsible for five of them. This year is no different. The last team to get eliminated in the West (Oklahoma City) would have been the six seed in the East.

Seven of the teams won 50 or more games, and the number of teams that realistically could win it all should make for a thrilling playoffs. There are many intriguing match-ups out west, and we cannot wait for it start today.

(1) Golden State Warriors vs (8) New Orleans Pelicans

Golden State finished with the best record in the league winning 67 games, and the Pelicans clinched a playoff spot on the last day of the regular season. Golden State won the regular season series 3-1, and I do not expect this series to be very competitive. The Pelicans and stud Anthony Davis will have a very tough time against a team that possesses a backcourt composed of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. I have Golden State in five games.

(2) Houston Rockets vs (7) Dallas Mavericks

This series will be interesting. Houston exceeded expectations this season considering the injuries to Dwight Howard thanks to an MVP-level performance from James Harden all year long. The Mavericks made a splashy move acquiring Rajon Rondo from the Celtics mid-season, but the team hasn't totally meshed. Still, they have an incredibly talented starting lineup. This series will be closer than many people think. Although Houston is the favorite, I would not count out Dallas. I will go with Houston in seven.

(3) Los Angeles Clippers vs (6) San Antonio Spurs

The basketball gods are being very kind with the fans this season. These are the two hottest teams in the league, and they are playing in the first round. The Clippers are 14-1 in their last 15, and their reward is the defending champion Spurs. The Spurs are finally looking like their old selves. Kawhi Leonard is healthy and playing great basketball, and the Big Three of Duncan, Parker and Ginobili are still as potent as ever. When they are playing like this, it is hard to pick against them. Spurs in six.

(4) Portland Trail Blazers vs (5) Memphis Grizzlies

It is unfortunate that both these teams are so banged up coming into the playoffs. Both teams have key pieces hurt. For the Blazers, guard Aaron Afflalo is hurt with a shoulder injury, who was filling in for the injured Wes Matthews. Nic Batum isn't 100 per cent either. For the Grizzlies, guards Mike Conley and Tony Allen are banged up. There is a chance that they play in Game 1, but even if they do they will not be close to full strength. This is a tough series to pick, but I will go Memphis in six because of their ability to grind out games. 

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