CHRISTMAS in APRIL: NBA Playoff Round 1 Preview, West Edition

Posted: April 15, 2011 by The Cheap Seat Fan in NBA
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Earlier today the first round matching of the Eastern Conference were broken down. While that division has been on the come up since last summer, the West has remains the host of the deepest talent pool in the game. There are teams that missed the Playoffs that would have been locks in the Eastern Conference’s tournament weeks ago. It’s just that tough out West.

In the midst of that, the Lakers are attempting to win a third consecutive title, the Spurs are looking to justify their season-long run with the best record in the conference & the Thunder are looking to deliver on their future promise, now.

All that & a lot more out of a mixture of teams where no upset is truly unbelievable.

#1 Spurs (61-21) vs #8 Grizzles (46-36)

Last 20: Spurs 10-10, Grizzles 12-8
Vs Playoff teams: Spurs 1-7, Grizzled 6-7

Season Series: 2-2 split. The Spurs took a series dip down the stretch, from a mixture of resting their stars & an ill timed slump. At any rate, they still locked down top dog status in the West, but were rewarded with a tough round 1 Matchup in the finally full strength Grizz. They are the type if team that gives the deliberate paced Spurs trouble, as they can run the floor all night. This was evidenced in the fact they split the season series, with each team holding down their homecourt. The Spurs have more home games in this, every, series. And they may need them in what could be a surprisingly tough opening series. But in the end…SPURS WIN.

#4 Thunder (55-27) vs #5 Nuggets (50-27)

Last 20: Thunder 16-4, Nuggets 14-6
Vs Playoff teams: Thunder 6-1, Nuggets 5-4

Season Series: 3-1 Thunder. No team has a tougher path ahead of them that OKC, and it starts with the everyman Nuggets. They have become a diverse attack that can hit you from everywhere in their post-Carmelo incarnation. They will be a tough out for Durant & company, but no team has played better down the stretch than the Thunder, and in the end they have too many high-end talents to fall to the Nuggets, who will feel the absence of Melo for the first time when they have no one that can match buckets with KD. THUNDER WIN.

#3 Mavs (57-25) vs #6 Blazes (48-34)

Last 20: Mavs 12-8, Blazes 13-7
Vs Playoff teams: Mavs 2-7, Blazers 10-4

Season Series: 2-2 split. This could be the best series of all eight first round contests. Each of these teams have a ton of talent and are very similar in how they can beat you. The Mavs are once again showing themselves vulnerable at the wrong time & are coming in to see a Blazers club that has gone to another level since snatching up Gerald Wallace at the trade deadline and adding him to a long athletic front line with LaMarcus Aldridge & Marcus Camby. Tough series that should go seven, but Im playing the upset card here & taking the Blazers.

#2 Lakers (57-25) vs #7 Hornets (46-36)

Last 20: Lakers 14-6, Hornets 9-11
Vs Playoff teams: Lakers 8-4, Hornets 4-8

Season Series: Lakers 4-0. The Lakers didn’t get the top seed as they start their Chase for another ring, but they probably pulled the best Matchup available for them. The Hornets have been in a tailspin in the late season, especially after losing top scorer David West.They are thin up front, and that plays into the Lakers hand. LA is still susceptible to quick play makers, and Chris Paul is in the upper echelons of those, and probably is good for a win by himself at some point in the series. But Kobe will be good for at least two on his own and this one won’t go for too long, as the Camps will be too much overall. LAKERS WIN.

In the end….there can be only one (and I haven’t figured that far out yet). But first there must be eight. The CHEAP SEATS bracket is taking the Bulls, Magic, Celtics & Heat out East, and Spurs, Thunder, Blazers & Lakers in the West.

Let’s get the REAL season on and poppin!

  1. […] I’m not exactly sure how that happened in Dallas and L.A. a week ago. As I said before, the Lakers had the best first round draw of any team in the West, and while they didn’t exactly blow the Hornets away, there certainly was no indication that […]

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