Western Conference Playoff Predictions

Posted: 04/22/2012 by levcohen in Basketball

Today will be my predictions for the western conference playoffs, assuming the playoff seedings don’t change by the end of the year:

#1 Spurs vs. #8 Jazz

The Starting Lineups:

PG: Tony Parker (SAS) and Devin Harris (UTA).. Advantage San Antonio
SG: Daniel Green (SAS) and Gordon Hayward (UTA)… Advantage Utah
SF: Kawhi Leonard (SAS) and DeMarre Carroll (UTA).. Advantage San Antonio
PF: DeJuan Blair (SAS) and  Paul Millsap (UTA)… Advantage Utah
C: Tim Duncan (SAS) and Al Jefferson (UTA)… Advantage Utah
Bench: Boris Diaw, Manu Ginobli, Stephen Jackson, Tiago Splitter, Patrick Mills, Matt Bonner vs. Jamaal Tinsley, Derrick Favors, Raja Bell, Josh Howard, Alec Burks, Enes Kanter  (UTA)… Advantage San Antonio
Coaching: San Antonio
Injury Risks: Many Ginobli and Al Jefferson… Advantage San Antonio
Momentum:  San Antonio 8-2 last 10, Utah 6-4 last 10

The 8 seed in the west is going to be very dangerous. The Jazz have a very talented team, and they actually match up pretty well with the Spurs, with a great forward combo of Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson. Those guys will probably shut down Tim Duncan. However, I think Gordon Hayward is the X Factor. He is very talented, but still inexperienced. Also, Devin Harris needs to play well. Otherwise, All Star Tony Parker will lead the experienced Spurs to an easy playoff victory.

Series: Spurs win in 6 games

#2 Thunder vs. #7 Mavericks

The Starting Lineups:

PG: Russell Westbrook (OKC) and Rodrigue Beaubois (DAL).. Advantage Oklahoma City
SG: Thabo Sefolosha (OKC) and Delonte West (DAL).. Even
SF: Kevin Durant (OKC) and  Shawn Marion (DAL)… Advantage Oklahoma City
PF: Serge Ibaka (OKC) and Dirk Nowitzki (DAL)… Advantage Oklahoma City
C: Kendrick Perkins (OKC) and Brendan Haywood (DAL)… Advantage Oklahoma City
Bench: James Harden and a bunch of scrubs (OKC) vs. Jason Terry and a bunch of scrubs (DAL)… Advantage Dallas (The mavs scrubs are better than the Thunder scrubs)
Coaching: Even
Injury Risks: Jason Kidd, Rodrigue Beaubois (DAL)… Advantage Oklahoma City
Momentum: Oklahoma City last 10: 6-4.. Dallas last 10: 5-5

#3 Lakers vs. #6 Nuggets

The Starting Lineups:

PG: Ramon Sessions (LA) and Ty Lawson (DEN)… Advantage Denver
SG: Kobe Bryant (LA) and Aaron Afflalo (DEN)… Advantage Los Angeles
SF: Metta World Peace (LA) and Danilo Gallinari (DEN)… Advantage Denver
PF: Pau Gasol (LA) and Kenneth Faried (DEN)… Advantage Los Angeles
C: Andrew Bynum (LA) and Javale McGee (DEN)… Advantage Los Angeles
Bench: Matt Barnes, Steve Blake, Jordan Hill, Devin Ebanks, Troy Murphy (LA) vs. Al Harrington, Corey Brewer, Andre Miller, Wilson Chandler, Rudy Fernandez (DEN)… Advantage Denver
Coaching: Advantage Denver
Injury Risks: K. Bryant, A. Bynum and D. Gallinari, A. Harrington.. Advantage Denver
Momentum: LA last 10: 6-4.. Denver last 10: 6-4

This is an interesting matchup between two completely different teams. The Lakers are experienced and have 3 stars (Bryant, Gasol, Bynum). The Nuggets have no stars, and have a lot of young talented players. They are also very deep. I think this is a matchup that could be very exciting.

Series: Nuggets in 7

#4 Clippers vs. #5 Grizzlies

The Starting Lineups:

PG: Chris Paul (LA) and Mike Conley (MEM).. Advantage Los Angeles
SG: Randy Foye (LA) and Tony Allen (MEM).. Even
SF: Caron Butler (LA) and Rudy Gay (MEM).. Advantage Memphis
PF: Blake Griffin (LA) and Zach Randolph (MEM)… Even (assuming Randolph is at full strength)
C: DeAndre Jordan (LA) and Mark Gasol (MEM).. Advantage Memphis
Bench: Eric Bledsoe, Mo Williams, Nick Young, Ryan Gomes, Kenyon Martin (LA) vs. Marreese Speights, Gilbert Arenas, OJ Mayo, Dante Cunningham, Quincy Pondexter (MEM)… Advantage Los Angeles
Coaching: Even
Injury Risks: C. Butler and Z. Randolph.. Advantage Los Angeles
Momentum: Clippers last 10: 7-3. Grizzlies last 10: 8-2

This will be another very exciting series. The Lob City Clips are very talented, but so are the Grizzlies, who shocked people last year. While he isn’t anything compared to Chris Paul, Mike Conley is a good PG, a terrific ball handler and defender. Tony Allen is another great defender. Gay, Randolph and Gasol provide a ton of scoring and rebounding punch. On the other side, the Clippers are fantastic. Chris Paul is the best PG in the NBA, and Blake Griffin is the best dunker. Add in a DeAndre Jordan (he is tremendous at blocking shots) and a good bench, and you have a great team. I like the Grizzlies a little more in this series, assuming Randolph is back and healthy. Either way, it’ll be a great series

Series with Randolph 100%: Grizzlies in 7
Series without Randolph at 100%: Clippers in 7

So overall, I have:

Bulls, Heat, Pacers, Celtics from the East making it to the next round and Spurs, Thunder, Nuggets, Grizzlies from the West.

 

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