2014 NBA Playoffs Western Conference

by Dan M | Posted on Sunday, April 20th, 2014

kevin-Durant-russell-Westbrook-oklahoma-city-thunder-nba-2013-2014

Spurs vs. Mavericks
Season Series: San Antonio led 3-0
The San Antonio Spurs currently hold the best record in the NBA (62-19). Once again, San Antonio is led by veterans Tony Parker, Manu Ginoboli, and Tim Duncan, a trio which will be looking to reach the finals for the second straight year.
Meanwhile, the Dallas Mavericks finished the regular season 49-33 and currently hold the 8th seed in the Western conference. Dallas is back in the postseason after a disappointing 2013 campaign. The Spurs have won nine straight games against the Mavs.
Prediction: The Big 3 and experience of the Spurs show to be too much for Dirk Nowitzki and the Spurs. Spurs in 5.

Rockets vs Blazers
Season Series: Rockets led 3-1
This 4 vs 5 matchup may turn out to be the best and most entertaining first round series. The Trailblazers finished the season with a 54-28 record, and that has placed them as the 5 seed in the Western Conference playoffs. Portland has a very dynamic offense, averaging just around 107 points per game, which ranks them 4th best in the NBA. They are led by All Star PG Damian Lilliard and 4 man Lamarcus Aldridge. However, their Achilles heel is on the defensive end, where they are allowing 103 PPG.
The Houston Rockets made a huge splash this offseason landing C Dwight Howard. Howard, an All Star for the 8th time in his career, has meshed well with James Harden and company. Houston, like Portland, is a high scoring offense. The Rockets rank a tad higher than the Trailblazers in scoring, averaging 107.7 PPG.
Again, like the Trailblazers, Houston s struggles come on the defensive end, where they give up and average of 103 PPG. As you can see, the stats offensively and defensively match up almost identically. Expect a high scoring and exciting first round between these 2 teams.
Prediction: James Harden, Dwight Howard, and the supporting class of the Rockets get past the pesky Trailblazers. Rockets in 7.

Clippers vs Warriors
Season Series: Tied 2-2
ALERT: Andrew Bogut will most likely miss the entire series with broken ribs. With that being said, Blake Griffin, Deandre Jordan and the rest of the front court of the Clippers should dominate the interior of the Warriors.
However, you can t count out the 3 point shooting of the  splash brothers.  Steph Curry and Klay Thompson made a combined 484 3 pointers this season. Curry this season is averaging 22 points and 10 assists per game against the Clippers.
Prediction: Without Bogut, the Clippers will be able to run away with this series. Curry will keep them in it longer than expected but they will still be sent home packing. Clippers in 6.
Thunder vs Grizzlies:
Season Series: Thunder won 3-1
The Oklahoma City Thunder finished the season in second place in the Western Conference. They are led by 2013-2014 scoring champion Kevin Durant. That scoring title is Durant s 4th in his 7th year in the league. Durant finished the season, averaging a career high 32 PPG. The 6,10  Durant is a matchup nightmare and is almost impossible to stop. Doc Rivers on Durant, “Durant is the single most difficult guy to defend  in the NBA.”
“I’ve said that for three years,  Rivers said Tuesday, on the eve of his team’s showdown with the Thunder in a game that could determine the top three seeds in the Western Conference playoffs,  “and even when you defend him well, in most cases, he just missed the shot.”
On the other hand, the Memphis Grizzlies, under first year head coach David Joerger, finished the regular season 50-32. Memphis ended the regular season strong, winning its last 5 games. They are in the playoffs once again, led by front court players, Marc Gasol and Anthony Randolph.
The Grizzlies make their money off of their defense and it is what has gotten them to this point. They give up an average of 94.6 PPG, the 3rd lowest total in the league.
Prediction. The Grizzlies steal one at home vs the Thunder, but ultimately, Durant and Westbrook are too much to handle.
Thunder in 5.

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