WEST NBA Playoff Predictions

The West has been set for few the last week now and there are a whole lot of storylines going on the West that will make for some great playoff meetings. With the Warriors boasting their All-Star, Olympic, Duel-MVP starting 5 is there a team that will be able to knock them off?

8th Seed – Portland Trailblazers

POR2017

I can’t wait for the year that I write a playoffs prediction article and get to include Portland as a favourite to either win it all or make the conference finals. At this point the Trailblazers are the hardest team in the NBA to hate – it’s not possible don’t @ me about it. Portland didn’t blow people away this year and in fact they started off a little slower than last years win over an injured Clippers and window of opportunity at the Warriors that was quickly stopped in its tracks by a returning Stephen Curry.

The Blazers have a new wrinkle in the works however, that is the arrival of big man Jusuf Nurkic after sending off a staple in their starting 5 Mason Plumlee. This trade turned out to be great for Portland as they hit the ground running with Nurkic and Blazers basketball has never looked better. At the end of the of the day we have to live in a basketball world of honesty and honestly this isn’t Portland’s year, and it’s anything but their fault, rather they are a victim of playoff seeding. Sorry Portland.

GSW1

JORDAN TOM ROB
GS Warriors in 4 games GS Warriors in 5 games GS Warriors in 5 games
Watchability Grade: B Watchability Grade: A- Watchability Grade: B

7th Seed – Memphis Grizzlies

MEM@017

Those boys in Memphis just continue to give the Western Conference headaches, and are beginning to have me crown them the best “Playoff team you don’t ever want to play… like EVER”. The Grizzlies have toughed it out all season with a promising first year head coach in David Fizdale who hasn’t changed anything – and honestly thats exactly what you do with this team. Why fix something that is continuing to work?

If you haven’t watched a Memphis game this year then you might be thinking about what happened last year against the Spurs. But that needs to be thrown away because this year the team is relatively healthy minus the recent news about their heart & soul Tony Allen. If the news of Tony Allen didn’t exist then this team would definitely give the Spurs a run for their money. Unfortunately as tough as I think this team will play (and trust me they’ll leave it all out there) I can’t see it, but wouldn’t be entirely surprised or upset to be proved wrong.

SAS1

JORDAN TOM ROB
SA Spurs in 5 games SA Spurs in 6 games SA Spurs in 6 games
Watchability Grade: C- Watchability Grade: C+ Watchability Grade: B-

6th Seed – Oklahoma City Thunder

OKC2017

I almost feel like a book could be written about this series if it turns out to be everything we here at Courtside Conversations are expecting it to be. The Oklahoma City Thunder come into this season without KD and are projected to win roughly 45 games, weird right? Well at first it was yes, but as soon as we could question who thought of that number Russell Westbrook showed us exactly why that wasn’t so far-fetched. Westbrook dominated for the Thunder this year and the team did a little better than projected and birthed “BEASTBROOK” in the process.

Now while that worked in the regular season for the Thunder we must realise that in the playoffs the game changes and while I can guarantee Westbrook adjusting to the level of play I can’t do the same for those around him except for maybe Roberson and Adams who have been there before. It’s been a great year for the Thunder but it doesn’t look like a good playoff year in the end. However, even as I write this my delete button feels like a magnet, because if I’ve ever seen one player want to win basketball games as bad as he wants to live on this earth, its the guy who’s not from this earth Mr. Russ.

HOU1

JORDAN TOM ROB
Houston Rockets in 7 games Houston Rockets in 7 games Houston Rockets in 7 games
Watchability Grade: A+ Watchability Grade: A Watchability Grade: A


5th Seed – Utah Jazz

UTH2017

The Jazz have answered the prayers and made the playoffs for the first time in a long time. The Jazz have slowly been building a team around Gordon Hayward who got his first All-Star nod this year and is playing like it too. Standing right next to him is the leagues best rim protector and a supporting cast comprised if Joe “ISO Joe” Johnson, Boris Diaw, Rodney Hood, George Hill, Joe Ingles. I like it, all of it and if the Houston vs. Thunder match-up wasn’t a first rounder then this one would take the cake.

The Jazz are playing for the taste of a playoff run providing them with validation and the right to say they belong in the race with the Western Conference. They’ve had time to build and now its time to show. Like a few other teams tin the playoffs this year the odds are stacked against them and it isn’t as simple as talent vs talent. Simply the Clippers are playing for more and unless the Jazz feel more worthy, their positive outcome of this series is pushing it to 6 or 7 and making the Clippers work for this one.

LAC1

JORDAN TOM ROB
LA Clippers in 6 games Utah Jazz in 7 games LA Clippers in 6 games
Watchability Grade: B Watchability Grade: B Watchability Grade: B-

GSW2

JORDAN TOM ROB
GSW def. LA in 4 games GSW def. Jazz in 6 games GSW def. LA in 5 games

4th Seed – LA Clippers

LAC2017

The Clippers record and overall playoff seeding is a result of 2 things that continue to be the storyline heading into their 6th season with Paul, Jordan and Griffin. The 2 sides of healthy and injured are so apparent that when healthy they look great and if they play at max potential look like they’ll finally get out of that haunting second round. The flip-side however is always right around the corner that its just waiting to crush their season in one final sweep.

This year is the final year it feels like this team will be as they are. This is the year that if the Clippers don’t go far into the playoffs then there are changes that wait for this team and it’s not going to be pretty. The Clippers are playing for a whole lot more than any other team this year and it goes far beyond the Larry O’Brian trophy. This is the last chance Clippers and it’s going to be interesting to see how they handle it.

LAC1

JORDAN TOM ROB
LA Clippers in 6 games Utah Jazz in 7 games LA Clippers in 6 games
Watchability Grade: B Watchability Grade: B Watchability Grade: B-

GSW2

JORDAN TOM ROB
GSW def. LA in 5 games GSW def. Jazz in 6 games GSW def. LA in 5 games

3rd Seed – Houston Rockets

HOU2017

The Rockets have become a better reborn version of Mike D’Antoni’s 2006/2007 Phoenix Suns but with lights out 3-point shooting that would even make the Warriors blush. James Harden has transformed himself into one the hardest point guards in the NBA to guard by taking the moniker “don’t reach” to levels that we’ll probably never see again, it’s become an art at this point.

MVP or not, this is the time where the Rockets show the league what they’re really made of and after a tough fought series against the Thunder, assuming they come out the victor it’s going to be tough to stop them. They’ve bulked up their roster with Lou Williams and with that possess one of the NBA’s deadliest players when he gets hot. Houston goes as far as Harden leads them, so that means every game he has to stay true to himself and really put a new meaning to “big-game James”.

HOU1

JORDAN TOM ROB
Houston Rockets in 7 games Houston Rockets in 7 games Houston Rockets in 7 games
Watchability Grade: A+ Watchability Grade: A Watchability Grade: A

SAS2

JORDAN TOM ROB
Rockets in 7 games SA Spurs in 6 games SA Spurs in 6 games

GSW3

JORDAN TOM ROB
GSW def. Rockets in 7 games GSW def. Spurs in 7 games GSW def. Spurs in 6 games

2nd Seed – San Antonio Spurs

SAS2017

Times have changed for the Spurs and in 2017 the keys are Kawhi Leonard’s and its his stage to show what he can do with it. The team hasn’t totally lost its veteran leadership and Gregg Popovich is still the NBA’s best coach after decades of winning. So even with a top 3 MVP candidate and one of the best coaches in history why am I hesitant to give this Spurs team a place in the Finals?

I don’t know what it is but the Spurs haven’t wowed me this year, and they don’t do that for a lot of NBA fans when you look around at the other 29 teams. Winning however, holds a huge place in the “Shut up, you don’t know what your talking about” world of Spurs diehards. How can I have a case against them when they’ve won 60+ games? The only answer that I can summon is that when I look around it doesn’t feel like the Spurs can beat the Warriors… like at all.
SAS1

JORDAN TOM ROB
SA Spurs in 5 games SA Spurs in 6 games SA Spurs in 6 games
Watchability Grade: C- Watchability Grade: C+ Watchability Grade: B-

SAS2

JORDAN TOM ROB
Houston Rockets in 7 games SA Spurs in 6 games SA Spurs in 6 games

GSW3

JORDAN TOM ROB
GSW def. Rockets in 7 games GSW def. Spurs in 7 games GSW def. Spurs in 6 games

1st Seed – Golden State Warriors

GSW2017

Golden State have Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and oh yeah… Kevin Durant.

I want to just leave that there and be done but to be completely honest for a small window when Kevin Durant suffered that MCL sprain in Washington a few weeks back it looked like the Warriors were being punished once again by the basketball gods. That window put the Warriors into a 6 game losing streak and just when it looked like the Warriors were in trouble, their 2-time MVP Stephen Curry pulled them up out of the mud, dusted them off and turned right back into the dominant scorer we all made time for just a year ago as we marvelled at the sheer dominance of it all.

When the Durant decision was announced it seemed all but over for the rest of the NBA and well as we leave the regular season behind that still seems to be true.

GSW1

JORDAN TOM ROB
GS Warriors in 4 games GS Warriors in 5 games GS Warriors in 5 games
Watchability Grade: B Watchability Grade: A- Watchability Grade: B

GSW2

JORDAN TOM ROB
GSW def. LA in 4 games GSW def. Jazz in 6 games GSW def. LA in 5 games

GSW3

JORDAN TOM ROB
GSW def. Rockets in 7 games GSW def. Spurs in 7 games GSW def. Spurs in 6 games

Finals

JORDAN TOM ROB
GSW in 6 games GSW in 7 games GSW in 6 games
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