The NBA season fantastically ended this past Wednesday, with most notably the Minnesota Timberwolves beating the Denver Nuggets in overtime 112-106 to get the last seed in the Western Conference. They’re penciled in to face the Houston Rockets in the first round. Speaking of which, that should lead me to start playoff predictions with this matchup.
The Rockets have the best record in the NBA this season and have the hottest offense in the entire NBA. It’s very hard to contain this team to under 100 points, but fortunately the T-Wolves have the best defensive minded coach in the league in Tom Thibodeau. The matchups involving James Harden, Chris Paul, Eric Gordon and Gerald Green, as well as a scorching bench against Jimmy Butler, Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, Taj Gibson and Jeff Teague will make this an exciting series. If the Wolves can lock down most of the roster and stay clear of foul trouble, I got them winning in seven.
Everyone knows the San Antonio Spurs have been struggling this season and Kawhi Leonard is probably going to leave after this season. The Golden State Warriors have been slumping a bit but their core has been resting, and they’re ready for the playoffs. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Warriors sweep the Spurs, but Coach Popp has shown to pull rabbits out of his coaching hat before.
The Portland Trailblazers won a decisive game at home against the Utah Jazz and will have the 3rd Seed. With that in mind, the New Orleans Pelicans aren’t a joke. Still, without Demarcus Cousins, the Pelicans have been up and down while the Blazers have been a legitimate title contender this season. The Blazers will probably make this a five game series.
Last but definitely not least in this conference the Utah Jazz have a thrilling matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder were made for the playoffs, as can be seen by their offseason acquisitions. Paul George and Carmelo Anthony will have a time against the Jazz, but I expect Rudy Gobert, Dante Exum and Jae Crowder to give them fits. Thunder in 7.