Most of the remaining four teams in the west made their series fun and long. Dallas and Phoenix had more experience than the younger teams in New Orleans and Minnesota. The losers still earned a lot of respect even if they fell short. Golden State regained prominence and could be the team to beat in order to represent the west. Two of the remaining four will advance to the conference finals. Time to break down which of the two have the best chance to escape the second round.
#4 Dallas Mavericks v. #1 Phoenix Suns
The easiest matchup to break down and predict in the whole second round. Dallas won a four game series against a Utah Jazz team that bumbled and collapsed. The Mavericks led two games to one without franchise star Luka Doncic. Two states out west, Phoenix parried New Orleans and ultimately proved they were the better team despite some injuries and off-nights.
Unlike New Orleans, Dallas doesn’t have multiple options outside their franchise star. Spencer Dinwiddie, Jalen Brunson and Dorian Finney-Smith compliment Doncic well, but the Suns are better coached and have the depth to counter the Mavericks.
Prediction: Suns win series 4-1
#3 Golden State Warriors v. #2 Memphis Grizzlies
Two of professional basketball’s best teams square off in one of the best series in round two. The guard duos of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson versus Ja Morant and Desmond Bane will be watched in both anticipation and fascination.
Despite Memphis winning the regular season matchup three to one against Golden State, the Warriors didn’t have all their star players on the court in at least three of those games. Golden State eliminated Denver early for added rest and to watch ways they can expose Memphis in certain situations, especially lead changes.
While both guard duos are even in scoring, depth at center and forward determines who advances to the conference finals. Draymond Green, Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins have the advantage over Dillon Brooks, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Xavier Tillman Sr. It’s hard to see how Memphis counters the more experienced playoff team with more quality players.
Prediction: Warriors win series 4-2
Western Conference first round playoff picks record: 3-1