Well, folks, we’ve passed Game 1 of each series in the NBA, and all things have gone according to plan. Well, not exactly. The Warriors lost to the Nuggets but just by two points, almost snapping Denver’ lengthy 23-game home winning streak. The Clippers completely torched the Grizzlies with 115 points, 37 in the fourth quarter. The Lakers, despite popular belief, failed to execute in the first half, and looked like they just needed some scorer out there, yikes. The Rockets finished off Sunday’s slate of games by getting crushed by the Thunder.
This is a basic list of predictions after the first four seeds have won their first games. The Thunder, Clippers, Nuggets and Spurs have all taken a 1-0 lead, and the Warriors, of all teams, were the closest to breaking that. None of these series are even remotely over, but some can be won pretty easily. There’s hope, but not much.
1. OKC vs Houston:
If you’re telling me you think that Houston can beat the Thunder, you must be a very hopeful fan. Based on last night’s route, I think it’s safe to say the reigning Western Conference Champions know what they’re doing. Even though Harden has been in this scene before, the Thunder know his weaknesses, and are going to use them to shut him down this series. That technique was pretty effective last night, as Harden went 6-for-17 from the field.
Other than that, Durant and Westbrook, Oklahoma’s two stars are looking pretty good, and are likely to make it all the way to the conference finals, again. It shouldn’t b too hard, considering the amount of depth that they have.
Prediction: Thunder win 4-1
2. San Antonio vs La Lakers:
LA got blown out in San Antonio. It wasn’t that bad because the Spurs only scored 91 points, right? Not really. The Lakers had a terrible shooting night from the field, and finished with 37 points at half time, and 79 for the final. It was pretty bad out there, and the Lakers just looked like they needed a scorer. Hey, isn’t that guy who got injured one of the best players in the NBA?
Predictions: San Antonio wins 4-2
3. Denver vs Golden State:
Finally, we’re at a good series. The Warriors came into Denver, and to everyone’s surprise, played through their fatigue, battled fearlessly, and had a huge 4th quarter comeback, just when you thought all was lost. Unfortunately, their night was ended when Andre Miller scored a game winning layup with 1.3 seconds left. He was unstoppable with 28 points. The Warriors also lost their All-Star David Lee for the playoffs, but I don’t think that affects the spirit of this Dub squad.
If they win Game 2 in Denver, they’ve got a good shot at the series, as Denver is just 19-22 on the road. Unfortunately for the Warriors, however, losing the game would mean that they would have to home and win just to tie the series. The Warriors will play through all the toughness, but chances are looking pretty slim at this point, especially with Lee out.
Prediction: Denver wins 4-3
4. LA Clippers vs Memphis:
Memphis has the best defense in the league, and there’s no way that they’re going to fall to the Los Angeles Floppers! First of all, the Clippers are good because they throw incredible lobs and play the game at a fast pace. Their flopping is just a bit irritating at time. Fortunately for them, they gained some confidence with a huge blowout of Memphis, something that wasn’t supposed to happen.
Still, I think defense is about the only consistent part of Memphis’ team, so they’re bound to turn this series around somehow. Marc Gasol has been named the defensive player of the year, and the Grizzlies are still better than the Clippers, despite what the record shows. If they don’t get cheated out of a win, they should come away with the series.
Prediction: Memphis 4-2