Please note I am writing this a day after Saturday's games and a few hours prior to Sunday's games.
Oh Minnesota, why did you guys have to fall apart like this? The Wolves barely made the playoffs and it came down to their last regular season game. After what was a promising start, losing Jimmy Butler really cost them. Now with a first round match up against the Houston Rocket juggernaut. The Rockets offense is outstanding, James Harden is insane, and Chris Paul is still the point god. I don't see Houston breaking a sweat, Rockets in 4.
Uh, wow Utah! I was expecting Utah to come crashing down to earth when Gordon Hayward left. Despite losing their All Star forward, the emergence of Donovan Mitchell has helped soften the loss and with a reenergized Ricky Rubio and Rudy Gobert, Utah has looked great. The Thunder meanwhile have been, interesting to say the least. They are heavily flawed but they're the one team no one wants to see in the playoffs. OKC will out muscle Utah on star power alone, Thunder in 5.
This is going to be the best first round matchup across the entire post season. I don't think there's a clear favorite here as each team has their strengths and their flaws. The Pelicans took Game 1 with a monster showing from AD who posted 35 points, 14 rebounds, and 4 blocks. It's fair to say the Pelicans stole their victory last night thanks to their defense and a rather poor shooting from Lillard and CJ. If DMC wasn't injured, I'd say Pelicans would have this series in the bag; Without him, I say Portland's strong backcourt over powers The Brow in 6.
I have wished for a fully healthy Spurs team to face the Warriors since last year. Let us not forget this nearly identical Spurs team was putting a beating against Golden State on their home court. With Leonard still out, the Spurs have no chance at all. The deep and star studded Warriors will sweep the Spurs.
I am so ready for this. So, so, so, so ready. This is a match up NBA fans dream of in their sleep. Russell Westbrook vs Chris Paul. Paul George vs James Harden. One over powered offensive juggernaut vs one star studded roster. This has all the makings of a series going the distance. In the end I think the more explosive and less flawed Rockets team will end any hopes of a OKC vs Golden State Conference Finals. Rockets in 7.
When you look at it, Golden State is bound to briskly walk to the Conference Finals. Portland is going to come into the Semi Finals tired from a first round bout vs New Orleans and they'll have to immediately face what can be considered the best team of all time. They don't stand a chance, Warriors in 4.
This is another match up NBA fans have been dreaming off all year. I cannot wait to see this as this will be one heck of an offensive game from both teams. Houston offense has been unstoppable and while Golden State's defense is great, I think Houston can still put up 105+ points per game on them. Meanwhile Golden State should be 100% healthy by the WCF and that will of course spell trouble for Houston. This series will go the distance, but in the end the Warriors dynasty will live another year. Warriors in 7.