NBA Playoff Surprises – West
With the First Round of the NBA Playoffs winding down, there have been a number of surprises. Today, we take a look at what shocked us over the last week in the West and what we can look forward to over the next few days.
San Antonio vs. Dallas
The surprise of this series is the ability for the Mavericks to hang tough with one of the best teams of the regular season. We knew the Mavs would play close, but after splitting the first 4 games, the Spurs look like they could be in trouble. This is a surprise because the Spurs showed no signs of being able to be beat on a regular basis during the season. And watching the games, the Spurs look beatable in this series.
Memphis vs. Oklahoma State
It should not come as a huge surprise seeing as both teams play polar opposite styles, however, there were not many who were favoring the Grizzlies heading into this series. With a healthy Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, the speed and playmaking of the Thunder should have been the story. Instead, the Grizzlies are working their low-post game and currently hold a one game advantage over the Thunder headed back to Memphis for Game 6.
Golden State vs. Los Angeles
The surprise here has been what has been happening off the court with Clippers owner Donald Sterling. With a recording of his racist comments coming out early in the week, and the swift action of the league serving Sterling with the largest punishment in NBA history, the Clippers have been caught in a media storm that had every reason to distract them. However, the Clippers have overcome the outside distractions and currently hold a 3 games to 2 lead over the Warriors heading into Game 6.
Houston vs. Portland
The people of Portland are not surprised, but anyone who hasn’t watched the Blazers all season has had to pick their jaws up off the floor watching Damian Lillard score at will against the Rockets. His speed, vision, and ability to get to the basket late in the game has given Rip City a 3 to 1 series lead. His play, alongside LaMarcus Aldridge, has not only elevated the Trail Blazers, but has allowed them to take control of games in the 4th quarter and hold on to win a couple of tough games.
This coming week in the West looks to be an exciting finish to a very competitive first round. Will the Spurs return to mid-season form? Can OKC get out and run against the Grizzlies? Will the Clippers be able to put the Sterling controversy behind them and finish the Warriors? And will Damian Lillard continue to make a case for himself in the playoff MVP voting? I can’t wait to find out.
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