clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Taking Stock of the Playoffs

New, comments

Looking at the playoff matchups one week in

NBA: Playoffs-Los Angeles Clippers at Utah Jazz Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Western Conference

Golden State Warriors (1) vs Portland Trailblazers (8)
Golden State leading 3-0

The Warriors are playing like a number one seed should, beating the Trailblazers quite soundly in most of these games. The Trailblazers were always going to be in trouble without Jusuf Nurkic, as he has really helped spur their late-season for the playoffs. The Blazer’s defense has also been pretty terrible all season long, which is certainly not the deficiency that you want to have against the Warriors. Game Four, and potentially the final game of the series, will take place tonight.

However, there is some bad news for the Warriors, as Head Coach Steve Kerr is battling health problems with this back and he may not be back for the rest of the playoffs.

San Antonio Spurs (2) vs Memphis Grizzlies (7)
Series Tied 2-2

This series has become much more exciting than the initial opening domination that the Spurs put forth, as the Grizzlies have been able to battle their way back to an even series. Kawhi Leonard has continued his transcendent season, but the Grizzlies core group, especially Mike Conley and Marc Gasol continue to defy expectations and not let the Grizzlies fade quietly into the night. This could end up being a great series, which has already given us the best game of the playoffs so far.

Houston Rockets (3) vs Oklahoma City Thunder (6)
Rockets lead 3-1

Russell Westbrook heroics aside, the Rockets seem to have finally pulled ahead with last night’s close victory, which they won 113-109. I didn’t catch the game, but the fact that Nene had 28 points on 12-12 shooting seems odd to say the very least.

However, it is hard to say this series is definitively over, as Russell Westbrook could somehow go on an even more impressive tear, not to mention we have seen the Rockets fall apart before.

Los Angeles Clippers (4) vs Utah Jazz (5)
Series tied 2-2

The Jazz fought back to even up the series last night, on the back of Iso-God Joe Johnson and his fourth quarter heroics. Rudy Gobert has returned to the series as well, which does not bode well for the Clippers. With Blake Griffin out, this series is shaping up to be extremely competitive down the stretch.

Eastern Conference

Boston Celtics (1) vs Chicago Bulls (8)
Series tied 2-2

This has been a weird series, with both teams only winning on the road. However, it does seem that with the loss of Rajon Rondo that the Bulls have had a hard time maintaining any sort of cohesion, especially on offense. What was looking like a potential upset series may fall back into the anticipated victory for the Celtics.

Cleveland Cavaliers vs Indiana Pacers (7)
Cleveland won 4-0

LeBron James averaged 32.8 points per game, 9.8 rebounds per game, 9.0 assists per game, 3 steals per game, and 2 blocks per game. While shooting 45 percent from three. He has turned on playoff LeBron and the Pacers had no real chance. It’s amazing every year that he has another level to go to, even as he plays what is probably the most “continuous” amount of minutes that an NBA player has ever played before, when considering all of his consecutive finals appearances. There is never a break, never any loss of pressure, it never stops. But yet, LeBron can still rise to the occasion.

Toronto Raptors (3) vs Milwaukee Bucks (6)
Tied 2-2

This series has probably become the most interesting of the playoffs, as the other close series are marred by injuries, other than the unexpectedly close Spurs vs Grizzlies. There are several distinct narratives playing out, with the potential fall of the Raptors coinciding the with the rise of the Bucks. Is this Giannis’ playoff coming out party? Does that also mean that the Raptors may have a massive roster overhaul after playoff disappointment again? It will be exciting to find out.

Washington Wizards (4) vs Atlanta Hawks (5)
Wizards leading 2-1

This has been a pretty uninteresting series so far, or at the very least it is the one that I have seen the least coverage of so far, which is bound to happen when there are so many distinct series going on with their own competing story lines. The Wizards should have no problem in closing out this series.