2012 NBA Playoffs: Western Conference 1st Round

Posted by C.L. Anthony on Saturday, April 28, 2012 with No comments
The 1/8 match up in the Western Conference highlights two teams that are riding a wave of momentum, the San Antonio Spurs and the Utah Jazz.  The Spurs are coming of their 13th 50 win season which is astounding and they closed the season strong to rip away the #1 seed from the Thunder.  The Utah Jazz fought a 3 way battle with the Suns and the Rockets for the right to even earn and playoff spot and their prize will be the 1st place Spurs.  Last season the Spurs were rocked in the first round by the Grizzlies but history will not repeat itself here.  The Jazz will put up a tough fight but the Spurs will move on with relative ease.

The defending NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks traveled a rocky road on their way to the NBA playoffs.  Teams that are championship tested could worry less about what seed they are, it's all about the opportunity and Dallas has seized their
chance to compete for a repeat.  Some would say that the OKC Thunder are the darlings of the NBA and it's their time to make the next step and fulfill their championship destiny.  Kevin Durant led the league in scoring for the 3rd consecutive year and the game of Russell Westbrook ascended to new heights.  Last season I picked against the Mavericks during each round of the playoffs and they ended up being the champions but my heart tells me OKC and I'm sticking with it.  The Thunder will move on.

During last years' playoff run, the Grizzlies played the spoiler role and they were within one game of the western conference finals, this season the Grizz made the leap from the 8th seed to the 4th seed and home court advantage against the Clippers.  This year marked only the 4th time in the last 30 years that the Clippers made it to the postseason with the exciting game of Blake Griffin and the floor leadership of Chris Paul.  Despite making a huge jump in the eyes of many fans, I fear this is where the Clippers season will end.  They were exposed during the regular season for being "soft" and the Grizzlies are far beyond being soft.  The Grizzlies front line will prove too much for the Clippers and the Grizzlies will move on to the second round.

The Lakers and the Nuggets will be a fun match up of styles, team play vs individual greatness, old school vs new school.  The guard play will be extremely exciting but the Lakers will prove to be too big and too savvy.  Bynum and Gasol will cause a multitude of problems for the Nuggets who are kind of smallish outside of JaVale McGee.  Metta World Peace will be missed but he will be missed more during the next match up versus this one.  The Lakers will move on.