2008 NBA Western Conference Breakdown
It took to the final day of the regular season but the seeds are set and the western conference playoff brackets are about to collide. This article will cover the first round meetings and how teams will fare with some upsets in the first rounds. The article will cover some good ATS roles to back teams in as well as a prediction on what team will advance. The Western Conference is so close it is hard to even suggest that if a lower seed wins that it is an upset.
#1 Lakers Vs #8 Nuggets
There was not an expert among us that picked the lakers to win the number one seed. Then Kobe had a great season and Bynum surprised everyone by maturing to a superstar level before getting hurt. The lakers front office didn’t stop there as they pressed and got a steal from the Grizzlies and stole Paul Gasol and he became the missing link that they need to fill in for the injured Bynum and bring the Lakers to the top seed in the West. They will be playing the Nuggets in the first round of the western conference playoffs. The nuggets stumbled into the eighth spot late barely holding off the Golden St Warriors and managed to stumble into some controversy as well. Denver Nugget superstar Carmello Anthony was arrested on suspicion of DUI. The Nuggets quickly assumed some damagae control and had Anthony apologize to everyone and try to put it behind them so they could focus on the Lakers but they have bigger problems, like team chemistry and defense to name just a few. The Denver team is indeed talented but they will be no match for the Lakers. They offer up a home court and will a big public backing, the lakers may not fare so well against the spread and even will lose a few, but they will advance.
Prediction: Lakers in 6
#2 New Orleans Vs #7Dallas
The hornets have not gotten any respect all year long but they look to prove they belong here when they play the mavericks in the first round. The hornets have been over looked all year long even though they have accomplished some great goals. They held the #1 seed for a long time before losing it to the Lakers but still finished a respectable #2 and Chris Paul put up some staggering numbers worthy of some looks when the most valuable balloting takes some place. The problem is they are facing the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavericks are finally starting to gel since the acquisition of Jason Kidd and they possess something that the New Orleans hornets don’t have and that is experience and tons of it. The mavericks also remember what happened last year when they were upset by the eight seed in the playoffs and quickly ushered from the post season after putting up some great numbers. The mavericks will not look past the hornets and although you can look for the Hornets to put up a fight it will be the Mavericks that will advance.
Prediction: Mavericks in 5
#4 Jazz Vs #5 Rockets
This is one of those unique situations that even though the Jazz got the number four seed it will be the number five seed that will have the home court advantage in the Houston Rockets. The Jazz are looking past a very talented team in the Houston Rockets. The Rockets have not gotten much respect even though they won 22 straight games this season and have injuries to Ming and Alston that will leave them shorthanded for the playoffs. This one went deep last year and it will do the same thing again this year. Look for the rockets to turn it up on defense and distribute the ball evenly taking some pressure off T-Mac. The Jazz had a chance to get home court and let it slip through their hands and that will cost them when they go to a game seven in this contest.
Prediction: Houston in 7
#3 Spurs Vs #6 Phoenix
This is easily the most anticipated first round match up in the playoffs as the Spurs won their way to getting the Phoenix Suns in the first round and that may come back to haunt them. The Spurs are a team that the playoffs and the championships know very well as they are the latest team to be called a dynasty as they cruised to the championships year in and year out. Many of those years they have passed and beaten the Phoenix Suns to include last year when they punted the Suns in one of the most controversial series in the NBA playoffs history. The Suns are a completely different team this year and it shows when they take the floor with Shaq at the center position. The chess game between Duncan and Shaq will add just another feature to this anticipated match up when these teams take the floor. The Spurs have won before and the know how to win but this year they will lose in the first round. The suns are hungry and looking to avenge the beatings they have taken over the years and this year they have the player personnel to do it. The Suns surprise the Spurs and dump them in six and will do quite well when it comes to covering the number in the books.
Prediction: Suns in 6 games.