The NBA’s Western Conference Round One Plays Out As Expected

The+first+round+of+the+playoffs+are+over%3B+no+upsets+were+to+be+found+in+the+highly-watched+Western+Conference.+

NBA.com

The first round of the playoffs are over; no upsets were to be found in the highly-watched Western Conference.

Andrew Bernson, Freelancer

The first round of the playoffs are over; no upsets were to be found in the highly-watched Western Conference. To be sure, none of the match-ups even went to game 7. Although the first round was all chalked, some teams looked like they could have a good future ahead of them.

Let’s start with the #1 seed, Phoenix Suns, versus the #8 seed, New Orleans Pelicans. Many thought that the runner-up from last year, the Suns, were going to make easy work out of the Pelicans, winning in four or five games. This, however, was not the case. The Pelicans, missing their best player Zion Williamson, managed to take two games from the Suns who ultimately lost 4-2. 

Although Suns star Devin Booker missed games 3, 4, and 5, this Suns team remained lethal. What should be taken away from this situation? That the Pelicans’ future is very bright, and they are a team to watch in the upcoming years.

Moving down the bracket to the #4 seed, Dallas Mavericks, and the #5 seed, Utah Jazz, we saw a Maverick team that was able to stand its ground even with all-star Luka Doncic missing through the first three games of the series. 

An outstanding string of games from Jalen Brunson helped the Mavericks move past the Jazz in six games, winning 4-2. This is probably the last time we will see the duo of Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert for the Jazz due to their repeating losses every year in the playoffs. We may also see coach Quin Snyder of the same team move as well.

The first round of the playoffs are over; no upsets were to be found in the highly-watched Western Conference. To be sure, none of the match-ups even went to game 7. Although the first round was all chalked, some teams looked like they could have a good future ahead of them.”

— Andrew Bernson

Next up is the #3 seed, Golden State Warriors, and the #6 seed, Denver Nuggets. This was the least entertaining series in the West, ending in a gentleman’s sweep for the Warriors, 4-1. 

The Nuggets were missing Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr., so they didn’t stand much of a chance against a healthy Warriors lineup. What we did see, however, was Stephen Curry getting bailed out by his teammates. If Curry cannot step up his performance in the playoffs, this Warriors team will not go very far.

Finally, we had the most entertaining series in the West. The #2 seed, Memphis Grizzlies, went up against the #7 seed, Minnesota Timberwolves. This series could have gone either way, but the Grizzlies came out on top, winning the series in six games. 

The Grizzlies won 4-2, but the Wolves had a chance to win every game. The Wolves choked numerous double-digit leads to the Grizzlies, with one of their leads reaching up to 26 points in game 3 which ended up in a Grizzlies win. 

This is quite impressive because all-star guard for the Grizzlies, Ja Morant, didn’t have himself a great series, though the rest of the team stepped up to fill the gap.