Western Conference Playoff Preview
The Dallas Mavericks (67- 15) are back and with a vengeance. They possess the best record in the league and play a well-balanced game that features sound defense, solid inside play and fine outside and foul shooting. Everyone expects to see them in the finals again. And although they look like the heir apparent, there is no guarantee that they will even make it out of the first round. The Western Conference is, after all, volatile and extremely competitive due to the overall high-quality of the teams.
Dallas took the Southwest Division, while the Phoenix Suns (61- 21) finished first in the Pacific. The Suns will be extremely dangerous in the post-season. They can score at will. The Utah Jazz (51- 31) finished first in the Northwest Division but are not a juggernaut like the other two top division teams.
The Golden State Warriors (42- 40) did not appear in last year’s post-season. They can score but they can’t defend and defense is essential in the playoffs. The Los Angeles Lakers (42- 40) finished with the same record as Golden State, earning the seventh seed.
Along with Dallas, the Houston Rockets (52- 30) and the San Antonio Spurs (58- 24) represent the Southwest Division. Both of these teams are very accomplished and could go deep into the post-season.
From the Northwest, the Denver Nuggets (45- 37) are yet another club capable of putting points up but having difficulty in prohibiting others from putting the ball in the basket. They play the Spurs—a tough defensive team.
Much of the play in the west will be run and gun. But the series between the Jazz and Rockets should be different and any team that plays against the Spurs or Dallas will have a tough time scoring which is why we favor the Spurs to represent the Western conference in the NBA finals.
Look for two of these first-round series, at least, to go deep.
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