NBA Western Conference playoff preview: Predictions for the four first-round series
A series-by-series look at the NBA’s Western Conference playoffs:
1. GOLDEN STATE
Record: 73-9 (home 39-2; road 34-7)
Record: 41-41 (home 23-18, road 18-23)
Season series: Warriors 3-0.
Key stats: Golden State’s 73-9 record is the best in NBA history. Houston gave up 106.4 points a game, the most of any of the 16 playoff teams.
Prediction: Warriors in four.
2. SAN ANTONIO
Record: 67-15 (home 40-1; road 27-14)
Record: 42-40 (home 26-15; road 16-25)
Season series: Spurs 4-0.
Key stats: The Spurs held teams to an NBA-low 92.9 points a game. The Grizzlies lost 10 of their final 11 games.
Prediction: Spurs in four.
3. OKLAHOMA CITY
Record: 55-27 (home 32-9; road 23-18)
Record: 42-40 (home 23-18; road 19-22)
Season series: Thunder 4-0.
Key stats: The Thunder were second in the NBA in scoring (110.2) and first in rebounding (48.6). The Mavericks were third in fewest turnovers (12.3).
Prediction: Thunder in five.
Record: 53-29 (home 29-12; road 24-17)
Record: 44-38 (home 28-13; road 16-25)
Season series: Clippers 3-1.
Key stats: The Clippers were sixth in offensive efficiency (106.5) and the Trail Blazers were seventh (106.1).
Outlook: When will the Clippers get past the second round? They start that quest by having to get past Portland in the first round. Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, who missed 47 games with various injuries and a suspension, and DeAndre Jordan will once again be asked to lead the team. Although Portland lost four starters in the off-season, point guard Damian Lillard wasn’t going to allow his team to miss the playoffs. Lillard got plenty of help from C.J. McCollum (20.8 points, 4.3 assists) as they became a formidable backcourt combination.
Prediction: Clippers in six.
Follow Broderick Turner on Twitter: @BA_Turner
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