NBA Playoffs – It’s All About Matchups
Posted by admin on February 21, 2008
There is just so much talent in the Western Conference of the NBA. Currently, the New Orleans Hornets are the best team in the West. But, the teams who are tied for 7th and 8th, the Nuggets and Rockets, are only 5 games back. Compared to the West, the Eastern Conference is pretty much a two-pony race between the Celtics and Pistons. There is absolutely no doubt who is going to be competing in the Eastern Conference Finals – the Celtics and Pistons. The West, on the other hand, is a whole different story. Honestly,Â any one of 8 or 9 teams could potentially win the West. Â
Just take a look at last year. Did anyone ever think that the Golden State Warriors would take down the Mavericks in the first round? No way! But Baron Davis and company did the impossible by beating the #1 seed as an 8th seed. So, how did it happen? How does a relatively inexperienced playoff team (the Warriors had not been to the playoffs in 15 years) beat one of the most talented and steady teams in basketball?Â
The Warriors match up well with the Mavericks. They were able to exploit weaknesses in the Mavericks team and eventually came out on top.
This year is pretty much the same. The Warriors (I use the Warriors as an example because I am a huge fan. But the same could be said about virtually every other Western Conference contender.) have a winning record against almost every top team in the West. However, whenever they play the Utah Jazz, they get killed. I went to the Warriors-Jazz game on Tuesday night, and I was completely dejected by the Warriors’ performance. It was lackluster – and that’s being generous. Then, last night the Warriors beatÂ a star-studded, high octane conference leader in theÂ the Boston Celtics.
So, it really does come down to how a team matches up against their opponents. With the competition being as fierce as it is in the West, teams are just looking to make the playoffs let alone win the championship. Then once they are in, hopefully lady luck deals them a good matchup. For example, obviously I would love the Warriors to win the rest of their games and be the top team in the West. But, a little part of me wants them to finish 7th or 8th, barely squeaking into the playoffs. That way, they would most likely be matched up with the Suns, Mavericks or Hornets, all of whom the Warriors have a good chance at beating. Now, if they were to get unlucky and be pitted against the Jazz or the Spurs, their chances would not be as good.
The point is this – With the NBA being inundated with foreign and home-grown superstars,Â almost every team has the fire power and talent toÂ win the championship this year. It all depends on the teams they have to face on the road to the finals. The eventual NBA champions will be the team who is pitted against opponents they match up well with.