T Nation

NBA Western Conference Playoff Push

Being a huge Warriors fan, the Lakers with Gasol now frighten me.

I have no idea what to think about the Suns, but I can’t imagine adding Shaq was a bad idea, especially when you’re sending out a clubhouse cancer and half of another one to get him.

And I’m still not sure what to make of the C-Webb signing. He’s getting better with every game, but it’s funny that he played pretty well tonight and the Warriors got smacked by Utah (like always).

What do you guys see happening in the West? Are the Hornets (other than Paul and West…we know this) for real? Will the Blazers stay hot? Will T-Mac stay healthy?

Go Dubs.

Lakers vs spurs semi finals, 7 game series with kobe having balls out game 7 then going onto face boston in one of the best championship series ever with Lakers winning. Go Lakers!

Mavericks get Kidd. Pretty much end of story.

We’ll have to wait and see how the Shaq and J-Kidd trades pan out. It’s already clear that the Lakers improved their team by (stealing) trading for Gasol.

The West really is wide open. San Antonio can never be counted out, especially when the game slows down (a bit) come playoff time.

New Orleans is off to a great start but are largely unproven when it comes to playoff experience.

Houston is playing great basketball right now and is a team I think could be trouble if they make it in. Same with Golden State, who just screws with everyone with the style of ball they play (which is hella fun to watch).

I also like Denver. Carmelo and AI have good chemistry and Camby is great on the interior. K-Mart is the X-factor for them; if he can play well they have a chance. If he disappears, they will struggle. Big win last night over the Celtics.

I see Phoenix, San Antonio, Utah and Denver as the last four teams in the West, with any of those teams having a legit shot at making the Finals.

Of course, my thoughts could greatly change in a week or two after seeing Shaq and J-Kidd playing for their new teams, and if Kobe can stay healthy in LA.

It’s absolutely too close to make any calls. The Lakers are a game away from the top of the west, but if Kobe aggravates his finger again, they could drop to 9th practically overnight. Meanwhile seeds 3-9 are all within a few games of each other and they all have wild cards. Well, we’ll know more tonight based on how the Lakers do against the Shaq/Suns.

When the one seed and the nine seed are within 4 1/2 games of each other…you know it’s a good race. 50 wins might not get you in this year. I was listening to the radio, and they were saying if the W’s go 15-15 the rest of the way, that’s 47 wins, but probably not enough.

If only Captain Jack didn’t fire off shots, we would have the 4th seed or better right now. 31-14 since he came back

[quote]rainjack wrote:
Mavericks get Kidd. Pretty much end of story. [/quote]

I don’t see how that could really hurt…for this year. I’m interested to see if they start Kidd/Terry in the backcourt (and lose bench firepower), or if they go two points with Kidd/Barea. I guess we’ll find out tonight…

I see the division winners being Utah, Lakers, and San Antonio. Phoenix will get the #4 seed, Dallas the #5, Houston the #6, New Orleans the #7 and Denver the #8. So the final seeds will be:

#1 - Lakers
#2 - San Antonio
#3 - Utah
#4 - Phoenix
#5 - Dallas
#6 - Houston
#7 - New Orleans
#8 - Denver

Denver vs. Lakers - Lakers win this in 5. They match up well with Denver and really have had little trouble with them this season.

NO vs. SA - Chris Paul is great, no doubt, but it won’t be enough as the Spurs take this in 5.

Houston vs. Utah - Poor TMac, still can’t get out of the first round. Utah in 6.

Dallas vs. Phoenix - Once again Dallas gets bounced in the first round. Dallas gave up to much for a guard who doesn’t fit their system and doesn’t shoot well. Phoenix can defend Dallas, but Dallas can’t defend Phoenix, never a good combo. Phoenix in 5.

Second Round…

Phoenix vs. Lakers - All the talk will be about Kobe and Shaq, but it will be the Lakers depth that wins this series. Lakers in 6.

Utah vs. SA - SA will start to show signs of wearing down in this series, and Utah may even have the lead at one point and look in control. But homecourt will prove to be the difference, Spurs in 7.

SA vs. Lakers - Playing as many games as the Spurs have played the last few years takes it’s toll. We are already seeing evidence of that, and by the time they meet the Lakers in the conference finals, the tank will be near empty. They are the champs though, so they won’t go down easy, and the Lakers will need to learn how to close out a good team. But once again a game 7 at home will be the difference, Lakers in 7.

And that is how the West will be won :slight_smile:

[quote]SprinterOne wrote:
Lakers in 7.

And that is how the West will be won :)[/quote]

Boy, I hope not.

as for my eight…

  1. san antonio
  2. la lakers
  3. utah
  4. phoenix
  5. new orleans
  6. dallas
  7. golden state
  8. denver

i don’t like houston…i think they have another t-mac or yao injury in them. and i don’t see the warriors missing out. they’ve been too good since jackson came back. i still feel like denver underachieves.

i wish the warriors could play dallas again. as long as they don’t catch utah in the first round, anything can happen.

Gearing up for a beastly second half in the West. 50 wins might not even get you in. Lose 3 in a row, and you’re on the outside looking in.

If Kobe’s finger heals up soon, and he’s back to 100% in the next few games, the Lakers will be tough to beat and will win the division. He scored 23 yesterday vs. the Hawks with the bum finger, so he should be ok.

Can’t count out the Spurs. Playoffs is where they make a name for themselves. With the West being so crowded for playoff spots, experience will win out this year in the playoffs. I look for the Spurs to take down the Lakers in 6 games to win the West.

Either way, should make for a great second half of the season and awesome playoff run!

I can’t even begin to make predictions. Suns-Lakers tonight should give us some clarity, but everyone is one bad week away from being in the doghouse.

Good victory tonight for the Lakers on the road against the Suns. Kobe scorched PHX for 41, and Gasol added 29. Stoudemire had 37 and 15, and Shaq added 15, but he came on a little too late in terms of scoring.

Even though the second half of the season just started, each team cannot afford to lose too many games for fear of losing seeding for the playoffs, or missing the playoffs altogether.

Big win by the Lakers tonight. I say they are the team to beat right now.

Shaq looked decent after a rough start. J-Kidd 6 turnovers in his debut in Dallas (they lost to NO)

I don’t think that any gives the Hornets nearly enough credit. They’ve been #1 in the West for how long now? Plus the last 2 times they played the Spurs they smoked 'em, and they just beat the Suns in a great game, and they took down the Mavs tonight by about a dozen points. The only thing I see wrong with them now is their size. With the Shaq and Gasol trades, the Lakers and Suns have a huge size advantage, so it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

Shaq looked great tonight IMO, he’s playing like he’s 25 again diving for loose balls and sprinting to get back down court for the long outlet passes.

I also go to school in New Orleans so I may or may not be a little biased ;]

-dizzle

Tonight, the Warriors won on a buzzer beater by Baron Davis. This was a great win for the Warriors who were without Stephen Jackson (ankle sprain). Great game. The Warriors really needed that win.

[quote]dracbest wrote:
Tonight, the Warriors won on a buzzer beater by Baron Davis. This was a great win for the Warriors who were without Stephen Jackson (ankle sprain). Great game. The Warriors really needed that win.[/quote]

HUGE FUCKING GAME! I was playing in one of my own, only got to see the first half. Four guys over 20 points for the Warriors. Great game.

Suns-Lakers I got to see more of…I was impressed. I think Shaq will do just fine for the Suns (unfortunately).

[quote]ericbyrnesjr wrote:
Suns-Lakers I got to see more of…I was impressed. I think Shaq will do just fine for the Suns (unfortunately).[/quote]

Yeah, that was another great game. Looks like Shaq will be okay in Suns System. Kobe and Amare looked amazing in that game too.

Rockets get past round 2=I’m happy.
I don’t expect them to go all the way. That’s between NO, SA, Pheonix, LA. Don’t think Utah can do it, and not sure if Boston or Detroit mkes the Finals out of the East. A West team is gonna win though.

[quote]A-Dizz wrote:
I don’t think that any gives the Hornets nearly enough credit. They’ve been #1 in the West for how long now? Plus the last 2 times they played the Spurs they smoked 'em, and they just beat the Suns in a great game, and they took down the Mavs tonight by about a dozen points. The only thing I see wrong with them now is their size. With the Shaq and Gasol trades, the Lakers and Suns have a huge size advantage, so it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

Shaq looked great tonight IMO, he’s playing like he’s 25 again diving for loose balls and sprinting to get back down court for the long outlet passes.

I also go to school in New Orleans so I may or may not be a little biased ;]

-dizzle[/quote]

New Orleans definitely deserves more credit. They dominated Dallas last night. Like I said earlier in this thread, the only thing I think that’s keeping people from picking them as the best team is their lack of playoff experience.

But, they definitely have the ability to make some noise. I really like this team.

That GS-Boston game was crazy in the final few minutes. Golden State needs to be in the playoffs; they are just too much fun to watch to not be involved.

NBA needs to just put the top 16 teams in the playoffs, regardless of what conference they play in. Golden State, Houston, Denver would be the No. 3 or 4 seed in the East with home-court advantage in the opening round. Crazy.