By Chris Madden
Now that we have seen the greatness that is the Golden State Warriors, we head towards the 2016 NBA playoffs that promise to have a wild finish. Sadly, we won’t get to see Kobe finish his career in the playoffs, where he has been dominant and impressed all that witnessed his play, but going out the way he did was as ‘story book’ of an ending as he could’ve hoped for. So as we head into the 2016 Playoffs, what can we expect of these 8 teams and which matchups should we be looking towards?
- Golden State Warriors vs. 8. Houston Rockets
The Golden State Warriors are on a mission to finish this historic season with a second consecutive NBA Finals Championship. We can absolutely bank on them coming out swinging early and often in these playoff games. Steph Curry and company have what it takes to completely take over from the get go. James Harden and the Rockets are a beaten up team, searching for answers of why their success has diminished as of late; sure the off-the-court situations with Harden and Dwight Howard attempting to trade each other didn’t help. Realistically the Warriors could take this series with so much ease, they begin to rest certain players as if it were the regular season.
Prediction: Warriors 4-0
- San Antonio Spurs vs. Memphis Grizzlies
There is no argument at all when debating who the second best team in the league is. The well-coached machine that is the San Antonio Spurs has shown us time and time again that they can hang with the new style of play introduced by Golden State. Tim Duncan may be coming to the end of his career but he still has enough in him to finish another Finals run. Don’t sleep on Leonard, Parker, or Manu. Also don’t forget the Spurs have All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge to come along side Duncan and help life them over Memphis.
Prediction: Spurs 4-1
- Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Dallas Mavericks
OKC has been up and down this year, but the explosive play from Russel Westbrook has led them to a solid 3 seed in the West. They face a diminishing Mavs team that hasn’t really looked up to par since the Finals series win against the Heat a few years ago. It looks as though OKC will be too much the Mavs inconsistency. Kevin Durant and Russel Westbrook promise to be quite the duo coming into the playoffs again. Look for this series to be physical, but end quickly.
Prediction: Thunder 4-1
- Los Angeles Clippers vs. Portland Trailblazers
The most exciting and anticipated first round match-up has to be between the Clips and Blazers. Both teams have the talent level to make a decent run in the West and it will be on full display over the next few games. Chris Paul, with the help of DeAndre Jordan, JJ Reddick, Paul Pierce, and now a healthy Blake Griffin pose a threat to Western Conference teams that may consider them weak. On the other hand, Portland is overdue for an upset and with Damian Lillard playing at the elite level he has been exuding lately, anything is possible.
Prediction: Clippers 4-2