NBA Playoffs: Western Conference Predictions

Ian ZymarakisSenior Analyst IApril 17, 2008

Well, my Eastern Conference predictions came up chalk as one would most likely guess, the West will prove to be a little tougher as every team in the West had 50 wins this season which is amazing.

None the less, here are my first round predictions for the Western Conference.

(1) LA Lakers vs. (8) Denver: LA Lakers Win Series 4-1

This series is definitely a star studded affair.

AI, Kobe, Gasol, Anthony, Camby, Odom, Martin, we definitely won't be seeing any low scoring contests in this series.

With the recent happenings for the Denver Nuggets Carmelo Anthony one would think that would distract the team especially around playoff time.

Well, I don't think that will, the thing I see being a problem is the Nuggets being able to stop Kobe from going off on them.

The Lakers are very good even without Andrew Bynum who's status is still uncertain.

The key in this series is going to be the role players for the Lakers, will they be able to step up when it matters most?

I see the Lakers slipping once in Denver but winning the series in five games.


(2) New Orleans vs. (7) Dallas: Dallas Wins Series 4-3

This series for a No. 2 vs No. 7 is very even if you ask me.

Both teams have star players, one team is young (the Hornets) the other has a bigger veteran presence (Dallas)

Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks definitely don't want to be sent home packing early like they did last season.

Especially after acquiring Jason Kidd.

I see Dallas overcoming the questions surrounding them coming into the playoffs and defeating a vastly improved Hornets team from last year.

That is the difference between the Season and the Playoffs, Dallas is more playoff ready and will show that as they win game 7 in New Orleans and take the series.


(3) San Antonio vs. (6) Phoenix: Phoenix Wins Series 4-2

In what many thought would be a Western Conference Finals matchup the firsts round pits to teams that have a nice playoff rivalry going.

The Suns seem ready to make a playoff run now with Shaq in the middle.

Is this team now built for the playoffs, especially with their new half-court offensive sets that they have?

I definitely think so.

San Antonio definitely will counter especially with Bruce Bowen who time and time again proves to be a Suns killer.

As long as none of the Suns get hip checked into outer space in this series I think this is the year the Suns get by the Spurs in the playoffs.

Get ready to have a new NBA Champion this season as the Spurs will be eliminated in the first round by the Suns in six games.

(4) Utah vs. (5) Houston: Houston Wins Series 4-3

Utah is the No. 4 seed but will start off on the road due to the rule the NBA added which I still don't understand.

If you win your division you should automatically get home court advantage in the first round.

Either way this will hurt Utah, who had the best W-L record at home out of the entire NBA. Utah starts on the road where they were anything but great this season.

This plays into Houston's advantage, as T-Mac is front and center again this year on will he be able to get past the first round?

I think so, T-Mac is a great player still, obviously, even though he sometimes looks to be in his late 30's.

The one thing that will be key for Houston is free throw shooting, as a team Houston struggles and that will definitely need some work if they expect to get passed Utah.

Utah has the advantage at the PG position especially with Rockets guard Rafer "Skip to my Lou" Alston missing the first couple of games with a hammy injury.

If the Rockets can contain Utah long enough I see them winning game seven at home and advancing.

Mark my word, the home team will win every game of this series.


(1) LA Lakers 4-1

(5) Houston 4-3

(6) Phoenix 4-2

(7) Dallas 4-3


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