First Round Western Conference Predictions


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Predictions by Dylan Devine (8/14/20)

Los Angeles Lakers (1) vs. Portland Trail Blazers (8)

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Man oh man have the Blazers been something else in the bubble. Specifically Damian Lillard. Before the restart in the bubble began, I predicted that the Blazers would somehow sneak into the number eight seed and sneak into the playoffs. Well to my surprise this came true. I honestly am considering having a hot take and taking the Blazers in this series, but the Lakers simply have more star power and LeBron is on another level in the playoffs. Along with this, it will be the first time he is playing alongside Anthony Davis so that will definitely be a huge factor. Lillard and the Blazers will for sure put up a fight, but the Lakers will come out on top. Lakers in seven. -Dylan

Los Angeles Clippers (2) vs. Dallas Mavericks (7)

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Luka Doncic is only 21 years old and has already proven himself to be a superstar in the NBA. This will be his first appearance in the playoffs, but unfortunately he’s facing off against one of the best teams in the league in the Clippers. I think this will be a fun matchup to watch and will have high scoring games, but I really just don’t see Dallas defeating the Clippers. They have one of the most stacked teams in the league and have a real chance of making it to the finals, so I don’t think Dallas can really compete with that. Clippers in five. -Dylan

Denver Nuggets (3) vs. Utah Jazz (6)

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This battle between the Jazz and Nuggets will be highlighted by a big man battle between Nikola Jokic and Rudy Gobert. Two of the best centers in the NBA without a doubt. Michael Porter Jr also really has come out of his shell in the bubble averaging 22 PPG and 55.1 % from the field. Both teams are very underrated and have some dogs, but I’m taking the Nuggets in this series. Denver in seven. -Dylan

Oklahoma City Thunder (4) vs. Houston Rockets (5)

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This is a must win matchup for the Rockets. Harden has been playing fantastic in the bubble and putting up crazy numbers as usual. With that being said, Russell Westbrook is expected to miss most of the first round with a leg injury. This could be a major factor in the series. I could honestly see this matchup go either way, but I think the Rockets really have something to prove and will come out on top. Expect Harden to put up crazy numbers and carry the team. Rockets in six. -Dylan

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