Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday Roundtable: Best First-Round Playoff Matchup

Denver against Golden State is one of the first-round playoff matchups we're most excited to watching. (

BDD's Friday Roundtable is a weekly discussion among a group of our writers on a trending NBA or college basketball topic.

This week's question: With the NBA Playoffs beginning Saturday, what first-round matchup we are most looking forward to watching?

There are plenty of interesting matchups in the first round of the playoffs this year. It's OK to admit it. Secretly, you're not going to dismiss the possibility of the Lakers ousting the Spurs or the Hawks...well, the Hawks will continue to be the Hawks we see every year around this time.

Fortunately, though, it shook out that two young, small market teams are set to give us a noteworthy series in the West. Denver, as the conference's No. 3 seed, is speedy and attacks inside without fear, whereas Golden State (no pushovers in the quickness department, either, if there is such a thing) beats opponents with an outside-in game. The Nuggets have been great in Denver this season and, despite slipping a bit after a strong start, the Warriors' Oracle holds one of the feistiest home-court advantages in the NBA.

There are seemingly few scenarios in which this series doesn't last at least six games (i.e. if it goes just four or five games) with as evenly matched as the teams are. Ty Lawson vs. Steph Curry is the main course, but Kenneth Faried is -- and there may not be a better way to relate this -- fun to watch. He embodies what Denver-Golden State will provide viewers: high energy and tough competition.
These are soon-to-be perennial contenders and they happen to be opponents this year. Stay ahead of the curve and enjoy it now.

If the first round on paper is any indication, this year's NBA Playoffs will be a fun one for the fans. Fans get a good rivalry in Boston vs. New York, giants of the West in San Antonio vs. the Los Angeles Lakers and two up-and-coming, exciting teams in Denver vs. Golden State.

Even with those storylines, I'm most looking forward to Oklahoma City against Houston. The obvious reason is James Harden facing his former team in the playoffs and hoping to spoil the favorite to return to the NBA Finals in the Thunder. These are also two of the highest scoring teams in the country, with the Rockets averaging 106 points per game and the Thunder close behind at 105.7 ppg. This series probably will not go to seven games, but Houston's ability to hit 3-pointers at will and the number of stars and players who have sparked a buzz in the NBA (Linsanity!) makes this an exciting series to watch.

I’m looking forward to the Lakers vs. Spurs series. While the Spurs are ranked as the No. 2 seed, and the Lakers are the No. 7 seed, these teams may be more evenly matched than their records suggest. Since Jan. 23, the Lakers are 28-12. The Spurs’ record since Jan. 23 is 24-13.

The Lakers lost Kobe Bryant recently and have a very banged up Steve Nash, but the Spurs have recently released Stephen Jackson and have less than 100 percent versions of Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. The Lakers still have Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard, and possibly Steve Nash, which poses a challenge for the Spurs. Tim Duncan is looking youthful and the Spurs have the best coach in the league with Gregg Popovich.

The Lakers will be fighting to prove their teams isn’t a complete failure, while the Spurs will be fighting to avoid the embarrassment of an upset.

Follow @BeatsDimesDrive on Twitter
Like Beats Dimes and Drives on Facebook

No comments:

Post a Comment