NBA Playoffs First Round Decided: West Edition

The 2022 NBA Playoffs have been a delight to all NBA fans. And the crazy thing is, it is only the first round of the playoffs. Here is how the Western Conference is shaping out.

Phoenix V New Orleans

At first, the series looked like it would easily swing towards the Phoenix Suns winning, but star shooting guard Devin Booker got injured. Booker injured his hamstring in game 2 and is out indefinitely. The Suns have tied the New Orleans Pelicans with 2 games apiece. As a team, the Pelicans are averaging more points per game than the Suns with an average of 113.3 over 110.3 after 4 games. As a team, the Pelicans are also averaging more rebounds and a better 3-point percentage with 39.4 percent. Rookie defensive star shooting guard Herbert Jones has shined. The Pelicans have the leading scorer with star small forward Brandon Ingram and rebounder with center Jonas Valanciunas. Phoenix’s championship aspirations are in question with a rocky start to the playoffs.

Memphis V Minnesota

This series is tied as well at 2 games apiece, but the games have been seriously a letdown. Most of these games have had bad quarters by both teams where it looks like they have forgotten how to play basketball. But still, the Memphis Grizzlies look prime to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves as a team they are statistically outperforming the Timberwolves except for blocks and 3-point percentage. This is even with star point guard Ja Morant’s struggles on offense and defense. Second-year sharpshooter shooting guard Desmond Bane has carried the scoring load with 23.3 points per game. Will the Grizzlies prevail and make it to the second round?

Golden State V Denver

This series has been the most lopsided in the western conference. This might be due to one team having the potential MVP in center Nikola Jokic. The only problem is Jokic plays for the Denver Nuggets and they are losing 3 to 1. Jokic is without other max contract players in point guard Jamal Murray and small forward Michael Porter Jr. as they are dealing with injuries. While the Golden State Warriors have found success with superstar point guard Stephen Curry coming off the bench, young star point guard Jordan Poole has found success. Poole is averaging 24.3 points per game and shooting guard Klay Thompson is 24.5 points per game. Stephen Curry is still the leading scorer for the Warriors. Defensive star power forward Draymond Green and small forward have played their role to perfection. Have the Warriors found the team necessary to win championships again?

Dallas V Utah

Even without their superstar player, the Dallas Mavericks took a 2-to-1 lead over the Utah Jazz. This is due to Mavericks’ young talented shooting guard Jalen Brunson blossoming into a star with an average of 29.8 points per game. Superstar point guard Luka Doncic came back for Game 4, but the Mavericks were unable to win even with Doncic dropping 30 points. Despite this series being even, nobody believes in the Jazz. It has been apparent for years that there is a lack of talent in shot creation and perimeter defense. To solve this problem, the Jazz has done nothing of note. Which team will go farther in these playoffs?

Overall, the Western Conference has been interesting, to say the least.