The NBA playoffs are getting more exciting by the day, and with the semifinals close to ending, it is time to look at the Western Conference.
The Western Conference matchups are still ongoing, as the Memphis Grizzlies take on the Golden State Warriors and the Phoenix Suns take on the Dallas Mavericks. Both series have been extremely competitive, and at this point, they may come down to the wire. Let’s examine each team and where they currently stand.
1.) Phoenix Suns
The Phoenix Suns had an incredible regular season. Their 64-18 record was the best in the league, and gave them the first seed of the West. Their playoffs began with a matchup with the New Orleans Pelicans. The Pelicans won their play-in tournament games to earn the eighth seed and face the Suns. The Suns won this series 4-2 despite their star guard Devin Booker missing games with a hamstring injury. The Suns pulled off the win and advanced to the semifinals, where they are playing the Mavericks. The Suns started the series with a 2-0 lead, but since then, the Mavericks have fought their way back into the series, and we have a Game 7 on our hands. The Suns are one of the top contenders to win it all this season, but this series has been a battle. But with the series returning to Phoenix on Sunday, the Suns could be one step closer to the Western Conference finals.
2.) Memphis Grizzlies
The Memphis Grizzlies had an incredible regular season. They finished second in the West with a record of 56-26. The Grizzlies are an exciting time to watch and after a competitive first round series against the Minnesota Timberwolves, they are in a tense battle with the Warriors.
This series has been physical. Both teams are playing hard and it is evident both teams want this series. The Warriors have a 3-2 lead over the Grizzlies, with Wednesday’s game being a chance for them to close the series. Then, Memphis did the unexpected. They beat the Warriors by 39 points. This was an impressive win, as they did it without Ja Morant. Morant will miss the rest of the playoffs after a knee injury, and despite going 20-5 without Morant in the regular season, many thought Wednesday would be their last game. But they silenced critics and extended the series. As it stands, the Grizzlies remain in the playoffs and depending on the result of Game 6, their championship hopes are still alive.
3.) Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors are no strangers to the playoffs (or adversity). They have won multiple championships and with Klay Thompson back, they are contenders yet again. The Warriors have had a short series against the Denver Nuggets in the first round. They beat the Nuggets 4-1 and quickly advanced to the semifinals. The Warriors were in control of their series against Memphis, but their recent loss was a huge blow. Golden State struggled in this game (Steph Curry included) and Game 5 will either motivate them or just cost them the series. Overall, it will be interesting to see how they respond.
4.) Dallas Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks are not giving up in their second round series, and with Game 7 on the horizon, they may pull off an upset. Their playoff journey started with a series against the Utah Jazz. The Mavericks won 4-2 and as the fourth seed of the West, they had to take on the Suns. Dallas had a big win in Game 6, as they beat the Suns 113-86. Their star player, Luka Doncic, had a near triple-double with 33 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists. He led the team when they needed him most, and they will need him in Game 7. And if all goes well, he and the Mavericks could pull off the upset.