I thought that I wouldn’t be blogging another NBA playoff series prediction until Monday, as the Minnesota Timberwolves were giving the Memphis Grizzlies all that they could handle through the six games that it took for the West’s two-seed to eventually advance. Yet here I am blogging the other Conference Semifinals matchup prediction one day after blogging the other three.
Of course, I didn’t watch Game 6 of this Timberwolves-Grizzlies series, as I was knocking some more movies off my watch list. But I did check the live updates on my phone periodically and noticed that Taylor Jenkins’ bunch got the lead for good after Desmond Bane hit a three-pointer to put them up, 101-99, with 3:03 remaining in regulation. Now they move on to face the West’s number three seed, the Golden State Warriors, with Game 1 of that series starting tomorrow.
Excluding last season’s play-in game against the Los Angeles Lakers, in which they blew a 13-point halftime lead, Steve Kerr’s bunch has never lost a Western Conference playoff series, as they are 16-0 in all such series, dating back to their 2015 First Round series against the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Warriors are a tough team to pick against, due to their Big Three of The Splash Brothers (Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson) and their version of a middle linebacker in Draymond Green, so they won’t go down without a fight. However, they also somewhat don’t resemble the five-time Western Conference champions that they once were, so any of the other seven remaining teams could beat them in any of the three remaining rounds. So with their slow decline being said, will they be 17-0 in Western Conference best-of-seven playoff series?
Well given that they are somewhat vulnerable this postseason, along with the fact that this Grizzlies team kind of resembles last season’s Phoenix Suns team from the standpoint of a young team playing wise beyond their years, I’m going to say no. Especially with the team that was once in Vancouver having a dual-threat point guard in superstar Ja Morant, who will be the difference in this series.
The Warriors haven’t lost at home since March 30 against the Suns. But that will change in this series, as I see the Grizzlies stealing one of the two games in San Francisco to hand Steve Kerr’s bunch their Western Conference playoff series loss in five games.
Yes, the Grizzlies (not the Warriors) will be facing my Suns in the Western Conference Finals, which will mark the first time since 2018 that the top two teams in the Western Conference face each other in the third round.
Tune in sometime next month to my predictions for the Conference Finals.