After an exhausting race to the final night of another exciting NBA season we finally have our promising playoff matchups in place. Anthony Davis showed up huge in a “win or miss the playoffs” scenario securing the final seed in the West, taking the place of MVP candidate Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder. The final seed was decided on the season’s final night as well, earned by the Brooklyn Nets. Who has a favorable matchup? Can the Clippers shake playoff troubles and make a run? Are Lebron and the Cavs being overlooked as a threat due to the West‘s depth? So much to look forward to.
Eastern Conference Playoff Matchups
(1) Atlanta Hawks vs. (8) Brooklyn Nets
(2) Cleveland Cavaliers vs. (7) Boston Celtics
(3) Chicago Bulls vs. (6) Milwaukee Bucks
(4) Toronto Raptors vs. (5) Washington Wizards
Western Conference Playoff Matchups
(1) Golden State Warriors vs. (8) New Orleans Pelicans
(2) Houston Rockets vs. (7) Dallas Mavericks
(3) L.A. Clippers vs. (6) San Antonio Spurs
Can Westbrook still win the MVP despite his team missing the Playoffs? Chances are quickly fading but it has nothing to do with his individual performance as he put together one of the greatest streaks basketball has seen since Oscar Robertson (40.2 pts, 12.2 reb and 11.2 ast over 5 games). While Westbrook may have an empty feeling due to missing the playoffs, being crowned the league’s leading scorer should offer a huge positive to an otherwise disappointing season for the organization.
James Harden ended his season with a bold statement adding another triple double (16 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists) to his season total of 4 as the Rockets manhandled the Utah Jazz in their final regular season game. With the victory, the Rockets tie up the number 2 seed in the West and set the stage for a Texas showdown between the Dallas and Houston. When you discuss the most important player on any roster this season, you have to almost start with Harden as he did everything the Rockets asked of him. Not to mention giving them their highest seeding (#2) in years. Barely missing the scoring title with an average of 27.5 points per game, showing consistent playmaking ability with 6.9 assists a night and grabbing 5.6 rebounds an outing – in all fairness Harden should be named Co-MVP.
Unfortunately for Harden when it comes to the MVP race (and more than likely will be the deciding factor) the player that does have the number 1 seed is Steph Curry and his Warriors. The boys from the Bay are good, really good…the only way for them to play any better than they did during the season is to be NBA champions in June. Only way. They were statistically ranked #1 in double digit categories and had the best record in the league most of the season. Aside from incredible team chemistry, the reason for the success is because of their leader Steph Curry who has easily become the most exciting player to watch. No player should be able to knock down 77 3 pointers in a row (94 out of 100 total) as a workout regime and have handles that will break down even the best defenders. He really is a cheat code with great genetics (his father Dell Curry also played in the NBA and shot lights out). Curry definitely gets the vote from us averaging 23.7 points a game with 7.7 assists and most importantly team success (#1 seed in the West).
Hit us via @SwaysUniverse and let us know who the 2015 NBA MVP will be.