The excitement of the NBA Playoffs fills the air as lower seeds try to pull off some incredible upsets. Each series so far has been relatively competitive. Even the Bucks/Heat series that was a sweep had a game go into overtime. Two of the most competitive series, though, include potential Western Conference favorites that may be in trouble.
In this article, I will take a look at two of the series in the West that have gone awry for the higher seed to start but can still go either way: Suns vs Lakers and Clippers vs Mavericks.
Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Lakers
For the Suns, having to face the defending champions in the first round seems unfair. Entering the tournament as a second seed, Phoenix was set to play the winner of the Play-In tournament match between seeds 7 and 8. The Lakers reigned supreme, and the Suns began preparations to pull off the difficult task of stopping Lebron James in the Playoffs.
The series started off incredibly well for Chris Paul and company as they took game 1 at home despite Paul exiting the contest early with an injured shoulder. The following matchups did not go quite as well though as Phoenix proceeded to drop the next two. Phoenix regained control and tied the series at 2-2 in Game 4 following a groin injury suffered by star Lakers Forward Anthony Davis that will hold him out for some time. Davis is already slated to miss game 5 tonight with the potential to miss more time becoming a possibility.
Despite the injury to Davis, Phoenix still has the superstar Lebron James on the other side of the court. Phoenix returns home for Game 5 tonight before going back to LA for Game 6 in a few days. If needed, Game 7 will be back in Phoenix, but Los Angeles has already stolen one game there and maybe looking for more.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Dallas Mavericks
The series that seems to be the most interesting in the west is the matchup between Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers vs. Luca Doncic and the Mavericks. Many fans recall earlier in the season when Dallas blew LA out of the water by 50 points, but that has not quite been the case in the playoffs.
Los Angeles quickly found themselves in an 0-2 hole but bounced back to take the next 2 games. This means that each team has only won the away games in the series, making home-court advantage seem nonexistent. The two powerhouse teams’ next matchup will be tomorrow night in LA, which Clippers fans may not be too excited about at this point.
The Clippers are looking to avoid back-to-back disappointing seasons, especially with their star player about to enter free agency. So many speculations about where Kawhi will play next year revolve around the Clippers’ performance in the postseason. Starting this series, the Clippers need to lock down and stop the Mavericks in their tracks if they want to prove to Leonard that they can be a contender, or else they may have a hold at Small Forward next year.
I want to hear your thoughts! Follow me and reach out on twitter @j_vlosich and let me know if you think the Suns and Clippers are in trouble!