Poll: Who Will Make Western Conference Finals?

It has taken them a little longer to get underway due to a pair of Game Sevens in the Western Conference quarterfinals, but the second round of the Western playoffs are finally set to tip off tonight. The No. 2 Clippers will face the No. 3 Nuggets on Thursday, with the No. 1 Lakers playing the No. 4 Rockets on Friday.

The Clippers will enter their series against the Nuggets as overwhelming favorites. Of the 19 ESPN experts who made predictions for the series, not a single one picked Denver to win — and not one thinks it will take the Clippers more than six games to dispatch the Nuggets.

Kawhi Leonard and Paul George figure to be major problems for Denver. It’s unclear if the Nuggets have defenders capable of slowing down the duo; and on the other end of the court, top Denver scorers like Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. will face more resistance from Leonard, George, and company than they did from Utah’s defenders in the first round.

The Lakers also open as heavy favorites over Houston. The 16 ESPN experts who made picks for the series were once again unanimous in projecting an L.A. victory, though in this case at least a handful predicted it will take a full seven games.

The well-rested Lakers will have the size advantage over the Rockets, as forwards like P.J. Tucker, Jeff Green, and Robert Covington will be tasked with guarding Anthony Davis and LeBron James. L.A. also had one of the NBA’s best defenses all season long and may force Houston’s role players to beat them with outside shots.

Still, while an all-L.A. Western Finals looks – as it has all year – to be the likeliest outcome, the Nuggets and Rockets have the star power to make things interesting. Nikola Jokic, James Harden, and Russell Westbrook aren’t about to bow out quietly. And as we’ve seen in the two Eastern Semifinals so far, a solid game plan and some well-timed hot shooting streaks can quickly put a series favorite on its heels.

What do you think? Are you penciling in a Clippers/Lakers showdown already, or do you think the Nuggets or Rockets are capable of pulling off an upset?

Vote in our poll below and head to the comment section to weigh in with your thoughts on both series!

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26 thoughts on “Poll: Who Will Make Western Conference Finals?

    • mlbnyyfan

      Miami has once again building another solid core. As a Knicks fan all the reason to continue to hate Riley

      • mlbnyyfan

        Let’s go Clippers I still believe that if Doc Rivers was healthy the Knicks win 94 Finals.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      The West is going exactly as planned. Clippers and Rockets up 1-0.

  1. x%sure

    picked the Nugs & Lakers last October
    They do seem to have gotten over themselves better than the Clips & Rockets. Rockets could not pull away from a lesser team. The Clips play distracted. Lakers can adjust.

    • El Don

      Agree with you x%sure! I picked all season long LAL vs DEN! Can you imagine the WCF duel AD/Jokic!!! Wow that would be 24ct gold man!!!

  2. hiflew

    I am hoping for Nuggets and Rockets simply because Kawhi and LeBron were the ones adamant about ending the playoffs. I’m not taking a side on their beliefs, I just want them both gone just in case something else happens.

    Which to be honest, I’m surprised there wasn’t a problem with the guy that got shot in LA a couple days ago.

    • Otogar

      I’m convinced that at least LeBron wanted to keep playing. He’s ultra-competitive and has a real opportunity to add another ring, which is something he wants badly. The first day he said what he was supposed to say as a leader, but he changed his stance soon enough. I’m not questioning his convictions either, but I cannot imagine him forcing the situation to the point of not finishing the season.

  3. KnickerbockerAl

    Battle for LA. Been waiting for this since trade deadline. Considering Lakers history. And fact they never met in west Finals. It’s going to be fun to see Clippers send Lakers home. Denver is not ready yet. Big accomplishment coming back down 3-1. Clippers are too deep and tested. They have tested vets. Only Kawhi has won. They are a hungry vet team. Lakers all about AD n Bron. Howard can play good mins. He’s been here. Lakers bigs against Rockets wings. Rockets did well against Thunder bigs. This is different. Howard will give them trouble. Plus he remembers Harden. AD is just going to kill them. Bron can just be a passer this series. Only way I see Rockets with a chance. Is if Harden n Westbrook both avg over 30. Battle for LA

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      Howard won’t give the Rockets any trouble at all, but AD will.

      • KnickerbockerAl

        With me playing point. Howard can go for 30. With Bron he should be able to easily score 16 a gm. Laker bigs should have no problem. Houston guards need to get theirs. Only way this is a series. Is if Houston shoots well. AD will do what he wants.

    • El Don

      Dude I love Harden, is one of my all-time favorites but… you do make everybody hate him, even I want him out of the playoffs so you can shut up once & for all about HOU! Sad state of affairs!

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