Blazers, Thunder, Jazz could present problems for Rockets, Warriors
But a quick look at the win-loss standing reveals that the playoffs might not necessarily be a walk-in-the-park for the two as some may expect.
As observed by Tim MacMahon of ESPN, the teams below the Rockets and Warriors have a combined record of 25-2 in March:
As tempting as it is to fast forward to a Rockets-Warriors conference finals, it's worth noting that the next three teams in the West standings (Trail Blazers, Thunder and Jazz) are a combined 25-2 in March.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) March 19, 2018
Specifically, the Blazers (44-26) are currently riding a 13-game winning streak. The Thunder (43-29), meanwhile, are on a six-game streak. Finally, the Jazz (40-30), have won nine straight games.
Among the three teams, considerable attention has been given to the Thunder who seemed to have figured out the Warriors. In their season series so far, the Thunder lead 2-1. And their wins are not just simple wins. They blew out the star-studded defending champs.
In their first game, the Thunder won 108-136. In their second, 108-137. But in their third game, the Warriors finally got their revenge, winning the game 109-137. They are set to meet one more time this season before the playoffs.
The Blazers, too, are sneaking in from behind. In their 13-game streak, Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum continue to prove that they are one of the best backcourt duos in the NBA.
Their teammate Jusuf Nurkic, who has also performed well in their streak, had nothing but praise for the tandem, as reported by Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype:
“The game is definitely more simple when you have two guards like that…Also, everyone knows that they’re great players, but what’s even better is that they’re great people too. They care about others, they have great personalities and they’re just really humble men.”