Evan Evaluations: The Wild Wild West

The Western Conference has been hectic this year in the NBA.

The Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors have separated themselves in the Western Conference from the rest of the competition, but the rest of the teams are fighting for their lives. From number three and down, the Western Conference is up for grabs when it comes to seeding because one win or one loss can alter a team’s spot tremendously in the standings. About 10 Western Conference teams are in the tight battle for the playoffs and have to win a majority of their games to see the postseason. For this week, my two most exciting games both involve the top Western Conference teams and could potentially be playoff match-ups in the future.

Evan’s Top 2 Games Of The Week:

  • Houston Rockets (49-13) @ Oklahoma City Thunder (37-28)
    • 8:00 P.M. ET- Tuesday, March 6th, 2018
  • Golden State Warriors (49-14) @ Portland Trail Blazers (38-26)
    • 10:00 P.M. ET- Friday, March 9th, 2018

Weekend Game:

  • Washington Wizards (36-28) @ Miami Heat (34-30)
    • 7:30 P.M. ET- Saturday, March 10th, 2018

The Eval

Houston Rockets @ Oklahoma City Thunder

Houston Rockets:

The Houston Rockets have put respect on their name. I’m excited to see what MVP candidate James Harden has in store for the Thunder. His iso situations create space for him to work on his defenders and also creates opportunities for his teammates as he draws the help defenders. Houston’s three-point shooting is one of the keys to winning this game. Chris Paul has been a great addition to the Rockets this past off-season and it has clearly shown that the duo of Paul and Harden can lead this team to a successful season. This is an important game for Houston because a win would tie the NBA record for the longest winning streak.

James Harden

PPG: 31.2, RPG: 5.2, APG: 8.9, FG%: 44.7, 3P%: 38

Chris Paul

PPG: 18.8, APG: 8.1, RPG: 5.6, FT%: 91.3, FG%: 46.3

Oklahoma City:

The last time Oklahoma City matched up against Houston, they came out on top 112-107. Now, losing defensive specialist Andre Roberson to a season-ending injury did hurt them, but Paul George has been performing extraordinarily well and positively contributing to the team’s success. His defense has continue to improve and has made him a true defensive stopper. Russell Westbrook will be enthusiastic as always in this game and is hunting for a spot in the playoffs for the Thunder. With the Thunder only two games out of 3rd in the West, a win would surely help their chances of making it into the postseason.

Russell Westbrook

PPG: 25.3, RPG: 9.7, APG: 10.2, FG%: 44.1, FT%: 73.8

Paul George

PPG: 22.3, RPG: 5.6, APG: 3.3, 3P%: 41.4, SPG:2.1

Prediction: Houston Rockets 120-116

Portland Trailblazers @ Golden State Warriors

Portland Trailblazers: 

The Portland Trail Blazers are currently on a 7-game win streak and have full momentum as they host Golden State on Friday. I’m excited to watch Damian Lillard because he has been on fire and is one of the most underappreciated guards in the league. Over the 7-game win streak, he has been averaging 32.4 points per game and has had help from CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic. They are currently in 3rd in the Western Conference, slightly above the New Orleans Pelicans. This game will not really close the gap for the Trail Blazers on the Warriors since they are so far ahead, but it would allow them to have a more stable footing in the 3rd seed.

Damian Lillard

PPG: 26.6, RPG: 4.5, APG: 6.5, FT%: 90.8, FG%: 44.6

CJ McCollum

PPG: 21.7, RPG: 3.9, APG: 3.2, 3P%: 41.5, SPG: 1

Golden State Warriors: 

Don’t expect an easy game for the Golden State Warriors. They may be known as the golden team in the NBA for their shooting ability and superstar roster, but they aren’t the only ones looking for a title in the West. Steph Curry just hit his 200th 3 -pointer of the season and has no plan to stop shooting the ball. His health is what matters most to the team though. With help from knock-down shooter Klay Thompson, who has connected on 44% of his shots from the 3-point line this season thus far, and superstar Kevin Durant‘s unguardable mentality, the Warriors should have a good chance of coming out on top. I’m excited about this game because it will be competitive as these are two of the best teams in the West going head to head.

Kevin Durant

PPG: 26.1, APG: 5.4, RPG: 6.7, FG%: 52.6, FT%: 88.3

Klay Thompson

PPG: 19.8, RPG: 3.9, APG: 2.9, FG%: 49.5, 3P%: 44.9

Prediction: Golden State Warriors 118-112

 

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