10 Matchups We Better See in the NBA Playoffs

  • Russell Westbrook dunks on Stephen Curry
    10. Golden State vs. Russell Westbrook

    I mean, who doesn’t want to see this again?!

    It’s tough to argue that anyone has had a better second half of the season than Russell Westbrook. As a matter of fact, Westbrook is, without a doubt, the second half MVP and has a good chance to take home the award at the end of the season. One of the few people in his way is the point guard he will probably face in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

    Stephen Curry and his teammates have been the best team in the NBA all season, running away with the best record. The series would be great, even if it is just too hard to believe that one man can beat a team as good as the Warriors. We won’t tell Russell that, though. Could you imagine if KD was healthy? This would have the potential to be the best No. 1 vs. No. 8 matchup of all time.

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  • LeBron James, Dwyane Wade
    9. LeBron vs. his old team

    You don’t think Dwyane Wade has been hoping for this day since LeBron announced he would be leaving the Heat to go home and play for the Cavaliers? He has. I promise you that. Not going to lie, I didn’t think Wade had much left in the tank but he has proven me wrong this entire season and is coming off a magnificent 40-point performance in a win against the Pistons on March 29. However, Chris Bosh missing the remainder of the season with blood clots certainly hurts the Heat’s chances of advancing to the playoffs.

    One of my favorite trades at the deadline was the Heat’s acquisition of Goran Dragic, who is an underrated point guard with the potential to be a true star in this league. The Heat would be expected to lose to the star-studded Cavaliers in the first round of the playoffs so they would basically be playing with house money, which could result in an interesting and competitive series. Don’t assume the Cavs will run all over the Heat. The Heat are 2-2 in the season series.

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  • 8. A team of 13 vs. the Big 3

    It is easy to predict this matchup as the Eastern Conference Finals. Cleveland winning is also the most likely outcome out of the East. Unfortunately, I am not sold on the Hawks as a legitimate championship contender. Yes, they did have four All-Stars in this year’s game at Madison Square Garden and they certainly have looked great this year, but I just don’t see them hanging with the Cavaliers. When the game is on the line who is going to step up, make a play on their own, and hit the clutch shot? They are extremely balanced, but in my opinion just a great regular season team. I hope they prove me wrong.

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  • Damian Lillard buzzer-beater Houston
    7. Houston vs. Portland

    Anybody remember this shot? One of the prettier buzzer-beaters I have ever seen. The Rockets and Trail Blazers series last year would have went to a Game 7 in Houston had Damian Lillard missed that shot. Instead, he sunk it and clinched the series in six games.

    Portland and Houston is a great series to watch, with All-Stars all over the court. Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge are up there as potentially the best duo in the league. James Harden and Dwight Howard aren’t too shabby, either. Both teams are young, hungry, and energetic. You could make a case for why both teams are destined for a spot in the Finals. The West is so deep though, so you know it will be a dog fight the entire way.

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  • 6. Mike Budenholzer vs. Gregg Popovich

    Wouldn’t this be a great storyline? The classic “student battles the teacher” headline. The Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer was an assistant coach under Gregg Popovich from 1996-2013, winning four NBA championships with the team. Not a bad coach to study under. You can certainly make the case for Budenholzer as Coach of the Year this season. This wouldn’t be the most exciting matchup in Finals history, but it would be one full of strong storylines.

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  • Derrick Rose fake pass
    5. Derrick Rose vs. the playoffs

    The rapid Derrick Rose injury debate is upon us. This might be the most interesting matchup on the list. The Bulls are without a doubt a championship-caliber team with a healthy Derrick Rose. Anyone that is saying they are a better team without him is crazy. We have seen glimpses of the MVP Derrick Rose this season, but not for an extended period of time. If he stays healthy during the playoffs, I could see the Bulls giving the Cavs a run for their money. What a sick series that would be.

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  • Paul George first dunk
    4. Paul George and the Pacers vs. Atlanta

    Paul George is finally back. The Pacers are one game back from the eighth seed in the East. Again, I’m not sold on the Atlanta Hawks being a dangerous playoff team. A healthy, fresh Paul George has the ability to dominate a playoff series, like we saw throughout the playoffs last season. The Pacers certainly aren’t the same team they were last year, but it would be extremely interesting to see how they would play with Paul George in the starting lineup.

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  • 3. 2 Chainz vs. Wale vs. Drake

    Hip-hop has a major influence on professional basketball. Everyone knows that. More and more teams are hiring celebrities to become brand ambassadors for their respective home teams. The Toronto Raptors started this recent trend, enlisting Drake as a team ambassador. The Wizards and Hawks followed, hiring Wale and 2 Chainz, respectively. We, the Knicks, grabbed Taylor Swift. I’d rather hear French Montana screaming “HAAAAANNN” at every game than witness T-Swift pretending to care about basketball.

    If the playoffs started today the East 4/5 matchup would be the Toronto Raptors and the Washington Wizards and my Drake vs. Wale matchup would come true. I could easily see this series going the full seven games. Let’s just hope we see the rappers courtside performing at all seven games. You just never know.

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  • Gregg Popovich mocking LeBron James
    2. LeBron James vs. San Antonio Spurs

    Could we really see a ‘Bron vs. Spurs 3-peat? Anything is possible. The LeBron haters would love to see him lose back-to-back championships, especially to the low-key, team-oriented San Antonio Spurs. This series would also be Good Guys vs. Bad Guys. The stars that think they are going to crush every other team playing against the quiet, do-anything-to-win squad. The Spurs do not look as good as last year and have never won back-to-back championships, but a nice run combined with a little luck could help them reach the Finals again. Spurs in six.

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  • Stephen Curry crossover
    1. LeBron and Kyrie vs. the Splash Brothers

    Adam Silver is currently day-dreaming about this Finals matchup. LeBron and Kyrie vs. Stephen and Klay. The two best duos in the league facing off in a 7-game fight to the death. The ticket prices, the TV ratings, and the level of play would all be through the roof. Would LeBron lose back-to-back championships? Could Stephen Curry win his first ring? If the Cavs lose is Kevin love out? Could Steve Kerr really win another championship, this time as a first-year coach? The juicy storylines are endless and the two main faces of the National Basketball League would be at the forefront. This is what every basketball fan wants to see. Let’s give them what they want, Mr. Silver.

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  • Russell Westbrook dunks on Stephen Curry
  • LeBron James, Dwyane Wade
  • Damian Lillard buzzer-beater Houston
  • Gregg Popovich funny interview
  • Derrick Rose fake pass
  • Paul George first dunk
  • Gregg Popovich mocking LeBron James
  • Stephen Curry crossover

March Madness was amazing, but we all know that real basketball starts once the NBA Playoffs start. Sorry college basketball fans, professional basketball is just more exciting to me. And, you are correct, my bracket was completely busted.

This season has been a great one so far, full of stories we could have predicted and even more stories we never saw coming. Not a lot of people could have predicted LeBron James leaving Miami to head back home to play for the Cavaliers. Even less people saw the Hawks and Warriors dominating their respective conferences. The MVP race is tight this year with four major candidates in Stephen Curry, James Harden, LeBron James, and Russell Westbrook. The Knicks have the worst record in the league, which will hopefully land them the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. (Okay, I guess some people could have predicted that.) There have been plenty of eye-popping storylines this season, which is gearing us up for a fun and exciting playoffs.

If the season ended today the Cavs would face their old friends from Boston in the first round in the East, Anthony Davis would try and take on the entire Golden State Warriors team, and the Clippers would battle the Trail Blazers in an amazing 4/5 matchup in the West. The Drop decided to come up with 10 matchups we would love to see in this season’s playoffs. Instead of taking the boring team vs. team approach, we thought outside the box and came up with matchups between player vs. player, coach vs. coach, and even rapper vs. rapper vs. rapper. Scroll through and stay tuned for one exciting playoff run. I have a strong feeling it is going to be one for the ages.

Here are 10 Matchups We Better See in the NBA Playoffs.

Follow Jason on Twitter at @imfitterthanyou

image via Jason Miller/Getty Images