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hju
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165 Posts
registered: 09.07.2023
09.07.2023, 03:56 offline quote 

You don't often see the No. 6 seed as an overwhelming favorite to beat No. 3, but welcome to the wild and wacky Western Conference playoffs! fans will spit malevolent venom, deservedly so, at those picking the defending champions to win their first-round series, but, as we know, the are no ordinary six-seed.Armed with the star power of , and , along with the tried and true playoff experience of , and , the Warriors will look to put an underwhelming regular season behind them and get back to the kind of basketball that made them unbeatable in last year's postseason.Meanwhile the Kings, led by All-Stars and , not only lit the beam all season, but they also lit the on fire while ending a 16-year playoff drought, formerly the largest active Julian Blackmon Jersey streak in American profe sional sports. It should be a fascinating series, with a little extra juice added by the fact that Sacramento is coached by Mike Brown, a former Warriors a sistant and one of Golden State coach Steve Kerr's best friends.Below is the series schedule, along with some major storylines and a series pick. Kings lead series 1-0Game 1 (at SAC):Kings 126, Warriors 123Game 2 (at SAC):Monday, April 17| 10 p.m.|TV:TNT Game 3 (at GSW): Thursday, April 20 | 10 p.m.|TV:TNT Game 4 (at GSW):Saturday, April 23| 3:30 p.m.|TV:ABC Game 5* (at SAC):Wednesday, April 26 | TBD|TV:TBDGame 6* (at GSW):Friday, April 28 |TBD |TV:TBDGame 7* (at SAC):Sunday, April 30 |TBD |TV:TBD*If nece sary1. Are the Kings for real?The Kings were one of the best stories of the NBA regular season, but there are more than a few doubts about how they'll translate to the postseason -- particularly faced with the daunting defending champions as a first-round opponent. The first Sacramento question mark is the suspect defense, which finished 26th overall in Jacoby Brissett Jersey the regular season and second-to-last in half-court efficiency, per Synergy Sports. That last mark is especially concerning, given that the Warriors run a quick-hitting, fast-pa sing half-court attack unlike any in the league.On the other side, the Kings boasted the highest offensive rating in the history of the NBA, but the relative playoff inexperience from their main cast of characters raises questions about how they'll fare against a Warriors defense that has been through absolutely everything you can imagine in a postseason setting. Fox has never been to the playoffs, while Sabonis has just 13 games under his belt.Sacramento also thrived in the clutch this season, largely thanks to Fox's brilliance, but it's fair to wonder whether they'll be able to maintain such proficiency against an experienced Warriors roster when the lights (or beams) are the brightest. 2. The Andrew Wiggins wrinkleTalk about the X-factor of all X-factors. Wiggins will reportedly play 20-25 minutes off the bench in Game 1, Tony Brown Jersey with his playing time presumably increasing as the series goes on if things go well. It's hard to overestimate the importance of Wiggins to the Warriors on both ends, but particularly defensively, where he takes on the other team's best perimeter player (in this case, most likely De'Aaron Fox). Golden State was much better defensively with Wiggins on the floor this season, and he completes the starting unit (Curry, Thompson, Wiggins, Green, Looney) that was the best in the entire NBA when available.If Wiggins can regain the offensive form he displayed last postseason, it might be the end for the Kings. During the 2022 championship run, the Warriors' offensive rating improved by 12 points per 100 po se sions with Wiggins on the floor -- even more than with Curry. Before leaving the team for personal reasons, Joe Reitz Jersey Wiggins was shooting a career-high 40 percent from 3-point range, bolstering the league's most prolific barrage from deep.3. Road Woe-rriorsAlready a difficult team to play in Sacramento, the Kings' home-crowd energy will be turned up to 17 in its first taste of postseason action in over a decade and a half. This would spell trouble for any team, but especially the Warriors, who inexplicably sputtered to the league's fourth-worst road record this season at 11-30. Golden State will point to its famous streak of winning at least one road game in all 27 playoff series with Curry, Thompson and Green on the floor, but it's impo sible to ignore just how poor the Warriors were on the road this season, particularly on defense, where they allowed 118.3 points per 100 po se sions, compared to 108.4 at home. If it was a question of concentration or fatigue, one would expect that the playoff setting will eliminate those from the equation, perhaps leading to a more focused Warriors unit away from home. But the Kings only have to win their home games to win the series and, given how impre sive they were offensively this season, it might be a lot to ask for the Warriors to suddenly become a completely different road team than what we've seen all year.Call me cowardly, but I tend to agree with the common line of thought. I rode the Warriors' experience and picked them in every series last season, so why stray Mike Strachan Jersey now? Ultimately Wiggins' return makes too much of a difference on both ends of the floor, and the Kings defense just isn't cohesive enough to keep up with Golden State. Pick: Warriors in six. Click here Click here Click here

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