[[Bracket image via Tom Ziller]]
Thank the Lord.
After a scintillating regular season—in which the Warriors became only the tenth team in NBA history to reach the 67-win plateau—the playoffs are finally upon us.
So many things were up in the air leading into last night.
The Spurs, who were the seventh seed two weeks ago, won 11 straight games to rise to the second seed, but then lost their last game to drop all the way back down to the sixth seed and will face the Clippers.
Let me say that again: THE FRICKIN SPURS AND CLIPPERS ARE MEETING IN THE FIRST ROUND!
Holy Christo mother of dragons that is an insane first round matchup. Western Conference, you frighten and delight me.
Seriously. Western conference is just an infinite loop of insanity, sadness and laughter. Clips-Spurs in rd. 1 pppff https://t.co/I1zmbEstCs— Bram Kincheloe (@BramKincheloe) April 16, 2015
Houston won their final game and clinched the two seed, where they will face Dallas in a winner-take-Texas tilt. Prominent story lines include Harden's goddamn beard stealing the spotlight and also Chandler Parsons' pretty face returning to Houston in a playoff series.
The Grizzlies won their final game behind Marc Gasol's 33 points, and will face the Portland Trailblazers. Even though Portland won their division and is the higher seeded team, Memphis will have home court advantage in the series due to their superior record. Fun story line: Zach Randolph (Z BOOOO) returning to and playing a playoff series in Portland.
And, lastly in the West, the upstart Pelicans beat the Spurs behind a future-MVP level performance from Anthony Davis. He came out tight, battling nerves, but finished strong. With the Pelicans in the postseason, that means THE ENTIRE DAMN SOUTHWEST DIVISION IS IN THE POSTSEASON hahahahahahahahahahaha, okay jeez that is, just, wow.
Interesting factoid from user "andthatswhyyoudont" on ye olde reddit:
Number of teams with a winning record in the Southwest division: 5
Number of teams with a winning record in the Eastern conference: 5
In other news, Russell Westbrook had another monstrous game, singlehandedly willing his team to victory (winning the scoring title along the way), and yet his team will not see the year's end dance. Realignment, please come and save us. ADAM! ADAM! SILVER! SILVER! Can we send up a batsignal for Adam—something lit upon the under-side of clouds that expresses our deep need for playoff realignment?! The Joker is burning and pillaging amongst the Eastern conference's lower four seeds and someone needs to swoop in and put a stop to this.
I'm gonna wander the streets and try to find the one person who's psyched that Brooklyn made the playoffs instead of OKC.— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) April 16, 2015
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I can't wait!
And we haven't even talked about any of the Eastern conference matchups (other than to throw some well-deserved shade their way)!
Full SBNation Playoff Coverage HERE.
First Warriors game: Sat. April 18th, 12:30 PDT on ABC.
Let's go get it.