TEAM NO ONE WANTS TO FACE: Cleveland Cavaliers. It could be the Chicago Bulls if Derrick Rose can play like his old MVP self after being injured for most of the season. However, the Cavs have been on a roll after struggling early in the season. Of course it's going to be hard to stop Lebron and Kyrie Irving. But this team also has other players who can score. Acquiring J.R. Smith (12.7 PPG, 3.5 RPG), Dion Waiters (10.5 PPG), and Timofey Mozgov (10.6 PPG, 6.9 RPG) helps to make the case for why Cleveland's the odds-on favorite in Vegas to win it all.
PLAYER TO WATCH FOR: Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors point guard. Lowry makes a great swingman for DeMar DeRozan and does more than expected. Aside from scoring (17.8 PPG) and distributing (6.8 APG), he's great defensively. He can create turnovers for the Raptors (1.6 steals per game).
HOW WILL THE NO. 1 SEED DO? The Atlanta Hawks should easily make it out of the first and second round. But they'll likely be facing a Bulls team that has the dangerous Jimmy Butler and potential Rookie of the Year Nikola Mirotic or Lebron and the Cavs. Both teams could eliminate Atlanta in the Conference finals.
SERIES MOST LIKELY TO GO SEVEN GAMES: Washington Wizards vs. Toronto Raptors. Really, it would be a surprise to see Cleveland, Atlanta, or Chicago be taken to a seven-game series. Therefore, this would be the most logical choice.
THE TEAM THAT LOOKS LIKE A PLAYOFF TEAM THE LEAST: Brooklyn Nets. This is a Brooklyn team that was losing in the 3rd quarter of the last regular season game to Orlando. A game that they needed to win in order to make the playoffs. Now they face an Atlanta team which mirrors San Antonio's style. Ouch.
TEAM NO ONE WANTS TO FACE: San Antonio Spurs. Before losing the last game of the season to New Orleans, the Spurs were on an 11-game winning streak. They were 14-1 in their last 15 games heading into that game as well. They have Tony Parker back along with Khawi Leonard. This is the Western Conference team most likely to give Golden State fits.
PLAYER TO WATCH OUT FOR: Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets center. Now that the Rockets have Dwight back, it can become a legitimate rebounding team again. In 41 games, Howard's averaging 15.8 PPG and 10.5 RPG (7.8 of those defensive). He'll give James Harden more opportunities to make plays.HOW WILL THE NO. 1 SEED DO? Like Atlanta, Golden State has an easy road to the Conference Finals. They'll take on the New Orleans Pelicans, who are Anthony Davis and no one else. Then, they'll take on either Memphis or Portland. Both of these teams are hobbled with injuries. It's very likely that the Warriors will be going to the NBA Finals.
SERIES MOST LIKELY TO GO SEVEN GAMES: Dallas vs. Houston or San Antonio vs. Los Angeles Clippers. Both series will be highly competitive and tense match-ups. Dallas vs. Houston is one hell of an in-state rivalry that should be a physical battle, while San Antonio vs. Los Angeles will be a battle of quite possibly the two most dangerous teams to Golden State in the Western Conference.
THE TEAM THAT LOOKS LIKE A PLAYOFF TEAM THE LEAST: Portland Trail Blazers. Don't let the #4 seed fool you; this Trail Blazers squad has been hampered by injuries all season long. LaMarcus Aldridge has been bit with the injury bug and is now dealing with a left foot sprain and Portland's already lost Wesley Matthews to an Achilles injury. Realisticly, both Portland and Memphis have injury problems. So whoever wins this series will most likely be ousted by Golden State in the second round.