As the NBA continues to push towards a resumption, the new playoff format circulating the internet is gaining steam. Here’s three changes that could potentially sway the Thunder’s playoffs hopes.
1. Miami will be an Excellent 1st Round Series
My personal vendetta against the Utah Jazz makes it difficult to not call for their heads in a playoff series. If COVID-19 never happened, they would likely be our 1st Round opponent.
But honestly, Miami vs. OKC sounds like a fantastic series. Two great coaches with some young stars led by a veteran player. Each game would be nail-biting.
The personal matchups are extremely intriguing. How will Steve guard Bam if he stretches the floor? Who will be the primary defender for Butler? Who on the Miami squad matches up defensively with Gallinari?
Both teams have potential areas to exploit, and it’s up to Coach Spoelstra and Donovan to make alterations, which they will. I would absolutely enjoy that as the first taste of OKC Thunder basketball (which feels like years ago).
2. The Possibility of Westbrook vs. OKC in the NBA Finals
It’s possible, I didn’t say it was likely. But that’s a scenario that could unravel that might break my brain.
If we were to entertain the idea, it’s one I can’t yet grasp. Since the season began I’ve held the notion that I want OKC to win it all, but if we get eliminated and Russ can make it, I’m right there behind him.
BUT if both teams are there, what do you do? Everyone in OKC wants Russ to win a championship because he deserves it, but the cost of a Thunder championship might be too high a price to pay.
3. Bucks or Lakers?
In either scenario, the Thunder would face the top team of the conference. Under normal circumstances we would see the Lakers, but now it would be the Bucks.
I’ve gone back and forth on which is better. Honestly, I don’t think we have the talent to win either 7-game series. But considering matchups and previous head-to-heads this season, the Bucks actually seem a little better for OKC.
The Lakers are obviously going to run the offense through Lebron and AD, and when you have two very large, athletic guys on the floor at once it runs the OKC defense thin. Gallinari is a liability on that end, which means you would be putting Ferguson or Dort on Lebron, which is like putting a scrappy fox up against a brown bear. It would be a good fight but we all know who wins that.
The Bucks, however, have one enormous dude named Giannis and then a bunch of perimeter shooting. Assuming Adams could at least contain Giannis, the guard defense is strong enough to cause some trouble for Middleton, Hill, etc. It’s not a very promising scenario, but compared to an LA matchup I prefer it.
Let us know your thoughts on this potential playoff format. The more I think about it, the more I think I would enjoy it.We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Don't forget to subsribe on Youtube! Our Podcast is on iTunes and on Stitcher. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!