NBA Playoffs: Storylines, predictions for each West first-round series

NBA Kawhi Leonard (Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images)
NBA Kawhi Leonard (Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images) /
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NBA LeBron James (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images) /

Breaking down each of the NBA’s first-round Western Conference series

The NBA playoffs are officially upon us, so let’s take a look at the first-round series’ in the Western Conference going in-depth on three of them. Mostly because, well, let’s just start with the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers.

(1) Los Angeles vs. (8) Portland

Sorry to be a buzzkill, but this series won’t be close at all. The Blazers are broken, run-down, and frankly a little souped-up after squeaking by a bunch of lousy teams. As incredible as Damian Lillard is, he isn’t a miracle worker (his playoff record shows that).

The Lakers have major concerns of their own, but those certainly won’t come to light in this match-up – more on them as we approach their potential second-round matchup with the winner of Houston vs. Oklahoma City.

Pick: Lakers in 4