NBA Mid-Season Western Conference Playoff Predictions: Nuggets to repeat as champs?

NBA Playoff Predictions: Western Conference Analysis
Oklahoma City Thunder v Denver Nuggets
Oklahoma City Thunder v Denver Nuggets / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages
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First round: 2nd seed Minnesota Timberwolves vs. 7th seed Sacramento Kings

The Minnesota Timberwolves have done an amazing job this season. The Rudy Gobert/Karl Anthony-Towns can-they-will-they work conversations have justly died down. Anthony Edwards is from another planet... this guy is so good. I have the Wolves finishing second place in the West this year, giving them homecourt advantage potentially through the first two rounds. This is significant seeing as though they are 17-4 on their home court this year.

The Wolves are an interesting team particularly because of their defense. The Wolves are arguably the best defensive team in the NBA. Jaden McDaniels and Rudy Gobert are both having terrific defensive seasons, and Gobert is one of the favorites for Defensive Player of the Year. Minnesota's offense can sometimes run stagnant, especially when Edwards and Towns are off the court. One offense that refuses to ever be stagnant is that of the Sacramento Kings.

The Kings score at a blistering pace, led by stars De'Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis. They are fast-paced, we slow down for no one team and they aren't apologetic for it. Their defense needs a bit of some tweaking, which seems like something the Kings have been looking for, forever.

This matchup is strength against strength. The Wolves' stout defense is going up against an explosive Kings' offense. This is surely set up to be an exciting series. But as the old saying goes, "defense wins Championships." That saying will reign true in this instance as well.

The Wolves are overall a better team than the Kings. The Kings are in the middle of a decent-sized glow-up, but they aren't there yet. The Wolves are also in the middle of their respective glow-up, but it feels like this Wolves team is better equipped for the playoffs. I'm taking the Wolves here in a relatively hard-fought series. While I don't foresee this being a long series, I do see it having closer games than people may think. Running with the Wolves here.

Prediction: Minnesota Timberwolves win 4-1