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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Semifinal: 2nd seed Minnesota Timberwolves vs. 3rd seed Oklahoma City Thunder

Anthony Edwards vs. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. This is an awesome matchup. Their current social media back and forth is awesome, but this matchup is awesome for so much more. These two are the potential faces of the Western Conference for years to come. Edwards is only 22 years old. Shai is only 25 years old. This series has the potential of being the first of many playoff series between the two moving forward. Let's hope so.

Minnesota is a defensive unit. The Thunder are an offensive wagon. MVP candidate, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Rookie of the Year frontrunner, Chet Holmgren form a unique dynamic duo that operates well on both ends of the court. Mark Daigneault has his team performing incredibly well this season.

The Thunder are a young team. The oldest starter on the team is SGA, who is 25. One might assume that this team is too young or inexperienced, or that they are one year away from truly contending. Don't tell this iteration of Thunder players that. The Thunder have recently beaten the Nuggets, Celtics, Timberwolves, and Heat, telling the NBA that everyone is being put on notice.

And that's cute and all, but the Minnesota Timberwolves are coming for everyone as well. Their defense is not to be messed with. Defensive player of the year favorite, Rudy Gobert, is having a monster season. Karl Anthony-Towns is nearing a 50/40/90 season while averaging over 22 points per game - that's crazy. Anthony Edwards, when he's not throwing alley-oops off the backboard to himself, is consistently breaking down defenses and utilizing his strength and raw athletic abilities for easy finishes around the rim.

This series is going to be a fun one. This series is going to be back and forth for sure. This series has the makings of being the first in a long line of playoff battles between the two teams for years to come. This series is a must-watch.

And with all that, the Thunder are moving on to the Western Conference Finals. The Thunder are just playing too loose and carefree for me to bet against them. They are playing like they have nothing to lose because in reality they really don't. This team has years ahead of them to compete for Championships. This is the first year they truly enter the conversation. Thunder Up.

Prediction: Oklahoma City Thunder win 4-2