Suns et Grizzlies éliminés : pas de seed 1 ou 2 en Finales de l'Ouest, surprenant non ?

Suns et Grizzlies éliminés : pas de seed 1 ou 2 en Finales de l’Ouest, surprenant non ?

The NBA Playoffs are renowned for often respecting the logic written on paper with its system of seven games per series, unlike the March Madness where everything is played on a dry match for example. But this season, the situation is different in the West, because neither the Suns nor the Grizzlies, seed 1 and 2 respectively, will participate in the Conference Finals. So we take out the old books, we blow to remove the dust above and we see if this phenomenon is as surprising as it may seem!

This 2021-22 regular season was marked mainly by the total supremacy of Phoenix which finished with the best record in the League (64 wins for 18 losses), and also by the breathtaking season of Ja Morant and his Memphis teammates who finished in style with a second place in the West (ahead of Golden State and Dallas). But today if we take stock, the two teams are already eliminated from these Playoffs. The Grizzlies, after a big streak against the Timberwolves, fell to a more experienced Golden State team. The absence of Ja Morant hurt and Taylor Jenkins’ men succumbed to a gala Klay Thompson during Game 6 at the Chase Center, last game of this series which therefore ends with a score of 4-2 in favor of seed 3 Golden State. On the side of the Suns, Phoenix was able to get rid of Pelicans who did not want to let go, to then face Dallas and a Luka Doncic who gave everything at home. The Suns and their major players haven’t existed in the last two games, and that’s with more than 30 points difference that the Mavericks win this Game 7 and therefore the series against the best team of the regular season.

In the West, there will therefore be a Conference final between a seed 3 and a seed 4. No first or second around, surprising isn’t it? The last time that happened on this side of the States, it must go back to a time when the last Harry Potter movie had just been released in theaters, when Adele was singing Someone Like You in her new album, and when Kim Kardashian was still married to New Jersey Nets player Kris Humphries. And yes, we are in 2011, the year Dallas, third, faces the Thunder fourth. That year, the Grizzlies had upset seed 1 San Antonio in the first round and the Lakers, seed 2, had been swept away by Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks who would end up NBA champions. In the same case, in 2007, San Antonio – third in the West – found itself in the Conference Finals against the fourth Jazz, before also finishing NBA champion with the added bonus of Tony Parker MVP of the Finals.

On the contrary, in the East this season, we decided to play the card of simplicity: Miami first against Boston second. A real difference in style and originality between the two conferences. But unlike the West, to find an opposition in the Eastern Conference Finals without seed 1 or 2, you have to go back less far in time. We just have to go back to a year when Adele also released a new album: yes, last year! In 2021, we had the right to an opposition between Atlanta, fifth, and third Milwaukee. And surprisingly it is still the seed 3 who ends up NBA champion, as if by chance! To make an exception to the coincidence, in 2020 during the Bubble, Miami fifth had won in the Eastern Conference Finals against seed 3 Boston, before falling to the Lakers in the Finals. This phenomenon of Conference Finals without seeds 1 and 2 has only occurred within the League four times in the last twenty years, a rather rare experience of upsets which ends in a final victory for seed 3 still in contention. in 75% of cases.

Will Golden State achieve the same course as its Western predecessors who ended up in the same scenario as NBA champions? It’s not the Splash Brothers who will say no to a fourth title! Who will go to the NBA Finals between the Mavs and the Warriors? Which player will win the first all-time Western Conference Finals MVP title? See you in the night from Wednesday to Thursday at 3 a.m. for Game 1 at the Chase Center.


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