The Denver Nuggets completed a regular season sweep against the OKC Thunder led by Jamal Murray‘s 27 points. That makes the surprising Nuggets a potential top seed in the Western Conference and puts the Thunder in the #8 spot. That would set up a first round playoff series that, despite the sweep, would necessarily see the Thunder as a big underdog. OKC has plenty of playoff experience and has battled injuries — if they come into the playoffs healthy this could be about as even a 1 versus 8 matchup as you could ask for.
The Nuggets have been massively impressive, going an unheard of 10-1 in the second game their last 11 back-to-back games. The Thunder have lost six of eight, but former NBA MVP Russell Westbrook plainly reminded reporters that the regular season record doesn’t matter one bit once they toss up the ball at the opening tip of a playoff series. You get the sense Westbrook likes his chances. The Thunder would have to utterly collapse not to get to the playoffs, so Westbrook and company are already telling themselves how little the regular season matters. It’s a truism among NBA veterans, but is it true?
Westbrook was asked: “These guys sweep you in the regular season, you’ve swept some good teams in the regular season, how much do those outcomes matter when the playoffs start?” Westbrook: “They don’t.”
Russell Westbrook asked how much the outcomes of regular season matchups matter when going into a postseason series: “They don’t.” (Takes sip, walks away) pic.twitter.com/aRod0BpD2x
— Royce Young (@royceyoung) March 30, 2019