But arguably the most unexpected standout season came from Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas. The Thunder are in the playoffs because he played this well.
Westbrook said the fact that Oklahoma City is matching up Harden does add a little something to the matchup.
Golden State against Cleveland no longer looks like the certain finish. While the regular season saw the third-seeded Houston Rockets take three of four games from the Oklahoma City Thunder, it'd be almost impossible to count out Westbrook and his never-say-die attitude.
Westbrook wasn't the only one who sat, either.
Now one of them will be gone by May.
One of the Thunder's biggest weaknesses this season has been their performances against teams who are in the bottom half of each respective conference.
OKC have a much greater ability to dial up the defence, and if perimeter-stopper Andre Roberson can limit the brilliance of Harden and Adams and co. can pack the paint, crash the glass, and limit those second-chance opportunities, then they're more than capable of wresting the advantage.
"Yes, I do see his minutes going up in the playoffs", Donovan said. The up-and-down style the team plays is conducive to high-scoring affairs but the development of Harden into an all-around player instead of just a volume scorer has been key to the Rockets' resurgence.
The Clippers (3) and Grizzlies (7) both stayed the same.
With Serge Ibaka on an expiring contract, the Thunder made a play to bring in Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova and also secured the draft rights to Domantas Sabonis.
The East openers are Boston against Chicago, and No. 4 Washington against fifth-seeded Atlanta.
JOHN YANG: When you were in Oklahoma City with Westbrook the other day, you charted The chant, "MVP". All three may have been worthy MVP winners this season had Durant not hurt his knee in late February.
Harden emerged as an MVP candidate, leading the Rockets to a league-high 117 points per game since the start of December.
In one corner, there's James Harden, the inventive left-handed assassin that's a threat from every spot on the court.
Russel Westbrook has had a season for the ages. When applied and focused on the defensive end, James is inarguably one of the best defenders in the league and can defend all five positions on the floor. It often works, but is it easier to game plan for in a seven-game series than on random nights in the regular season schedule? I think the Rockets are the best team without their star, therefore making him less "valuable" in the confusing rhetoric of the award that, throughout all sports, should be called "Most Outstanding Player" because value is such a subjective term. The graphic below shows Bing's full playoff predictions, including the predicted number of games per series.
RAPTORS READY? Toronto reached the East finals last season in its best season ever and loaded up for another run, fortifying the frontcourt with trades for Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker. The Cavs were a.500 team over their last 46 games, so the Celtics have the top seed, against a Bulls team that got better after they lost Dwyane Wade, amid rumors of serious antipathy and trade rumors around star guard Jimmy Butler. But to face King James, the Raptors have to stop the Greek Freak, and Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo will be a handful. Without Kawhi Leonard, the San Antonio Spurs still make the playoffs. This meeting features brothers Pau and Marc Gasol going against each other.
Pacific Crest restated an "equal weight" rating on shares of Verizon Communications in a research report on Tuesday, January 24th. The cell phone carrier reported $0.86 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters' consensus estimate of $0.89 by $0.03.
He is pictured at the " Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 " premiere on April 19, 2017 in Hollywood, California. But Whedon has not put any thought to casting the role yet, saying, "I don't have my eye on everybody".
Earlier, Connor McDavid was called for interference for hogtying Pavelski, an infraction that led to a goal by Patrick Marleau . Sharks coach Pete DeBoer juggled his lines for the game, moving Marleau to the top line with Pavelski and Joe Thornton .
Average hourly earnings increased 5 cents or 0.2 percent in March after rising 0.3 percent in February. The unemployment rate fell from 4.7 percent to 4.5 percent in March, the lowest level since May 2007.
Beijing has retaliated against South Korean businesses, while its military has threatened to take unspecified action in response. China may be getting fed up with continued nuclear bluster from long-time ally North Korea and tilting toward the United States.
On average, analysts expect Steel Dynamics to post $2.75 EPS for the current fiscal year and $2.73 EPS for the next fiscal year. Heading into the earnings release, covering analysts have a consensus target price of $42.62 on Steel Dynamics, Inc. shares.
Game 3 is Sunday night in NY . "Loud, fun to be a part of and when you have them on your side, it makes things a lot better". Louis Blues open up the home portion of this series on Sunday at 2 p.m. "That's a good test against a good team".
Guardiola's men also have the FA Cup to look forward to, with a game against Arsenal scheduled in the semi-finals next weekend. He added: " In 10 days we play the real final against United so that is why it was so important to win ".
In an analyst rating update on Monday shares of Ferrexpo PLC (LON:FXPO) had their rating reiterated by analysts at Credit Suisse. Finally, Shore Capital reissued a "hold" rating on shares of Standard Life Plc in a report on Friday, February 24th.
As for potential opponents, well, Utah Democrats are already planning a dance party to send Chaffetz off , so there's that. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) talks before the start of a House Judiciary Committee hearing on March 16, 2017 in Washington , DC.
Shaw, 21, was at fault for Watford's second goal in a 3-1 defeat, with Mourinho publicly criticizing the defender after the game. United prevailed 2-1 on the night, and 3-2 on aggregate, courtesy of an extra-time victor by Marcus Rashford.
Hawks' Millsap ready to match Morris, Wiz with 'MMA' style
Washington's second unit struggled mightily early in the game but pitched in to maintain the lead early in the fourth quarter. A complaint about the big, bad Wizards being too physical? The Wizards now lead the best-of-seven series, 1-0.
Sweden truck attack suspect 39-year-old Uzbekistan-born man
He said the four victims killed in the Stockholm attack included one person from Britain, one from Belgium and two Swedes. Vehicles have also been used as weapons in Nice and Berlin in the past year in attacks claimed by Islamic State.
Latest Look At Alien: Covenant Xenomorphs
When they uncover a threat beyond their imagination, they must attempt a harrowing escape. The third image features a mysterious person unleashing pods on the Engineers homeworld.
White nationalist Spencer speaks to packed room at Auburn
Hundreds of people gathered outside Foy Hall before Spencer's speech, many of whom were there to protest his appearance. Keith Watkins ruled that Auburn, as a public institution covered by the First Amendment, had to allow Spencer to speak.
Petrol bunks to be shut on Sundays from May 14
Nareddi said trucks, other four wheelers and bikes have sufficient fuel tank capacity to store fuel for a travel of 300 to 500 km. He also added that, "Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged people to follow traffic rules and also save petrol and diesel".
French Socialist candidate holding Paris rally
The 11 candidates standing for the French presidency are taking part in the final set-piece televised encounter of the campaign. But the race to succeed the deeply unpopular socialist President Francois Hollande has tightened in recent weeks.