It's officially the first day of Playoff action for the 2015-2016 calendar year. It's the moment where regular season records (no matter how impressive) ultimately mean nothing and the real drama, intensity, and nail-biting moments truly begin. As was done with a previous article looking at the first day of Playoff action in the Eastern Conference, this article will delve into the opposite coast and offer a preview and predictions for the upcoming games in the West.

Golden State Warriors (1) vs. Houston Rockets (8) (3:30 PM EST)

It's safe to say that, at this point, nothing short of an act of God or devastating injury will stand in the way of the Golden State Warriors making a return trip to the NBA finals and coming away with a second straight trophy.

Coming off of a record setting (73-9) regular season, the Warriors are as well oiled a machine as we've seen since the Chicago Bulls in the 90's or the Lakers in the early 2000's. And, regardless of James Harden's individual prowess, he cannot withstand Golden State's precision and balanced attack all by himself. This is probably going to be the only real one-sided series of the first round -- which is no surprise, really.

Prediction: Golden State takes game 1

Oklahoma City Thunder (3) vs. Dallas Mavericks (6) (9:30 PM EST)

Other than watching to see what Stephen Curry and company will pull off in Golden State, this series between the Thunder and the Mavericks is likely to be the most competitive overall in the first round in the West.

While it's true that not much can stop the two-pronged attack of a Durant and a Westbrook, it wouldn't be fair to rule out Dallas right out of the gate, either. There's no denying that time and older legs is finally catching up with Dirk Nowitzki, but, even so, the German icon definitely still has gas in the tank and is still more than capable of being effective out on the floor and helping his team win.

Ultimately, Oklahoma City will likely come out on top when this series is all said and done, but it certainly won't be a cake walk. Expect the Mavs to show some fight, and maybe even come away with a win or two.

Prediction: OKC goes up 1-0

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