First Round Of The NBA Playoffs


Image credited to Flickr

NBA Playoffs have 16 teams playing currently.

Sartaj D. and Dylan R.

Finally, the NBA playoffs have arrived. After a grueling 82-game season, sixteen teams are ready to face off. In the Eastern Conference, we have the Toronto Raptors facing the Orlando Magic, the Boston Celtics fighting the Indiana Pacers, the Philadelphia 76ers battling the Brooklyn Nets, and the Milwaukee Bucks playing the Detroit Pistons. Facing off in the Western Conference are the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Clippers, the Houston Rockets and the Utah Jazz, the Portland Trail Blazers and the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Denver Nuggets facing the San Antonio Spurs.

To start the playoffs, the Nets faced the 76ers. In game one, the Nets shocked the 76ers at home, and won 111-102. Other than that, there wasn’t much to cheer about. The 76ers beat them by 22 points the next game, 16 points in game three, and continued to dominate to beat the Nets 4-1, moving on to the next round.

In the next series the Toronto Raptors played the Orlando Magic. Like the Nets and 76ers series, the Orlando Magic beat the Raptors in Toronto. D.J. Augustine hit the game winner with three seconds left. Then, Kawhi Leonard led the Raptors to sweep the rest of the series, winning 4-1. During the series, Leonard averaged 27.8 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1.2 steals.

The only series to last seven games was the Spurs and the Nuggets. Both teams put up a fight, and the Spurs ended up forcing a Game 7. The Nuggets ended up proving themselves, and beat the Spurs 90-86 in the final game. The Nuggets star center, Nikola Jokic, shined throughout the series. He almost recorded a triple-double a game, and had a 43-point Game 6.

In a West Coast battle, our own Clippers faced the Golden State Warriors. This series went six games, and had many memorable moments, like the 31-point comeback that the Clippers made to beat the Warriors at Oracle. The Warriors still prevailed with a series score of 4-2, and they went on to face the Rockets.

Heading back to the Eastern Conference, the Boston Celtics played the Indiana Pacers. The Celtics swept the Pacers, overcoming many hardships. The Celtics were down often, but found a way to win. Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, and Gordon Hayward showed up.

Arguably the best team in the NBA, the Milwaukee Bucks, faced the 41-41 Detroit Pistons. Like the Celtics, the Bucks easily swept the Pistons. Potential MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo put on a show almost every night. The Greek Freak averaged 26.3 points, 12 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.5 blocks.

The Oklahoma City Thunder then faced the Portland Trail Blazers. The Blazers rocked the Thunder, beating them 4-1. Damian Lillard was the obvious MVP of the series, and seemed to be the most dangerous player in the playoffs so far. He averaged 33 points, and ended the series with a 50-point game. During that game, he hit a 37-foot buzzer beater to send the Thunder home.

Lastly, the Houston Rockets matched up with the Utah Jazz. MVP candidate James Harden and Chris Paul led the Rockets to a 3-0 lead at first. In game four, Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, went off for 31 points, and his team won 107-91. The Rockets then took care of them in Game 5, and punched their ticket to the second round.

After a pretty good first round of the playoffs, there is still more action left to come. There are some stellar matchups coming that will leave fans on the edge of their seats, such as the Warriors facing the Rockets and the Celtics going against the Bucks. Fans just have to love the Playoffs this year.