NBA Playoffs

A Review


Andrew Zimlich, Staff Writer

After an exciting NBA regular season full of drama, buzzer beaters, and trades, the stakes only get higher as the Playoffs roll around. This year, you have your Playoff regulars like the Spurs, Celtics, and Warriors, but an exciting new crop of young teams such as the Magic and Nets looked to make their mark.

Western Conference:

#1 Warriors vs. #8 Clippers

In what many thought would be a 4 game sweep for the Warriors, the Clippers have shown the same tenacity that earned them a spot in the playoffs. Refusing to back down against the two time defending champs, the Clippers have won two games on the road, and while they’re still facing a 3-2 series deficit, it feels as though anything is possible with this Clippers team.

#2 Nuggets vs. #7 Spurs

An emerging Nuggets team is tasked with taking on the ageless San Antonio Spurs and their revamped roster. After dropping the first game at home, the Nuggets have seemed to regain their stride, jumping back on top to a 3-2 series lead.

#3 Trail Blazers vs. #6 Thunder

By far the most exciting first round playoff series in recent years, this series featured the match-up between Russell Westbrook and Damian Lillard. As both players sought to solidify their dominance at point guard, it was Lillard who came out on top, capping off his stellar playoff performance with a Game 5 buzzer beater from over 30 feet to send the Thunder home. Throughout the series, sharp words were exchanged between players from both teams, but it may have been a ┬árandom Twitter user from last year who cut the deepest. After multiple first round exits in the past, a Twitter user by the name of Jennifer put CJ McCollum on blast for the team’s failures, earning a response from the Blazers star.

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#4 Rockets vs. #5 Jazz

Reigning MVP candidate James Harden didn’t seem to be in peak form for this playoff series, but the rest of the Rockets team stepped up to lead the Rockets to a 4-1 series victory. On the other side of things, Jazz star Donovan Mitchell saved his best performances for the final two games, but it wasn’t enough to save the Jazz from defeat.

Eastern Conference:

#1 Bucks vs. #8 Pistons

In a series that was hardly ever competitive, Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks dominated the Pistons. They’ll face the Celtics in the next round in what should be a tight series to determine the king of the East.

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#2 Raptors vs. #7 Magic

Toronto seemed doomed to repeat past failures after losing Game 1, but they too battled back to win the next 4 games and the series. With a dominant Kawhi Leonard and an emerging Pascal Siakam, perhaps the only thing that could stop Toronto now is the Drake curse.

#3 76ers vs. #6 Nets

After the Nets jumped out to a 1-0 series lead, the sky seemed to be falling in Philadelphia. Joel Embiid’s status was uncertain with back issues while concerns were raised over cell phone usage on the 76ers bench during the Game 1 loss. The 76ers rallied, though, and would win the next 4 games to take the series. It is noteworthy to mention the choice words that were exchanged between Jared Dudley of the Nets and 76ers star point guard Ben Simmons. Dudley’s comments may have backfired, though, as Simmons dominated the rest of the series after Game 1.

#4 Celtics vs. #5 Pacers

After the Pacers lost their star Victor Oladipo, they continued to fight to stay in the playoff race. However, the Celtics were too much for the Pacers to handle, and the Celtics punched their ticket to the next round with a 4-0 series victory.