By: Eric Graves
Midway through the first round of the NBA playoffs there are a few things we know and a few things that are still a mystery.
In the East we know that Boston is pretty much done due to numerous injuries, with Avery Bradley out and both Marcus Smart and Kelly Olynyk day-to-day. Boston has played hard all season and Brad Stevens had the team firing on all cylinders to close out the regular season, making it upsetting to see a team like the Celtics derailed. Another thing we know is that the Heat are legit. They have come out and put up two 10+ point wins against the Charlotte Hornets, one of the hottest teams coming into the postseason. The Heat’s offense is has started tremendously, putting up 123 and 115 points in their first two playoff games respectively, even without star power forward Chris Bosh. Yet to be seen is whether or not the Raptors perform in the playoffs like they do in the regular season. After being swept last year by the Wizards they have a tough next few games against Paul George and the Pacers.
In the West we know that Golden State will be able to handle the Rockets without Steph Curry, but if his ankle is actually a problem then there is a chance they might not even make it past the second round. The hope is that the ankle is fine and stays fine, like reports indicate, so we can see an amazing Western conference finals between the Spurs and the Warriors, like most people have predicted. We know that the Spurs will breeze past the injury depleted Grizzlies. The Grizzlies broke an NBA record this season by suiting up 28 players this year because of numerous injuries, most notably Marc Gasol and Mike Conley. The Spurs are too good of a team to get tripped up by a team like the Griz. We don’t know what is up with Kevin Durant and his OKC Thunder. The Thunder lead the NBA with 14 games that they have lost when they enter the fourth quarter with a lead. Kevin Durant went 7/33 in the Thunder’s game two loss to the Mavs. Overall, he is shooting 29% this postseason. This does not bode well for the Thunder, but the Mavs are lacking star players like Deron Williams, Chandler Parsons, and a questionable JJ Barea among others. This should be a team the Thunder can handle, but they are struggling.
In the next two months the NBA playoffs will bring us numerous good games and eventually, a champion. Enjoy.