April is here and that means the NBA playoffs are right around the corner. This year, however, won’t be as boring and predictable. The first three rounds will be worth watching and the finals will be nothing short of spectacular once again, but could likely include a different team in the Eastern Conference than last year.
The playoffs look competitive as ever for the Eastern Conference with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics in a head to head race for the number one seed. Other talented teams like the Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards are in the mix as well, and look hungry to make a deep run in the playoffs.
The month of march was rough for the Cavaliers with many injury problems with their newest pick-up Kyle Korver, Kevin Love and the absence of J.R smith. They suffered losses from the Detroit Pistons and the Denver Nuggets which generated concern when dropping to sixth in the power rankings.
Lebron James is quietly having yet another MVP caliber season averaging 26.3 ppg with 8.7 assists, along with point guard Kyrie Irving averaging 25.1 ppg. The main flaw for this club is their lack of defense, giving up 106.9 ppg and ranking 20th in the NBA. They enter the post season hoping to be a solid title contender when players are fully healed, but their main concern in the east should be the very talented Celtics team.
With the surprising rise of Isaiah Thomas, who is averaging a phenomenal 29.1 ppg, a young and talented Marcus Smart and the solid post presence of Al Horford, it looks like the Celtics are back to being the talk of the league once again. Ranked fourth in the league power rankings, Isaiah Thomas and the Celtics are as determined as ever to continue to shock the league with a deep run in the playoffs.
The Cavaliers and Celtics is the match up we dream of seeing in the conference finals. This series includes a team with heavy experience and a team that is determined to prove people wrong. It will be interesting to see what attribute wins in the end.
The Western Conference playoffs will be one to watch as well. The magnificent trio of the Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs leans toward some competitive series’ in later rounds. The Oklahoma City Thunder’s guard, Russell Westbrook, is having one of his best seasons ever, but sadly the team does not live up to the hype and could make a rather early exit.
The Warriors are looking solid yet again. Steph Curry and Kevin Durant each averaging 25 ppg. The Warriors offense continues to be electrifying, fast paced and shows no signs of slowing down. However, it should not be a cakewalk to the finals with two other legitimate title contenders in the Rockets and Spurs.
While competing with Russell Westbrook for MVP, James Harden and the Rockets have proven themselves to be worthy of an NBA title. The Rockets have had solid wins against both the Warriors and Spurs earlier in the season. If James Harden stays focused on the team and not an MVP trophy, they really may have a shot to make an appearance in the finals.
The Spurs are a top tier team once again with Kawhi Leonard leading the way with the best defense in the game right now. He can pose serious problems for the Warriors and Rockets on the defensive end and his scoring ability continues to improve. He is a full package player that can lead his team to victory come playoff time.
The finals matchup is a toss-up, but it’s looking to be an offense showcase by the best scorers in the game.