So we’re finally here… The NBA playoffs have begun! Who would have thought at the beginning of the season that the Lakers just barely managed to clinch a playoff berth, the Warriors made it into the playoffs with ease, and the Nuggets are playing like contenders? Who could have foreseen all the injuries? Derrick Rose remains out with a torn ACL, Rajon Rondo tore his ACL 3 months ago and is out for the season, Kobe Bryant has been deemed out for the playoffs with a torn Achilles, and even Russell Westbrook (who hasn’t missed a game in his entire career), is out indefinitely from a torn meniscus that he suffered in Game 2 of his first round series against the Houston Rockets.
The season has offered many surprises but in the end it is commonly thought that it could be a rematch of last year’s NBA Finals with the Heat and Thunder each taking the number 1 seed in their respective conferences. Who knows though; the Westbrook injury (if it proves to keep him out for the entirety of the playoffs) could fuel the Spurs, Nuggets, or even a dark-horse contender to step up and take the Western Conference throne away from the formidable Oklahoma City ball-club.
These playoffs have been thoroughly entertaining with Chris Paul’s buzzer beater to beat the Grizzlies in Game 2, Andre Miller’s game winner in Game 1 against the Warriors, and even the Thunder securing a 2-0 series lead over Houston by closing them out in the final seconds despite a furious fourth quarter run by James Harden and company. We have also been privileged enough to witness Ray Allen shatter yet another 3-point shooting record as he now holds the record for most 3 point field goals made in a playoff career when he edged out Reggie Miller in Game 3 against the Milwaukee Bucks. Many NBA fans are also upset to see the faces of the NBA in the Lakers and Celtics struggle and fall behind 2-0 in both of their series’. It is clear that in their 4 road games, they have greatly missed the services of Kobe Bryant and Rajon Rondo respectively. It could be nice to see another team win a championship (the Lakers and Celtics hold 33 of the total 67 championships). However, at the same time, it’s a shame to see two franchises that have been normally successful look lackluster on the court without their superstars. We’ll just have to see who wants it more!
Conner Hoyt ’15