March Madness has come and gone, and what a tournament it was! Virginia getting over the hump in an overtime thriller, which produced a couple of big stars to enter the league next year.
But the Chaos is only just beginning in the NBA! It’s playoff time baby!
Before we hit the playoffs though, we said goodbye to two stalwarts of the game. Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki had 2 incredible careers and are a certainty to enter the hall of fame in the very near future. D Wade took the Hollywood exit, promoting his farewell tour all year long, while Dirk quietly went out, announcing his retirement on his very last home game in Dallas (which was incredibly emotional).
We also had a wild last day exit of a Laker great in Magic Johnson, announcing he was stepping down as Lakers President. It really wasn’t a good year at all in Laker Land, with high hopes once landing the one and only LeBron James, falling from 4th going into Xmas (once LeBron went down injured) to a below .500 season, was extremely embarrassing for the front office. Along with this, the failed AD trade which seemingly ripped the team in half, the Zubac trade which no one will ever understand, heads had to roll and Magic decided it was his time to step away.
May be time for another Laker great to step up to the plate and restore some pride in this Lakers organisation. Someone give Kobe a call!
The Chaos is only set to continue on the court with some great 1st round playoff matchups.
Milwaukee will have it pretty easy against a Detroit unit that limped into the playoffs.
Toronto should dispatch Orlando, but we are talking about a franchise who has had the yips in recent years during the playoffs. They also haven’t had a proven winner in Kawhi Leonard at their service.
In an enticing matchup, Philly goes head to head with Brooklyn, and this one should be an exciting one to watch. Both play a great brand of basketball, and this Brooklyn unit is extremely tight, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them give Philly a little scare in this series.
Boston has had a disappointing year by their standards, but they’ll have home court in the battle against the Indiana Pacers. Indiana if anything has overachieved after the injury to Oladipo, and don’t think they’ll have enough to push the Celtics any more than 5 games in this series.
Out West, Golden State start their playoff journey against another overachiever and in-state rival, the Los Angeles Clippers.
When Tobias Harris was traded it was seemingly good night and we look forward to the rebuild, but tough-minded guys like Pat Beverley and Danilo Gallinari had other ideas, along with the help of Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell off the bench, has them right back in the playoffs in looking to cause a major boil over in round 1.
Golden State cruised once again to 1st place in the West and will look to have too much firepower in this series, but as always, expect fireworks between Beverley and Curry!
Denver limped towards 2nd place in the West and face off against San Antonio in the 1st round. Denver has an incredible amount of depth, sometimes too much, which may cause issues when the rotations shorten come playoff time.
San Antonio is a model of consistency in the Western Conference, and their two stars DeRozan and Aldridge will look to have them ready to go in this series. Can definitely see an upset in this series, or at the very least going 6-7 games!
In the most enticing matchup of the entire 1st round, Portland comes head to head with division rival OKC. A division that produced half of the playoff field this year, OKC have had Portland’s measure in the regular season but as we know Playoffs are a different beast.
Had Nurkic not gone down with a broken leg you’d have to think Portland would be favoured in this one, along with the fact Portland had a meltdown in last year’s first round of the playoffs, plenty of pundits out there are predicting OKC to roll in this one.
I see it going the other way, Dame gets his revenge over Russ, going onto win in round 2 and make the Western Conference Finals. There’s just something special about this Portland team this year!
Houston and Utah wrap things up out West in another great series. James Harden goes head to head with Donovan Mitchell in what’s sure to be an offensive clinic going at each other. There’s definitely going to be some niggle in this series, with hardnosed defender PJ Tucker sure to see some time on the superstar Mitchell, as well as Joe Ingles seeing time on Harden to try to wind him up, but as they say…don’t poke the bear Joe!
This series is capable of hitting 6-7 games also, as we know Utah is such a tough place to win at, especially come playoff time.
Who can we see taking home the NBA Championship?