The Criterion

NBA Playoffs

Chaz Cornelius '18, Staff Writer

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Now that NCAA tournament has come to an end, it is time for the real players to step up and take over television again. The NBA playoffs are here and now we can concentrate on those who have made it to the big leagues. The NBA playoffs are a little different this year and it is a change that not many people may be expecting. In the Western Conference, they have the Houston Rockets sitting at the number 1 seed then the Golden State Warriors. As you go down the bracket, the teams that are regularly there, teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs are still present. But as you get to the 8th seed you begin to see teams that are on the up and coming. Teams like the Minnesota Timberwolves are in the 8th seed even though they were not even in any of the playoffs for the last few seasons. It comes as a surprise that they are finally in the playoffs after almost 13 seasons. Then there are the New Orleans Pelicans. Even though they made it into the playoffs in their 2014-2015 season, they lost in the first round, by a blow out no less. Ever since they changed their name from the New Orleans Hornets to the New Orleans Pelicans, they have not been able to do much in the playoffs. But this year could be their chance to prove that they are not a force to be reckoned with. But that’s only the Western Conference. On the other side of the country in the Eastern Conference there is also a little bit of a change. The Toronto Raptors are at the very top of the conference while the 2016 NBA champions, and the 2017 NBA finals team; the Cleveland Cavaliers are sitting on the 3rd seed. They were the team that was meant to hold the Eastern Conference at least until LeBron James retired from the league. But now it looks like the Toronto Raptors and the Boston Celtics have took it upon themselves to show that they are not going to take that laying down. They have shown that the Cleveland Cavaliers are not to be messed with. The Toronto Raptors have been in the Playoffs ever since entering the league back in 1995. But it hasn’t been since the last 5 seasons that they have proven that they are a formidable team. There are also the Boston Celtics, who for the last 10 seasons have proved that they are here, but have not really done that much with any of their power. There is still time left for them to prove that they still have power in the Easter Conference though. Then as you continue going down the conference, teams that have not made a name for themselves for a while are on the up and coming. For example the Milwaukee Bucks are on an up and down streak with their playoff bursts. Then there is also the Miami Heat, the former two time NBA champions are finally back in the playoffs after 2 seasons of not being in the playoffs. But as you continue to make your way up the bracket you see that after a little bit of a drought, most notably after losing Paul George to the Oklahoma City Thunder, they have not made it out of the first round for the last 2 seasons. For all the teams in the Playoffs, they have proved that they can go all the way. But in the end, there can only be one true winner. We will find out who it will be at the end of it all. Who knows it could be the Golden State Warriors again, it could be the Houston Rockets, the Oklahoma City Thunder and even the Minnesota Timberwolves. From the Eastern Conference, it could be the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Toronto Raptors, the Boston Celtics, the Miami Heat, or even the Philadelphia 76ers. We will only know the answer next month when every team will be trying their best. Only the true best will be the winner.

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NBA Playoffs