After 82 games, the NBA regular season comes to a close. This season saw many ups and downs for different teams and was nothing short of exciting for basketball fans. But the NBA season is far from over with the playoffs off to a roaring start.
The playoffs began this year with the play-in tournament, which has each conference play three games to figure out the seventh and eighth seed of each respective conference. In the Eastern Conference, the Chicago Bulls defeated the Toronto Raptors in the ninth vs.10th seed game. In the seventh vs. eighth seed game, the Atlanta Hawks would defeat the Miami Heat to become the seventh seed. The Miami Heat, however, would still make the playoffs after defeating the Chicago Bulls to become the eighth seed.
Over in the Western Conference, the Minnesota Timberwolves played LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers were able to secure their spot in the playoffs, taking the seventh seed. The Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the New Orleans Pelicans in the ninth vs. 10th seed game; however, they were defeated by the Timberwolves for the eighth seed.
In the Eastern Conference, the Milwaukee Bucks put together another phenomenal season, claiming the best record in the NBA. The first seed Bucks were led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, who played another great year. The Bucks are currently playing the Heat. The second seed Boston Celtics will look for revenge after suffering defeat in last year’s finals and are playing the seventh seed Hawks.
The third seed Philadelphia 76ers, who are led by one of the favorites to win the MVP Joel Embiid, will take on the sixth seed Brooklyn Nets. The fourth seed Cleveland Cavaliers play the fifth seed New York Knicks.
In the Western Conference, the first seed Denver Nuggets had another great season. Nikola Jokic, center for the Nuggets, who won the MVP award two years in a row, is a favorite to win the MVP again. The Nuggets are currently playing the eighth seed Timberwolves.
The second seed Memphis Grizzlies will look to make the finals after having some issues this season off the court. The Grizzlies opened up the first round against the seventh seed Lakers.
No team has been more surprising this season than the Sacramento Kings. The third seed Kings had not made the playoffs since 2006 and were not projected to make the playoffs this year as well. The Kings will commence a battle of Northern California basketball when they take on the reigning NBA champions, the sixth seed Golden State Warriors. The fourth seed Phoenix Suns will take on the fifth seed Los Angeles Clippers.
No doubt about it.Another exciting NBA season is about to end, and fans are anxious to see who will be crowned champions. Editor’s Note: Being from Northern California, it has been the best feeling being able to see the Kings make the playoffs. I am a Warriors fan at heart, but deep down I hope the Kings finally win a championship.