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NBA Playoff Palooza

NBA playoffs are getting underway this April.
Micheal Tipton
NBA playoffs are getting underway this April.

The lights shine bright on the arena floor as thousands of screaming fans echo their loudest cheers throughout the cavernous stadium. The energy is as uncontrollable as the weather, fluctuating between the good and bad that happens for the home team. As for the players, sweat drips on the court as they give everything they have in these last five minutes of regulation; a convolution of chess moves that make it so every possession matters in a game as highly contested as this one. Despite the players giving everything they have, their exhausted bodies are one stop them from making the game-winning play. At this stage and high level, nothing matters but winning. 

This is the NBA playoffs, the league’s most highly anticipated, and highest revenue-generating time of the season for the association. For the NBA, the past couple of seasons have been magical in terms of the entertainment, and engagement of fans regarding the playoffs. That is no joke either, the playoffs have produced some highly contested entertaining games that have come down to the wire the past three seasons, with this season’s playoffs having plenty of different teams that could have a chance of lifting the Larry O’Brien trophy.

With the first round underway, it has provided us with some new insights and exciting plays that have made some series decided, and others more competitive. In the West, it has made for some interesting matchups that have captivated audiences across the United States. The Thunder are currently the youngest-aged team who hold the one seed and have even had some close games against the Pelicans — a highly rated group. Additionally, the Thunder has shown surprising resolve despite their youth by being able to jump out to a 3-0 lead in the series. The defending champions, the Nuggets, had gotten themselves into some trouble against the Lakers, but some late-game heroics by Jokic and Murray have made the Lakers stagger into a 3-1 where the Nuggets look to close it out tonight. The Minnesota Timberwolves’ Anthony Edwards has started to ascend in many ways as well, with him taking on the Suns three-headed monster. With him on the court, the Timberwolves made it look easy against a team that was thought to have championship written all over them. The trash talk between Edwards and Kevin Durant has also been exciting to watch, but trash talk couldn’t save the Suns as they would end up getting swept by the white-hot wolves. Finally, to round out the Western Conference, the most exciting series by far has been the Mavericks and the Clippers. With some trash talk between Luka Doncic and Russell Westbrook, it has allowed for an exciting series. Another exciting piece of action comes from Paul George of the LA Clippers who stepped back to knot up the series at 2-2.

As for the East side, it has also made for some interesting playoff matchups. The Celtics once again have to deal with the eighth-seeded Miami Heat in the first round. However, the Celtics do have a much more prevalent advantage with Jimmy Butler having an injury regarding his MCL, leaving him unavailable for this series. This, along with their skills on the court, has catapulted the Celtics to a 2-1 lead. As for the second-seeded Knicks, they have shown resolve against the 76ers led by Embiid who hasn’t made it easy. All four of the games in this series have been close, however, Jalen Brunson stepped up at home and on the road to give the Knicks a 3-1 lead. On another note, Damien Lillard made a splash in his Bucks playoff debut, scoring a total of 35 points in their first game. However, it has been all downhill from there regarding Doc Rivers’ squad. With both Giannis and Lillard dealing with injuries, the young and exciting Pacers have gotten out to a 3-1 lead. Once again ending with the most exciting of the matchups, it seemed like the Orlando Magic were doomed after getting blown out against Donovan Mitchell and the Cavaliers in games one and two. Despite this, the young Magic team has shown incredible fight, getting the series back to an even 2-2, as game five hangs in the balance. 

With everything getting more intense from here, it’ll be interesting to see which teams can have the potent balance that is so key, when trying to go through the gauntlet to become NBA world champions.

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About the Contributor
Julian Zolenski
Julian Zolenski, Staff Writer
Julian Zolenski is a Senior at Forest Hills Eastern. This is his second year being on the Hawk Herald Staff. Julian enjoys a number of different things about his busy life including working as a line cook, playing with his dog, and hanging out with his friends. Right now Julian has a dream of being a Sports Commentator. He intends to accomplish this goal by majoring in Broadcast Journalism in his college future. Julian knows this is a lofty goal, but he will not let anything stop him from accomplishing it.   
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