It’s been another exciting round of playoffs so far and we’re not even at the conference finals yet. There have been some close, engaging series, and some that have all but been determined before they began. The playoffs are the time when we really see which teams are solid and which need to make changes during the offseason.
Great rivalries are made in the playoffs, and we certainly have some good ones this year. We’ve also had some injuries and seen some teams fall apart.
Rockets and Warriors
The Warriors have just won game five to put the series at three games to two, in their favor. But it might not be smooth sailing going forward. The Warriors are headed to Houston for game six, a game that could mean elimination for the Rockets. So Harden and company are looking to come out strong in front of the home fans and push the series to a game seven.
And they might be able to do just that. Towards the end of game five, Kevin Durant, landed funny after a jump shot and came out of the game, as he couldn’t put weight on his right leg. Later on in the game, an update came in, saying that he had strained his right calve muscle. We all know how important Durant is to the Warriors. If he can’t play in game six, Houston may have the advantage. And worse yet, if he can’t come back at all, things are looking down for Golden State.
On the other hand, Houston wasn’t able to pull out the victory even with Durant out of the game. And in the last few minutes, Draymond Green fouled out, giving Houston an even better chance of winning. But still, the Warriors were too much to handle. So Durant or no Durant, we may be seeing another trip to the conference finals for the Warriors.
Celtics Fell Apart
Boston fans got a poor showing from the Celtics in this postseason. Last year, the Celtics beat the Bucks and went seven games against LeBron and the Cavs in the conference finals. Now we all know that things are different this year in Milwaukee. The Bucks have exploded. But Boston put up a very meager performance against the Bucks. It only took Milwaukee five games to close out the series and Boston was lucky to get even one win.
Irving has been complaining all season about how he doesn’t like playing on the Celtics and it showed this postseason, as his shooting seemed to get worse in each game. Don’t be surprised if he isn’t a Celtic next season.
Denver is up three games to two over the Blazers and is likely to close out the series whether it takes them one more game or two. Jokic has been on point in this series and Portland just doesn’t have an answer for him. Denver pushed game four to four overtimes, and did it on the road. That shows the grit and determination that this Nuggets squad has. Lillard and McCollum have their work cut out for them if they hope to turn this series around.
Toronto Marching Ahead
Toronto is up three games to two against Philly, and they too are looking like the favorites to make it to the conference finals. Kawhi is just too good to be stopped and Embiid is not quite the force he thinks he is. Kyle Lowry has been playing his best and the team looks ready to take on the Bucks.
While it should be Golden State and Denver, Milwaukee and Toronto, this is still the NBA, and until the last buzzer, anything can happen.