How we got here: The 2017 NBA Playoffs

@Bailey Jaynes
Photo: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports.

Eastern Conference Playoffs:

Boston Celtics (1) Vs. Chicago Bulls (8) Series: 2-2

This series has been an up and down ride from both teams point of view. Whether it be Boston’s woeful ability to rebound the basketball or Chicago’s lack of assists in a game, it hasn’t been a series that either team would say is favorable to their side. In games, one and two Boston got outrebounded and outplayed by the Bulls. Robin Lopez seemed to get every rebound, Rajon Rondo did an excellent job of distributing the ball, and Jimmy Butler made every shot the bulls needed. This goes without saying the impact the Bulls have had from Dwayne Wade, Bobby Portis, and Paul Zipser. Then, the day before game 3 Rondo gets thrown out of the series with a fractured thumb and Boston gets a chance to come back from being down 2-0. Boston sure did respond, they won both games 3 and 4 on Chicago’s home court and evened the series. It goes to say that this series will have and interesting ending no matter who wins.

Cleveland Cavaliers (2) Vs. Indiana Pacers (7) Series: 4-0 Cavaliers Win

The Cavaliers handled the Pacers pretty easily sweeping them 4-0 and punctuating the fact that they are a team that you should never take lightly. The Pacers did give it their best effort though, they didn’t lose a game in the series by more than 7 points. Also, they showed why they weren’t even a good matchup for the Cavaliers to begin with when they lost game three after having a 26 point advantage at one point in the game. Which is why it is safe to say that the Pacers were no match for the Cavaliers.

Toronto Raptors (3) Vs. Milwaukee Bucks (6) Series: 3-2 Raptors advantage

This series has been nothing short of breathtaking, whether it be from the skill of the young Bucks team or whether it’s the veteran Raptors showing their prowess. The Bucks, who are lead by the Greek Freak ( Giannis Antetetokounmpo), have shown that they belong in the playoffs with the play of their young core.  The Raptors have also played well with their veteran presence, led by Demar Derozen who is the main cog in their system. This series will be decided by how Derozen finishes the series against a young Bucks defense, which has played very well, as well as how the greek freak plays against the Raptors.

Washington Wizards (4) Vs. Atlanta Hawks (5) Series: 2-2

The Wizards jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the series against the Hawks thanks to John Wall, the leader of the team. The Hawks took game 3  and 4 thanks to their leader Paul Milsap, who is the only starter left from when they were the number one seed in the East a couple years ago. The outcome of the series will be in large part decided by how the stars from both teams play.

Western Conference Playoffs:

Golden State Warriors (1) Vs. Portland Trailblazers (8) Series:4-0 

Although the Warriors have been without Kevin Durant in 2 of the 4 games, they have had no problems handling the Trailblazers. Steph Curry and Klay Thompson have had no issues scoring the basketball and the team, in general, has had no issues, except Damien Lillard and C.J. Mccollum. Those two players have had no trouble putting up big numbers against the Warriors, but the problem is that the rest of the team cant do anything to help them. So, therefore, the outcome of this series was inevitable.

San Antonio Spurs (2) Vs. Memphis Grizzlies (7) Series: 2-2

The Spurs are having issues with the defensive-minded Grizzlies, it also doesn’t help when key players from the Spurs aren’t playing well. Manu Ginobili, Danny Green, and Pau Gasol all aren’t playing well. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies are getting a big push from Mike Conley, Zack Randolph, and Marc Gasol. The series will ultimately be decided by how the players other than Kawahi Leonard play for the Spurs.

Houston Rockets(3) Vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (6) Series: 3-1 Rockets advantage

Despite Russel Westbrook averaging a triple double in the playoffs this year, the Thunder are on the brink of their season ending at the hands of the Rockets. The Thunder are actually a better team than the Rockets when Westbrook is on the court, the problem is that he can’t be on the court the whole game. The Thunder had a double-digit advantage at one point in games 2-4, but they still lost two of those games. The Rockets will win the series barring any huge play from someone on the Thunder not named Russel Westbrook.

Los Angelos Clippers (4) Vs. Utah Jazz (5) Series: 2-2

So far this series has been very good between the veteran Clippers and the young defensive minded Jazz. The Clippers received some bad news before game 5, losing Blake Griffin for the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Jazz got back their second best player in Rudy Gobert. Therefore they were able to even the series at 2. Without Griffin and with Joe Johnson stepping up in Hayward’s absence in game 4, I give the advantage to the Jazz in this series.

-Stats provided by Espn

 

 

 

 

 

 

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