Sunday, 16 June, 2019

National Basketball Association playoffs should be entertaining

Giannis Antetokounmpo James Harden Enlarge Image Giannis Antetokounmpo James Harden Anthony J. Causi Getty Images
Sidney Guerrero | 15 April, 2019, 08:11

It has widely been assumed that this will be Durant's last season in Golden State.

The NBA playoffs consist of eight teams from the Eastern Conference and eight teams from the Western Conference to make 16 in total.

Can any team stop the Warriors? It would be nice to see them at full strength. Jusuf Nurkić's injury is a huge blow to Portland, and the team's 7-2 record after his injury is deceiving, as the Blazers actually went 1-2 against playoff teams in that time. Having said all that, the Warriors are still not to be taken lightly, but you shouldn't pencil them in as sure-fire champions just yet. Again, I am going to take the higher seed. In this picture, Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors and Team LeBron warms up before the NBA All-Star game as part of the 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, Feb. 17, 2019. The only month he did not win it was January.

"I enjoy the way they played basketball".

Toronto made dramatic changes with the aim of altering its playoff fortunes.

Instead, the loss to the Thunder saw them drop down to the fourth seed and a risky first-round series against the Utah Jazz, who have won 32 of the 45 games they have played since January 1 and boast the NBA's second-best defensive rating (conceding 105.7 points per 100 possessions).

However, this postseason is shaping up to be much different.

While the Deer have plenty of ammo offensively to win games, it's their defense that will lead them to the promised land. The Nuggets have never won the conference title in franchise history. But James left the Cavaliers and signed a four-year, $153.3 million with the Lakers in July.

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I think Milwaukee could win the east, but it's completely up for grabs. Only time will tell if he will continue that streak by staying with the franchise or take his talents elsewhere during the offseason.

The Warriors are the most talented team in this series and it starts with their future-Hall of Fame core. Brooklyn, in general, was a good bet during the regular season - they were one of 10 National Basketball Association teams to come out in the black for bettors, going 45-37 (53.1 percent) against the spread.

No. 1 Milwaukee Bucks vs. Now, the Warriors should be well-rested for the playoff opener. He is unlike any player the league has seen before, an ultra-athletic slasher with a 7-foot-3-inch wingspan who can dish out passes easily and bully even the most dominant centers in the paint.

Still, underestimate the Celtics at your peril. If they make it through the Celtics, a match-up with Toronto or Philadelphia likely looms in the conference finals.

"The Process" paid off for the 76ers. Golden State's odds of winning the championship would have naturally decreased dramatically as a result. Simmons' shooting, or lack of - he had just six 3-point attempts in the regular season, making none - is something the Warriors do not have to worry about, allowing them to focus elsewhere, potentially Embiid (who has injury issues to deal with at the start of the playoffs). While their starting five looks great on paper, it starts looking a little thin when you look at their bench. Still, before they can contemplate about going up against the Warriors, they must work their way out of the East. Brown improved enormously after the All-Star break, raising his three-point shooting percentage by nearly 10 per cent. Other player-level futures are based on whether a player will reach certain benchmarks in common statistical categories such as points, three-point shots, rebounds or assists for the season.

Yet this is uncharted territory for Jokic and his colleagues.

Brook Lopez has been the iron man and two-way anchor for injury-riddled Bucks this season: Also of the Journal Sentinel, Matt Velazquez touched on the stabilizing presence Brook Lopez has been for the Bucks throughout the season as well as providing some other news and notes heading into the team's final game of the regular season.

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