Playoff Madness in the NBA

For the past couple of weeks, the NBA playoffs have been rolling along. So far, there has been everything there is to want from the playoffs, including upsets, breakout games, historic performances, and more. Right now, the playoffs are in the finals, where the Golden State Warriors will play the Toronto Raptors in a best of seven series. Here is how we got to this point.

First Round:

Milwaukee beats Detroit 4-0. The Bucks defeated the Pistons in four games, blowing them out in each of the four games. The Bucks were lead by forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, who averaged 26.25 points and 11.5 rebounds per game in the series.

Boston beats Indiana 4-0. Along with Milwaukee, Boston also swept their series against Indiana. Boston was lead by point guard Kyrie Irving, who average 22.5 points and 7.75 assists per game during the series.

Philadelphia beats Brooklyn 4-1. The 76ers defeated Brooklyn in five games and were lead by bigman Joel Embiid. He averaged 24.8 points per game along with 13.5 rebounds per game, although he did miss game three due to illness.

Toronto beats Orlando 4-1. After losing game one, the Raptors won four straight behind forward Kawhi Leonard, who averaged 27.8 points per game including a big 37 point outing in game two to beat the Magic in five games.

Golden State beats Los Angeles 4-2. The star filled Warriors beat the Clippers after a surprising six games with the underdog Clippers, who many expected just to roll over. The Warriors were led by forward Kevin Durant, who averaged an amazing 35 points per game in the series which included a 50 point performance in game 6 to advance the Warriors to the next round.

Houston beats Utah 4-1. James Harden (pictured right) and the Rockets defeated Utah in fives games. Harden averaged 27.8 points and eight assists per game in the series for the Rockets, Chris Paul also had an impressive series to help the Rockets advance.

Portland beats Oklahoma City 4-1. Behind guard Damian Lillard’s strong performances, which included 33 points per game and a buzzer beater to win the series in game 5, the Blazers were able to prevail against the Thunder. For the Thunder, their playoff troubles continue after reaching the Conference Finals in 2016.

Denver beats San Antonio 4-3- In the only series that went the full seven games in the first round, Denver came out victorious behind a strong series from center Nikola Jokic, who had multiple strong games including a monstrous game 6, where he had 43 points, 12 rebounds, and 9 assists. However, the Nuggets lost that game but were able to rebound in game 7 to win the series.

Second Round:

Milwaukee beats Boston 4-1. Milwaukee, after losing game one, were able to win four straight and win the series in five games. They were again lead by Giannis Antetokounmpo, who averaged 28.4 points per game to defeat defeat the Celtics. This was disappointing for the Celtics, as they had better expectations the whole season. For the Bucks, their dominant season continued.

Pictured (right): Giannis Antetokounmpo

Toronto beats Philadelphia 4-3. Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors were able to defeat the 76ers in 7 games. It was a tight match up the whole series, with every game being close. It stayed close until the last seconds, where Leonard make a buzzer beater 3 pointer to win game 7. Although it was just recent, Leonard’s shot has already been played on hundreds of replays.

Golden State beats Houston 4-2. Golden State beat Houston for the second year in a row, winning the series in six games. Lead once again by Kevin Durant who lead the Warriors in scoring, but got hurt and missed game six. Unfortunately for the Warriors, it looks like Durant will miss the rest of the playoffs.

Portland beats Denver 4-3. In a tough seven game series, the Trail Blazers came out victorious. This series, the Blazers were lead by guard CJ McCollum, who picked up the slacking Damian Lillard throughout the series with multiple games above 30 points. This allowed Portland to reach their first Western Conference Finals since 2000.

Kawhi Leonard (left) and Damian Lillard (right).

Third Round:

Toronto beats Milwaukee 4-2. After losing games one and two, the Raptors came back to beat the Bucks in six games on the backs of forwards Kawhi Leonard and Pascal Siakam. Leonard continued his hot playoff streak from the Raptors previous series against the 76ers which allowed the Raptors to advanced to the finals.

Golden State beats Portland 4-0. After struggling at times in the first two rounds, the Warriors went back to looking like their normal selves, making quick work of the Blazers. They did this without their usually leading scorer in Kevin Durant. Rather, the Warriors saw Steph Curry lead their team, averaging an amazing 36.5 points per game in the series.

Finals:

Golden State vs Toronto. As of right now, the Raptors are up 1-0 in the series after last night’s win. The Raptors, who are the heavy underdogs, must keep their momentum in order to win the series. For the Warriors, they are bound to get hot at any time. However, the only question is when will they get hot, and how will they do it without Kevin Durant? The rest of the games will be played on the following days and times:

Game 2: 6/2 @8:00 P.M.

Game 3: 6/5 @9:00 P.M.

Game 4: 6/7 @9:00 P.M.

Game 5: 6/10 @9:00 P.M. (if necessary).

Game 6: 6/13 @9:00 P.M. (if necessary).

Game 7: 6/16 @8:00 P.M. (if necessary).

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