NBA Playoffs off to a Strong Start

Annette Crawford
April 20, 2018

With the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers each looking vulnerable heading into the 2018 National Basketball Association playoffs, this year's postseason proceedings appeared to be rife with drama.

Despite that these teams are now in the middle of the first round of playoffs, there are various things happening in the league.

Irving won rookie of the year in his first season with the Cavaliers in 2012 and the following season saw him make his first appearance in the NBA All-Star game.

The Warriors were being questioned by many, heading into the playoffs, on if they can win without, guard, Stephen Curry. The Warriors struggled mightily down the stretch of the regular season without Curry in the lineup, and finished the season in especially poor fashion losing by 40 points to the Utah Jazz. The Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets have been considered the two teams coming out of the west.

What about the Spurs?

If Curry does require six weeks to recover, that would put him in line for a return around May 4. As a result, despite all the time he has missed, Curry remains a favorite to qualify for one of the All-NBA teams. The trio has not been a ideal fit, and has had their share of struggles throughout the year, but have looked better down the stretch and opened strong in game one against the Jazz. The biggest surprise was center JaVale McGee, who started and scored 15 points in just 16 minutes while acting as a pest on defense against Spurs big man LaMarcus Aldridge.

It also gives Curry the opportunity to join back up with his team while also continuing his rehabilitation with the training staff. This year, the Raptors finished with the best record in the East, and were one of the top offensive and defensive teams in the league. If the bench continues to produce, then we could be talking about the Raptors making their first NBA Finals appearance in franchise history.

In the eastern conference, there is the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Toronto Raptors, and the steaming hot Philadelphia 76ers. I think they will have an easy road to the eastern conference finals.

Ultimately, if Curry returns healthy, I believe the Warriors will win the championship again. Personally, I see the Cavaliers and the 76ers coming out of the east.

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