2018 NBA playoffs kick off

By Adnan Basic

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The United Center won’t be hosting any playoff basketball this year. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The NBA regular season has come to a close, and the league is set to kickstart the playoffs.

The regular season was a wild one at times, with some incredible storylines taking place. For instance, both of the teams with the best conference records were unexpected. In the Western Conference, the Houston Rockets dominated through, winning the most games in the regular season.

Lead by the bearded James Harden, the Rockets offense outscored any opposition, and were particularly deadly from the three point line. Out east, the Toronto Raptors surprised many by grabbing the conference one seed.

The Canadian team, lead by Demar DeRozen and Kyle Lowry, got most of their success due to their much improved defense. Another key storyline was the health of San Antonio superstar Kawhi Leonard, who has missed a large chunk of the season. This lead to the Spurs finishing a lowly 7th in the conference, but reports indicate that the All-Star could make a return for the playoffs.

The funniest moment of the season came when Cleveland Cavaliers player J.R. Smith was suspended after throwing soup at one of his coaches. The situation has been rectified since then, but it will be a long time before NBA fans forget about Soupgate.

No matter how unpredictable the regular season was, however, many still expect to see yet another NBA Finals rematch.

Even though the team had to trade superstar Kyrie Irving to Boston during the off-season, the Cleveland Cavaliers are still favorites to get out of the East. They have rebounded from a dismal start to the season, are are currently in superb form. For freshman business management major Matty Robinson, the NBA championship is set to return to Cleveland. “The Cavaliers will win. LeBron James is playing his best basketball at the moment. As Kyrie Irving is injured for the Celtics, meaning the Cavs will waltz through the Eastern Conference.”

In the West, the Warriors are still considered the conferences best team. Their regular season record might not show that, but they were forced to deal with injuries throughout the year. Now, everyone is ready to go, which is bad news for the rest of the league.

Junior journalism major Ian Jackson realized this and believed that Golden State will win a second straight championship. “I think the Warriors will win because all of their star players will be back to full health, and they will return to dominating the competition,” Jackson said.

Freshman management major Ashley Smoldt, who plays for the women’s basketball team at Roosevelt, agreed with the statement. “Golden State is going to win, because they are simply a super team,” Smoldt said.

Sadly, for Chicago basketball fans, there will not be any playoff basketball in the Windy City for the second time in three seasons.

Last year saw the Bulls almost cause quite the upset, going two games up on the number one seeded Boston Celtics. However, a Rajon Rondo injury derailed everything, and Chicago ending up losing four straight. This season, the Bulls didn’t even come close to making the postseason, finishing 16 games behind the 8th seeded Wizards. Chicago tanked the year away, and will hope they can get lucky in the upcoming draft lottery. If not, the Bulls rebound might go on for a painfully long time.

The NBA Playoffs start on Saturday April 14.

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