Written and Media by John Dudley. [divide]
The NBA playoffs are here, as the quest to become an NBA champion started last weekend.The major headline for this year’s playoffs are the Golden State Warriors and their chance to cap off a record breaking season with another championship. Or will LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers bring a trophy back to Cleveland? Both the Warriors and Cavaliers have a number one seed in their conferences, and experts believe there will be a rematch of the 2015 NBA finals between the two teams.
Another team that is a favorite among experts to give the Warriors some trouble in a possible Western Conference Finals matchup is the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs have the second best record in the Western Conference with a 67-15 record. The Spurs also had the best home record in the NBA this season with only one loss at home, which was to the Warriors.
In both conferences, the number eight seeds (the Detroit Pistons from the East and the Houston Rockets of the West) both had records of .500 or better. In the first games of the playoffs fans saw the Oklahoma City Thunder mangle the Dallas Mavericks by 30 plus points on Saturday night. Fans also witnessed the reigning NBA champion Warriors cruise to victory over the Rockets by 20 points. Over in the Eastern Conference, the Toronto Raptors were upset in their opening game of the playoffs by the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers were led by Paul George and his 33 point outburst as he returned to the playoffs after missing most of the 2014-15 season with a leg injury.
The Atlanta Hawks opened up the playoffs against the Boston Celtics in a tightly contested game with the Hawks emerging by the narrowest of margins with a one point victory. Also in the Eastern Conference, the Cleveland Cavaliers hosted the Detroit Pistons and edged a 106-101 victory. The Spurs routed the Memphis Grizzlies by 38, and the Heat ran over the Charlotte Hornets 123-91. The Los Angeles Clippers topped off the first weekend of games by beating the Portland Trailblazers 115-95. Last weekend was the first time that three different games were won on the same day by 20 plus points or more. The opening games of the 2016 playoffs have been a disappointment, but hopefully as teams advance the games will be more exciting for the fans to watch. Listen to a interview with Kasey Richardson below!