The time has finally come for the NBA playoffs. Starting out today, 16 teams will fight to take home an NBA championship.
The No. 7 Pacers and No. 2 Cavs will start things off at 3:00 today. This is one of the more interesting matchups as Cleveland has struggled recently while the Pacers are heating up at the perfect time. Indiana guard Paul George has finally found his stride after being injured last year and is averaging 29 points in the last month.
The 5:30 game will see the No. 6 Milwaukee Bucks take on the No. 3 Toronto Raptors. Many have projected that this will be the best and most competitive series in the opening round. The Raptors have two of the best guards in the league in Demar Derozan and Kyle Lowry alongside a talented big man in Serge Ibaka whom they acquired just hours before the trade deadline. They will be going up against one of the most polarizing players that the NBA has seen in Giannis Antetokounmpo. Standing at 6’11, Antetokounmpo can play nearly every position on the court and is a mismatch problem for any team he is going against. If the Bucks want any shot winning this series, Antetokounmpo has to be dominant and lead them for the duration.
The next game at 8:00 will showcase the No. 7 Memphis Grizzlies vs No. 2 San Antonio Spurs. There’s really not much to say with this series. The Spurs have been quietly putting together a stellar season and remain a favorite to take home the championship.
Rounding out the night is the No. 5 Utah Jazz vs No. 4 Los Angeles Clippers. Along with the Bucks/Raptors matchup, this is the other series that many NBA fans will have their eyes on. The Clippers have been knocking on the door of greatness for years but have never been able to break through to a conference finals game; and with this being a contract year for Chris Paul, a lot is on the line for this franchise as a whole. The Utah Jazz will be making their first playoff appearance since 2012 and are emerging as one of the best young teams in the NBA. Led by Gordon Hayward, this team has a tremendous upside in the years to come and making a deep push in this year’s playoffs would only help their cause.