The NBA regular season will end with unpredictability playing the main factor.
The most shocking news before the playoffs come out of Boston. All-Star guard, Kyrie Irving, is out for the entire playoffs. Irving had emergency knee surgery and will take 4-5 months to recover. By the time Irving is ready to play at 100 percent, it will be the beginning of the 2018-19 preseason. At least the Celtics will have the team’s other All-Star, Gordon Hayward, although it does nothing for their immediate title hopes. Kyrie Irving intended to lead the Celtics to the promise land, as he once did with the 2016 Cavaliers along with LeBron James.
It was a very strong possibility that the former teammates were going to meet in the playoffs. If you are a basketball enthusiast, a Cavs and Celtics series is everything you would want in the Eastern Conference. It is no secret that King James had the urge to dominate a series against his ex-partner in crime. The energy would have been matched by Irving. Due to the extent of the injury, we may have to wait till next year. With free agency looming this summer, there is a possibility that fans will never see the former duo face each other. That is if LeBron take this talents to the Western Conference. With the development of the baby Lakers, Los Angeles looks like a great landing spot. LeBron also already has a home in LA.
The Sixers are bound to make some noise, with ROY Ben Simmons and all-star big man Joel Embiid. Embiid suffered an eye injury late last month, but is expected to miss only one game in the playoffs. With Irving out for the playoffs, expect a motivation LeBron James to go head up against the Eastern Conference leading Toronto Raptors.
The Rockets have dominated the West this season. Top MVP candidate James Harden has led the way with his back court counterpart, Chris Paul. Expect to see them in the Western Conference Finals. Now it gets interesting. Two-time MVP, Steph Curry, is expected to be out for the first round of the playoffs. The Warriors should have no problem getting out of the first round, with 3 all-stars and home court advantage. Let’s see how far they make it, without their sharp shooting honcho. If Curry resumes play after the first round, Golden State faces Houston in an epic star studded showdown.
3-10 in the standings gets very interesting and may come down to the final week of regular season games. If the playoffs ended today, the best first round series would be Portland and Oklahoma City. It will be a good test for both teams. 2017 MVP, Russell Westbrook, led his team to the playoffs last season, without any all-star teammates. This year, he has Paul George and a former all-star in Carmelo Anthony. On the Portland side, there is the back court tandem of Damien Lillard and CJ McCollum. You can refer to them as “Backcourt Buckets.” The two teams match up well. One may see a surprise out of the young Timberwolves team, but they lack experience and Jimmy Butler has yet to play a game since his mid-season injury. Don’t expect any other teams not named Golden State or Houston to make it past round two.
The 2018 NBA playoffs will begin Saturday, April 14.