NBA Playoffs are Off the Ground


The NBA Playoffs are finally here and it’s a very exciting time for basketball fans.

The best-of-seven elimination tournament consists of 16 teams—eight teams from the Western conference and eight teams from the Eastern conference, playing against one another to make it to the NBA finals. The ultimate goal is to win the NBA finals and bring a championship to their city and their fans.

But not everybody’s team made it to the playoffs. “You’re just asking for an F, like I got my grade book open to AP Lang,” Ms. Zapata said jokingly when asked about her team not making it to the playoffs. “How do I feel about the [Los Angeles] Lakers not making the playoffs?” Ms. Zapata is a notoriously avid Lakers fan and an English teacher at Fremont High School. “It’s basically you win the championship or nothing. Everybody is mad in LA.”

She also shared that she asked Santa Claus for Kevin Durant, but Santa clearly didn’t give Ms. Zapata what she asked for. Instead, Kevin Durant was recruited by the Warriors and has been averaging about 25 PPG (points per game), 8 RPG (rebounds per game), and 5 APG (assists per game), a down year from when he was in the Oklahoma City Thunder, but that’s what happens when you have three other all-stars on your team.

The first round of the playoffs looks to be exciting, mainly because it’s the NBA playoffs and the intensity is always kicked up a notch during the tournament. The matchup that stands out the most is the Utah Jazz versus the Los Angeles Clippers. Both teams had a 51-31 record during the regular season and their all-star power matches up well. Don’t be surprised if the series ends up going to seven games.

The Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers seem to be the teams favored to make it to the NBA finals this year—and for the third consecutive year (What a surprise). Don’t count out any other team though, because anything can happen.

Both Ms. Zapata and Kevin Nguyen, a junior in Mandela Academy, said they’re betting on the Warriors and Cavaliers to make it to the finals. “The Cavs seem strong, but I don’t think they’re strong enough to beat the Warriors,” Nguyen said. Ms. Zapata also said she thinks the Warriors need Durant for the win.

The Warriors and the Cavaliers have faced each other in the finals for the past two years now, with each winning one final a piece. Basketball fans know what happened in last year’s finals when the Cavaliers came back from a 3-1 deficit. Could we see them winning it all again this year? We’ll have to wait until June or when they get bounced out of the playoffs to find out. 

Don’t under-estimate San Antonio Spurs though. They have been one of the most consistent teams over the past decade. The Spurs can possibly upset the Warriors if they meet in the conference finals.

The most important thing is that basketball fans get to witness their favorite sport being played at a very high level, right? No way. Every fan wants to see their favorite team hoist up that NBA Championship title or at least see the team they despise the most lose, maybe even blowing a 3-1 lead on the way.