We’re a game or two away from the second round of the playoffs, and so far we’ve been left with only a few surprises - and some big moments. Lillard’s shot and performance will go down in history as one of the greatest ever, joining his other buzzer beater against the Rockets in 2014. A lot of people (including myself) doubted their chances after they lost Nurkic for the year, but they handled the Thunder with ease. I thought OKC would shake off the rust from the last couple weeks of the year and return to their ways of strangling the opponent’s offense and dominating the defense with their two-headed snake in Russ and PG13, but they looked like the same choke artists as the last two seasons. The biggest surprise statistically, however, are the Los Angeles Clippers and their twin victories against the Golden State Warriors. Can you get bored with winning? I don’t know. I really wish I did. Last week I made eye contact with two homeless people humping outside my NYC apartment and ran inside like I witnessed a murder. Anyway, the Association’s current dynasty looks to close out LA’s top team tonight at the Staples Center in what I’m predicting will be a... Clippers victory. Game 7 here we go!
If the playoff match-ups in the east were a meal, the first round was the broccoli. Boring, slightly unappealing, but you have to eat it if you want to clean the plate. Now we’re getting to the steak. All four remaining teams - Bucks, Celtics, Raptors, Sixers - are expected to be here and have championship aspirations for this year. Every team but Milwaukee stand to lose something if they don’t advance; Celtics could lose Kyrie, Raptors could lose Kawhi, and Sixers could lose Jimmy - all to free agency. Everyone in this group is playing great basketball right now, and I’m not sure if there’s a more intriguing series between the two match-ups. I like Milwaukee slightly over Boston, but I have no idea what will happen between Philly and Toronto. All I know is that I’ll be watching both these games this weekend in the living room/kitchen floor of my new apartment (it’s cozy). If I had to make a prediction, I’m going with Philly because my dad is from there and I have two shows next week (this is a plug), but it’ll be very, very close.
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