We’re currently stuck in the middle of the first round of the NBA Playoffs and so far the action has been spectacular. The biggest names have all come out to play on the biggest stage. From Lebron to D-Wade, the Celtics and the Lakers, the best of the best are on full display this time of year.
Each of the first round series had something special. Whether it matched rivals like Dallas and San Antonio against each other, or matched a veteran squad like the Lakers against a young team like the Thunder. There was something worth watching in each series.
Let’s take a closer look at a few of the match ups.
The first series to wrap up in this round featured the Orlando Magic and the Charlotte Bobcats. The Bobcats were making their first playoff appearance in franchise history while the defending conference champion Magic wanted to show they shouldn’t be dismissed as a contender. After four games, the Magic dispatched of the weaker Bobcats and did the majority of the work without “Superman” Dwight Howard. Howard was in foul trouble in every game, fouling out in two of the four games. The question going forward is this: is it a good sign for the Magic that they were able to carry the load without a big impact from Dwight Howard?
A few of the series feature teams who have key players that could be on the move after the season. The recently outed Miami Heat will now begin trying to acquire talent in order to keep Dwayne Wade in South Beach. But the majority of the basketball world revolves around LeBron James, and most speculate that if Cleveland doesn’t win it all, he’ll leave. The possibility that those two could end up in New York playing together at The Garden is in a word…intriguing.
Then there’s the Jazz – Nuggets match up. This series is filled with young stars. Carmelo Anthony, Deron Williams, and many others are playing key roles in the series. But the most intriguing thing here is how the absence of head coach George Karl is magnified with his Nuggets struggling. They say it’s a players league but I’m not sure that is really the case in Denver. We’ll see how they rebound and if they can bounce back but things aren’t looking great for the boys from the Mile High City.
And of course, We can’t forget about the Black Mamba. That’s right, Kobe is still the leader of the Lakers who are in the midst of a battle with the Oklahoma City Thunder. That’s right, the Thunder have actually made it a series, taking both games in their building and bringing the series even before they head back to Los Angeles tonight. I don’t think many expected this but it’s clear to me that Russel Westbrook is better than most thought and now in my opinion I think that Kevin Durant is the most valuable person to his team in the league. I don’t think the Lakers will lose the series, so I’m not jumping on the Thunder bandwagon, but I am enjoying this series.
So as chapter one comes to a close, the intrigue rises and that leads to drama….but that’s a story for another day.