NBA Playoffs: Round 1 Recap and Round 2 Analysis

Sports Commentary by: Cameron McElwaney

Round One Recap

Houston Rockets vs. Golden State Warriors: Warriors win the series in convincing fashion, but they lost superstar Stephen Curry in the process. He went down right before the halftime buzzer in Game 4. Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Andre Iguodala stepped up in Game 5 to rout the Houston Rockets and win the series.

San Antonio Spurs vs. Memphis Grizzlies: the Spurs have always seemed to come into the playoffs playing excellent basketball. This year is no exception to that either. They beat the injury-plagued Grizzlies with a clean sweep. They dominated from buzzer to buzzer in all four games.

Atlanta Hawks vs. Boston Celtics: Atlanta Hawks vs. Boston Celtics was one of the most entertaining series of the first round. Hawks win the series in six games and dominated the Celtics in Boston. It was the Hawks first win in Boston in over 20 years.

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Detroit Pistons: the Cavaliers had one of the best players in the world in Lebron James and they didn’t disappoint in the first round. They swept the up-and-coming Detroit Pistons. Lebron impressed in the series with excellent passing and emphatic dunks.

Miami Heat vs. Charlotte Hornets: the Miami Heat were expected to dominate the Hornets but that wasn’t the case. The Hornets rattled off three straight wins after getting down two games early in the series. Dwyane Wade impressed in Game 6 knocking down clutch shots late in the fourth quarter. Goran Dragic blew up in Game 7 with 25 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists to lead the Heat to a 106-73 win.

Dallas Mavericks vs. Oklahoma City Thunder: the Thunder won this series in five games behind excellent play from Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said that the only superstar that the Thunder had was Kevin Durant. That only added to the fire of Russell Westbrook. The game after those remarks Westbrook had 36 points, 12 rebounds and 9 assists.

Toronto Raptors vs. Indiana Pacers: the Raptors have gotten beat out of the playoffs in the first round for the last two years. That trend stopped this year after a thrilling series. The Raptors won in seven games behind phenomenal play by Demar Derozan and Kyle Lowry.

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Los Angeles Clippers; The Los Angeles Clippers were up two games to none when they started getting injured. Their two stars got hurt and were out for the rest of the playoffs. Chris Paul broke his finger and Blake Griffin had a knee issue that sidelined him. The Trail Blazers won in 6 after winning four in a row.

Second Round Analysis

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Golden State Warriors: the Portland Trail Blazers will have to be on top of every part of the game to even contend in this series. The Warriors are one of the best teams in the NBA, and if you make a mistake, they will take advantage of it. The Blazers have to have excellent play from Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum to win any. As far as the Warriors go, they have to play like they have the whole season without their best player in Stephen Curry. Draymond Green and Klay Thompson will have to have good performances to make up for that loss.

Miami Heat vs. Toronto Raptors: the Toronto Raptors will have to have great play from Demar Derozan and Kyle Lowry to move on to the Eastern Conference Finals. Miami will just have to play like they did in Game 7 of the first round. This series is the best series in the Eastern Conference because of how similar the teams are. Both have excellent backcourts and great defenders in the post.

Atlanta Hawks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers: the Hawks have to play great defense and great offense to win this series. Dennis Schroeder will have to be a spark off the bench that the Hawks need. Lebron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love look to dominate this series just like they did in the first round. I believe that the Hawks will be able to win a couple games in this series however. They have the tools in place to win a series if they can get production from Al Horford and Paul Millsap in the post.

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. San Antonio Spurs: This is the best series in the playoffs right now. These two teams have been phenomenal throughout the season and in the playoffs. This series is balanced and will be the most entertaining to watch. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook will have to have great games every game to win this series. The Spurs will have to play like they have all season and move the ball to win. Tim Duncan and Lamarcus Aldridge will have to be big in the post against Serge Ibaka and Steven Adams.