As the Playoffs Begin, What Should NBA Fans Look Out for?
The Warriors have won 2 straight NBA Championships and 3 of the last four, but for really the first time, some are starting to question the future of this team. Kevin Durant will be an unrestricted free agent this summer and has hinted at the possibility of leaving for New York. Moreover, his dust-up with Draymond Green earlier in the year continues to be a topic of interest around the league. If the Warriors win another championship, then maybe Durant signs a max deal and stays. In that scenario, Draymond Green and/or Klay Thompson’s future’s would be in question. If the Warriors fail to win another championship, then we may well have the reverse situation. Either way, the Warriors will almost certainly look different next season and the outcome of these playoffs could set things in motion.
76ers GM Elton Brand has already said that he expects this team to make it to the Eastern Conference Finals. That is perhaps a lofty goal, but after acquiring Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris, this team is clearly all-in, in win-now mode. Should the 76ers lose in the first or second round, expect coach Brett Brown to almost certainly be fired and expect one of, if not both Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris to leave this summer. On the other hand, should the 76ers make a deep run into the playoffs, management will likely look to find a way to bring everyone back and attempt to build a dynasty around this core.
🗣️ Time for the #NBAPlayoffs
Brand new @BALLnROLL Pick-n-Pod episode is now out!
🏀 #Raptors Playoff preview
🏀 Breakdown and predictions for each series
🏀 Bucket of the Week!
— Pick-N-Pod (@pick_pod) April 12, 2019
Raptors Push for First NBA Finals Appearance
This is the best Raptors team of all time. This is the Raptors best ever chance of making the NBA Finals. This team is overflowing with playoff experience, based not only on their own previous runs, but also in the form of what Marc Gasol, Kawhi Leonard, and Danny Green, bring to the table this year. All of the ingredients are there, now it’s up to the Raptors to make it happen. Another disappointing early exit would almost certainly mean the departure of Kawhi Leonard and would likely prompt a shift towards a moderate-to full out rebuild. The stakes are high.
Who are the Celtics?
It seems as though all season we have been waiting for the Celtics to figure it out. Prior to the season, they were seen as a lock to make the NBA Finals, and challenge the Warriors. Instead, the 2018-19 campaign has been mired with inconsistent play, controversy and a lot of uncertainty. The good news? The Celtics still have an opportunity to salvage this season and possibly their future. The talent is still there. Kyrie Irving remains arguably the best closer in the NBA. The question is, will this team finally come together?
A Second Round For The Ages?
If the First Round goes according to plan, we could be headed for one of the most exciting Second Rounds in recent memory. In the East, you would have the Raptors taking on the 76ers and the Bucks vs. Celtics. While in the West, the Warriors would square off against the Rockets and Nuggets against Thunder. All four of those series would be highly competitive and incredibly entertaining.