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The Royal Courier

An unpredictable NBA post-season

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The National Basketball Association’s (NBA) yearly playoffs tipped-off April 20 in Cleveland to set the stage for the start of the post-season featuring star players and the best teams of the regular season.
The East had many entertaining series. The Cleveland Cavaliers played the Orlando Magic in the first round of the NBA playoffs where they won in seven games with star performances from Donavan Mitchell with high-scoring games, arguably winning them the series. Additionally, the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat rematched in a series that has become a rivalry in recent years, and the Celtics beat an undermanned Heat team in five games. Another Eastern series showcased the New York Knicks beating the Philadelphia 76ers in six games with Jalen Brunson leading them to victory despite injuries.
In the West, the Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Lakers faced off in a rematch of last year’s conference finals. The Nuggets won in 5 closely contested games where Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray showed highest consistency. The Lakers even led for 70% of the series despite losing four out of five games. Additionally, another fan-favorite team, the Phoenix Suns, was eliminated by the Minnesota Timberwolves 4-0. Anthony Edwards broke out as a star in this series. Another major series was the Dallas Mavericks versus Los Angeles Clippers where the Mavericks won in six games as Doncic and Kyrie Irving contributed massively.
Following round one, semifinals opened May 6 in Madison Square Garden. This began the Pacers and Knicks series which received controversy over regulation and the Knicks’ injury report. Despite this, the best performing player was point-guard (P.G.) player Tyrese Haliburton as the Pacers made the Eastern Conference Finals after winning game seven. The other Eastern series was the Cavaliers and Celtics. The Celtics were highly favored at 15.5 points and closed out the series in five games.
In the Western Conference, the Nuggets and Timberwolves played for the second year in a row. Edwards’ and Jokic’s performances were most consistent, yet the series was unpredictable with several blowouts. It reached game seven, where the Wolves made an unexpected comeback from being down 20, making the Western Conference Finals for the second time in franchise history.The other conference semi-final in the West was between the Thunder (OKC) and Mavericks. OKC was recognized for their success as a very young team. However, star-players Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving closed-out the series in six games, and will compete in the conference finals for the second time in three years.
The NBA playoffs will continue with the conference finals with matchups of the Timberwolves versus Mavericks and the Pacers versus Celtics. One rising superstar will win their first ring this season.

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Kaley Samiian
Kaley Samiian, News & Sports Editor
Oliver Yuval
Oliver Yuval, Staff Writer
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