NBA Playoffs Proving to be Exciting

Entering the NBA playoffs, there was a certain hesitance to enjoy any of the rounds prior to the conference finals. It was widely expected that the San Antonio Spurs would face off against the Golden State Warriors in a thrilling matchup of two regular season heavyweights that lost a combined 24 games this season and the Cleveland Cavaliers would coast into the Finals against fairly weak competition in the Eastern Conference. The Spurs were thoroughly dismantled by the Oklahoma City Thunder in a six game series, which made an even more intriguing matchup possible with the Warriors. The Cavaliers also have been surprisingly pushed by the Toronto Raptors while in Canada, though they have had no issues dealing with them when playing in Cleveland.

The Cavaliers head back for a game 6 tonight in Toronto which has proven to be a house of horrors for the big three of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love. At this point the Finals is expected to be a showdown between the Cavaliers and the Thunder, an interesting rematch of a big three headed by LeBron versus Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant.

The real story of these playoffs has been the rise of Westbrook into super stardom. Westbrook has been a superstar for quite some time now, regardless of what Mark Cuban thought of him when the playoffs started. The surprising truth is that Durant has struggled to play up to his potential the past three weeks and Westbrook has more than picked up his slack. Durant is supposed to be the superior player, the 7 foot wing who is un-guardable and can get to his shot from anywhere on the floor, yet he has been struggling to shoot even 40% during these playoffs. Westbrook, meanwhile, has been playing his signature style of blitz-ball all over the court, picking up triple-doubles with ease and making every shot count.

The frenetic style of Westbrook should clash nicely with the play of the Cavaliers and make for quite an exciting series, let’s just hope that that is the series we get. LeBron has clearly slowed in his advancing age, but he is still undoubtedly one of the best players in the game today. Besides, who wouldn’t love to watch the pregame rituals of LeBron and his chalk toss and Westbrook with his dancing prior to a (hopefully) seven game series?

One would have to assume that the Finals will be a Cavs vs Thunder showdown, and we should be excited by the endless possibilities that series will produce. Will LeBron and the old guard beat down Durant and company again to stifle the uprising, or will Durant and Westbrook finally capture the playoff success and championship that have eluded the elite pairing for years.

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