NBA Playoffs: What Has Happened So Far

Poster for the 2024 NBA Playoffs. (Photo NBA)

By Zion Williams, Staff Writer 

The 2024 NBA Playoffs have not disappointed, keeping its promise of drama and excitement. Each game has been a showcase of the skill and determination of the elite teams and players of the league.

Eastern Conference

The Boston Celtics stormed into the postseason as the top seed with a talented roster, led by Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Kristaps Porzingis. They currently lead 2-1 in their series against the Heat who have been without Jimmy Butler. In both games that the Celtics won, they have done so comfortably by 20 points. In their ten-point loss to the Heat, Porzingis had a slower game, while Bam Adebayo, Caleb Martin and Tyler Herro all had more than 20 points.

The second-seeded New York Knicks came into this playoff season with their best regular season record in 11 years. They lead the Philadelphia 76ers 3-1 in the series and are led by Jalen Brunson who is averaging 33 points per game thus far. However, the series has been fairly even with Tyrese Maxey and Joel Embiid combining for at least 50 in each game, and in their win they combined for 75, including a 50 piece from Embiid.

The Milwaukee Bucks entered the playoffs as the three seed, but they have been forced to play the series without Giannis Antetokounmpo. They are down 3-1 to the Indiana Pacers despite winning the first game of the series with an explosive 35-point game for Damian Lillard and solid performances from Khris Middleton and Bobby Portis. However, the Pacers have been the overall better team, as they have spread the offensive output more evenly throughout their whole starting five.

In the most even matchup in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Orlando Magic played themselves to a 2-2 series tie. However, none of the games have been particularly close, with the final scores being a 10-point or more difference. The series leaders have been Jarret Allen for the Cavaliers and Franz Wagner for the Magic, averaging 17 and 21.5 points per game respectively.

Western Conference

The Oklahoma City Thunder came into the playoffs as the top seed in the Western Conference, driven by a young core of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jalen Williams, and Chet Holmgren. The Thunder lead the series against the New Orleans Pelicans, who are without Zion Williamson, 3-0 and are looking to close out the sweep.

The Denver Nuggets lead the Los Angeles Lakers 3-1 in perhaps the most anticipated matchup of the postseason. The Lakers just got their first win against the Nuggets after 11 straight losses to them including a sweep in last year’s postseason. Nikola Jokic leads the Nuggets in points, averaging 29 per game. The series could’ve been even, but the Lakers blew a 20-point lead and gave up a buzzer-beater to Jamal Murray to give the Nuggets a game two victory.

The Los Angeles Clippers and Dallas Mavericks are locked 2-2 in the series. James Harden and Luka Doncic lead the series with 26 and 29 points per game respectively. Kyrie Irving has also been key for the Mavericks, contributing 28.8 points per game. In game four of the series, Paul George and James Harden each had 33 points to push the Clippers past the Mavericks.

The Minnesota Timberwolves boasted the first sweep of this postseason against the Phoenix Suns. Anthony Edwards was electric this series, averaging 31 points per game, outshining Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal on the Suns. Despite a combined 82 points between Durant and Devin Booker in game four, the offensive prowess of Jaden McDaniels, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Edwards overpowered the Suns.

Author: Gettysburgian Staff

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