Griff Morrill – News Editor
For the first time in in recent memory, it will be nice to see a team other than the Golden State Warriors represent the NBA’s Western Conference. For this year’s annual NBA playoffs, I am hoping that we will have another drama filled yet eventful playoff series. This year, it is a narrow race for the title giving many teams the ability to come out on top. With the landscape set for the 2020 NBA playoffs, there is much to look forward to.
For myself, out of the two conferences, I believe the Western Conference is going to be the more entertain than the East. With LeBron James at the helm, the Lakers are the top seed by five games heading into playoff contention. Following the Lakers, the Denver Nuggets, led by all star center Nikola Jokic, are seeded second with the Clippers, Rockets, Jazz, Thunder, and capped off with the Mavericks. With the depth of these teams, I expect nothing less than great competitive basketball. with players such has James Harden, Kawhi Leonard, Donovan Mitchell, and sophomore phenom Luka Doncic.
Although the East may not have the depth of the west, I believe the race to the finals will still present a competitive contest. Leading the East, Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks hold a convincing first seed by a staggering eight games over the second seed Toronto Raptors. Following closely behind, the Celtics, Heat, 76ers, and Pacers are all hungry for a race at the title.
With this exciting landscape set, the two organizations at the front stage are the Lakers and the Bucks. With both teams playing strong heading into the playoffs, I believe James and Antetokounmpo will ride their team’s momentum into the 2020 NBA Finals.
Riley Dulin – Sports Editor
So far, the stage has been set for one of the most exciting NBA playoffs in several years. While it may not appear so on the surface, I believe that this year, the race for the NBA title is more wide open than it has been in a very long time. With All Star Weekend having just passed, the conference standings paint an interesting picture, as the NBA season is approximately two-thirds of the way through.
Currently, in the Eastern Conference, the Milwaukee Bucks sit at first place, having already clinched a playoff berth. The Bucks, led by star Giannis Antetokounmpo, lead the 2nd seed Toronto Raptors by an enormous eight game margin. Rounding out the top heavy Eastern Conference are the Celtics, Heat, 76ers, and Pacers. Virtually anyone asked will say that the Bucks are the clear favorite, and I cannot disagree. I, on the other hand, would watch the Miami Heat as a dark horse team come playoff time. The combination of star Jimmy Butler, along with dominant big man Bam Adebayo is a tandem not to be underestimated. If the season ended today, these two teams would likely meet in the second round of the playoffs, and I believe that one of these two teams will make it out of the East.
In the West, the teams are much deeper, but I believe the favorite is more obvious. Currently, the Lakers have the best record by a margin of five games over the Denver Nuggets, and The LeBron James led team is an obvious favorite to win the West. After Denver, the third through seven seeds are incredibly close, with just three and a half games separating the Clippers, Rockets, Jazz, Thunder, and Mavericks. The Dallas Mavericks, in my opinion, are a dangerous team come playoff time. Led by Luka Doncic, this high octane offense will be hard to stop when the stakes are high. In the West, do not be surprised to see the Lakers and Mavs in the conference finals.