The NBA playoffs are continuing to be a bit of a mystery, as the two remaining series have switched personalities. The first two games in the Eastern Conference finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Toronto Raptors started out noncompetitive. The Cavs coming into the series having won 10 straight conference games dating back to last year’s conference finals. Cleveland came into the series with two signature blowouts of the Raptors.
Then games three and four took place and the entire series changed its complexion, somehow the Raptors found their mojo and fought back to a series tie but they did it in good fashion, looking like a team that could very well challenge for the Championship. Point guards Kyle Lowry and Damar DeRozan had looked to be overwhelmed by the playoff moment, as they were shooting in the low 16% from three-point range and struggling mightily to keep up with the Cleveland backcourt. Lowry even had to take a break of his own in game two, walking back to the locker room to clear his head as to why he was not able to perform like he wanted. Very weird circumstances, that has them both now shooting like the all-stars they are and making this series a toss-up.
Shifting to the Western Conference, the high powered Golden State Warriors came in the playoffs as the favorite to win it all again. After a 73 win regular season breaking the record of the 96 Chicago Bulls, the Warriors look to be unstoppable. Then comes the Oklahoma City Thunder coming into the playoffs with many question marks. The Thunder struggled all season with closing out close games and didn’t look like they would get past the second round. The reason why was because they were going to face both of the top teams in the west to make it to the finals and many said that they would not get past the Spurs. Well, they destroyed the slow aged Spurs in 6 games, and also won in San Antonio twice in one series. The Spurs had only lost one game all season at home. Now the western finals get underway and the Warriors are having every bit of trouble you can think of handling this Thunder team. The Thunder have taken a commanding three games to one lead having to beat the Warriors once at Oracle Arena.
The Thunder defense has made the mighty Warriors look almost mediocre at best, as the reigning MVP Stephen Curry has not gotten off on one of those amazing shooting nights yet. Point Guard Russell Westbrook has answered the call and has challenged Curry from opening tip-off game one, I don’t see any change in that happening in the next elimination game in Oakland.
Two series that have amazingly flipped and the unexpected taking place, it could very well be a Raptors and Thunder finals this year. Should that happen the interest level may diminish for the NBA, but on the other hand the way these two teams have turned the playoffs around, it may end up one of the more competitive matches ever played, but let’s wait and see.