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The National Basketball Association (NBA) playoffs are getting serious.
Even the Phoenix Suns, who had the perfect record in the course of the regular season of 64-18 (64 wins, 18 losses), were bounced from the tournament in a seven-game series.
Now there are 4 teams fighting for the championship. Two seven-game series began this week to find out who will play within the NBA Finals. Let’s have a look.
Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics
Full disclosure: I even have been a Boston Celtics fan since my father took our family to observe the Celtics a few years ago within the old Boston Garden. I’m super-excited about this 12 months’s team, which began playing the Heat on Tuesday within the Eastern Conference championship series. (The Heat won Game 1, 118-107.)
There’s rather a lot to make me excited. Jayson Tatum seems able to take his place alongside Celtics legends corresponding to Bill Russell, John Havlicek and Larry Bird. The 6-foot-8-inch forward can shoot, rebound, handle the ball and at all times seems to come back up big at essentially the most pressure-packed moments.
Tatum doesn’t must do it by himself. Jaylen Brown has averaged greater than 20 points per game in the course of the playoffs, Marcus Smart is perhaps the NBA’s best defender, and Al Horford does whatever it takes to win. The Celtics are superb and playing thoroughly.
But don’t underestimate the Heat. Miami is considered one of those teams that doesn’t appear to be stacked with superstars but keeps winning. Led by small forward Jimmy Butler, the Heat has rolled past the Atlanta Hawks and Philadelphia 76ers in the course of the early rounds.
Golden State Warriors vs. Dallas Mavericks
There isn’t any such thing as a one-man team within the NBA, however the Dallas Mavericks come close. Point guard Luka Doncic led the Mavs in points (28.4), rebounds (9.1) and assists (8.7) per game in the course of the regular season. Doncic is playing even higher within the playoffs, leading Dallas past two excellent teams within the Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns.
Doncic could have his hands full within the Western Conference championship with Golden State, which won Game 1 on Wednesday, 112-87. The Warriors have a core of players — Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green — who won NBA championships in 2015, 2017 and 2018. If Curry and Thompson (generally known as “The Splash Brothers” for his or her outside shooting) get hot from three-point range, they might run away from the Mavericks.
The conference championships and NBA Finals are the perfect players on the perfect teams playing in the perfect league on this planet. It’s serious basketball and must-see sports TV.
Prediction: Golden State will beat my Celtics in seven games within the Finals.
Bowen writes the sports opinion column for KidsPost. He’s the writer of 27 sports books for youths. His latest book is “Hardcourt: Stories From 75 Years of the National Basketball Association.”