The most highly regarded basketball tournament in the world is coming to the end of its season. The NBA playoffs took place in April and May and are now in the conference finals stage. The competition is between Miami Heat X Boston Celtics (East Conference) and Golden State Warriors X Dallas Mavericks (West Conference).
With that in mind, we went in search of NBA lovers to find out what their expectations are and what the surprises have been so far.
Expectations for the finals so far
Passionate about the NBA, Valentine Boutsiavaras, 17, has very high expectations at this stage. For her, the feeling of watching the playoffs is very different and she hopes that the 2021-2022 season will go down in history. The student states that “the playoffs are nothing compared to regular season games. Each team gives everything it has and then some, because winning a game in a playoff series is worth a lot. Players and team members elevate every mini-detail to the square”.
Fan of the sport and also a basketball radio narrator, Mariana Prado has high expectations. She analyzes that the Heat are performing well defensively, but face the Celtics’ offense, which is one of the best in the league. In addition, the dispute between Jimmy Butler and Jayson Tatum, players who have been standing out in the competition, has been encouraging.
So far the series is 2-1 for the Miami franchise, which managed to regain the advantage of deciding the decisive game at home, after winning the last game in Boston.
As for the western final, Mariana saw a very large increase from the Dallas team in the last few games, with Doncic “making magic”. For her, that makes the Golden State Warriors’ job harder. But Prado also analyzes that the San Francisco team has the second and third best players in the playoffs, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
So far, the team from San Francisco is doing better: they won both games at home and opened 3-0. It must be remembered that the Mavs have already turned the two series they played before, after they were losing by the same score. But never in history has a team won a series losing by three.
The sports radio commentator João Vítor Neves says that most games are within what he expected: balanced matches, decided in the details. According to him, the “man of the court” factor is what should make the difference.
Neves keeps expectations high for the Dallas and Miami franchises. He bets on Doncic’s growth. In relation to the Heat, he reinforces that “in the beginning there was no guarantee that this team would work, but today we saw that it worked very well, all the players gave themselves in a sublime way”.
Meanwhile, the fan of the sport, Valentine recalls that the current conference finalists are not the champions in recent years, which demonstrates an interesting competitiveness in the league. But, Danilo Araújo, radio commentator for the modality, argues that all the teams that reached the conference finals had already been champions. And he said he was surprised by the Dallas Mavericks for having beaten championship teams like the Los Angeles Lakers.
In that same line, another NBA fan, Victor, a journalism student, analyzes that the finals do not have big names, such as Lebron James, from the Los Angeles Lakers, which can drive the audience away from the games, but he warns that he expects great games, because there are other young athletes who have been standing out, such as Jayson Tatum and Luka Doncic.
For Mariana Prado, one of the main surprises of the playoffs was the Boston Celtics eliminating the defending champion, Milwaukee Bucks, from Giannis Antetokounmpo. The other finalist, the Mavs, also surprised, given that the team did not reach a 2011 final. According to the narrator, with the arrival in the final, Luka Doncic enters “another level of the league”.
For Neves, the biggest surprise was the turnaround of the Dallas Mavericks in the series against the Phoenix Suns. The champions of the West and runners-up last season in the NBA, lost in Game 7 by more than 30 points, after opening 2-0 in the series. In addition, the Suns had the best record of the regular season, which created high expectations for the team in the playoffs. “Luka Doncic’s team was precise and efficient in the most important games of the series”, says the commentator.
João Pedro Perez, also an NBA radio commentator, agrees with Prado e Neves about Dallas and adds: “The coolest thing about all of this is seeing the Dallas Mavericks return to a conference final, being able to reach the league finals”, says .
What caught Victor’s attention was the Boston Celtics’ 4-0 victory over the Brooklyn Nets. The New York team has a star-studded squad, most notably her Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Also, as a fan of the Philadelphia 76ers, he was surprised the team didn’t make it through the rounds.
But what about you, what are your expectations for the conference finals so far? And what surprised you this season?
HOW THE NBA WORKS
If you’re not already following the NBA in these electrifying and surprising playoffs, this could be a great opportunity to start watching the league. So, let’s understand more about how the NBA works.
The tournament has 30 franchises, which are subdivided into two conferences according to their geographic location, East and West. Each conference has 15 teams, comprising three divisions with five representatives.
- Boston Celtics;
- Brooklyn Nets;
- New York Knics;
- Philadelphia 76ers;
- Toronto Raptors;
- Central Division:
- Chicago Bulls;
- Cleveland Cavaliers;
- Detroit Pistons;
- Indiana Pacers;
- Milwaukee Bucks;
- Southeast Division:
- Atlanta Hawks;
- Charlotte Hornets;
- Miami Heat;
- Orlando Magic;
- Washington Wizards
- Denver Nuggets;
- Minnesota Timberwolves;
- Portland Trail Blazers;
- Oklahoma City Thunder;
- Utah Jazz;
- Golden State Warriors;
- Los Angeles Clippers;
- Los Angeles Lakers;
- Phoenix Suns;
- Sacramento Kings;
- Dallas Mavericks;
- Houston Rockets;
- Memphis Grizzlies;
- San Antonio Spurs;
- New Orleans Pelican;
The franchises start the season in mid-October in the so-called regular season, in which each team plays 82 matches and thus the classification for the playoffs is formed, which would be a kind of kill to kill that counts 8 teams from each franchise facing each other. in best-of-seven series.
The article above was edited by Camila Nascimento
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