82 games have come and gone in the NBA season, and now it is time for the playoffs.
The defending champion Golden State Warriors are not the title favorites for the first time in four years, as the dominant Houston Rockets and James Harden are the prohibitive favorites to come out of the bloodbath known as the Western Conference and win it all. The unconsciously hot Utah Jazz are this year’s dark horse as their Rudy Gobert led defense and Donovan Mitchell led offense have been steamrolling teams since January.
In the east, LeBron James looks to make it eight-straight final appearances and the Cavaliers look to make their fourth straight finals berth. However, the Toronto Raptors look to break through and finally get to the title series after choking the last three years. Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid lead an upstart, but the Philadelphia 76ers are a threat to any team, but is probably too young to make it far. The best player in the conference, Giannis Antetokounmpo will probably lose early in the playoffs due to his weak supporting cast.
The first round tips off on Saturday.