NBA Playoffs: Round One Recap

Round two of the playoffs is among us. That means more games and more exciting performances from the world’s most premiere basketball players. 
Round one of the NBA playoffs concluded Sunday with a Golden State victory over Sacramento in game seven to move on to the next round. This was the final matchup left and the only one that took all seven games to determine the winner. This led to Golden State point guard, Stephen Curry, having the most points in a game seven in NBA history with 50. This was also the first 50-point game seven in the history of the NBA. After going down 0-2 in the series, the Warriors won four of the next five games to move on and face the Lakers in the semi-finals.
The first round also saw the seven seeded Los Angeles Lakers go up against the two seed Memphis Grizzlies. After Memphis player Dillon Brooks called Lakers’ superstar Lebron James old and said that he doesn’t “respect anybody ‘till they give me 40,” the Lakers went on to win the series in six games and even won the final game by 40 points exactly, finally winning over the much needed respect from Brooks. The Lakers had a different leading scorer for each of the six games, highlighting the depth that the team has due to the pre-tradeline moves. The Lakers will face off against the defending champions, the Golden State Warriors, next round.The two seed Celtics went up against the seven seed Hawks. Once the Celtics went up 3-1, as well as the Hawks’ best player, Trae Young, being anonymously voted as the league’s most overrated player, hope was slim for the Hawks. In a win-or-go-home game five, down with under five seconds to go, Young hit a deep three pointer to win the game and push it to six games, seemingly breaking the overrated narrative. Game six opened up with an 18 point first quarter from Young in an attempt to force a game seven. The Celtics were able to hold off the Hawks and advance to the semi-finals. They will play the Philadelphia 76ers.As for the 76ers, their first round series was almost void of drama. They were up against the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets, having traded away Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant during the season for younger pieces, did not have too many expectations. They made the playoffs which was already a reason to be hopeful for the team in the future. Now, MVP front-runner Joel Embiid and the 76ers made easy work of the Nets, beating them in a 4-0 sweep. This was the only sweep in the first round. The 76ers will try to finally get over the hump that has been the Celtics for the last few years.

One of the wildest series was against the eight seed Heat and the top seeded Bucks. The Bucks had the best record in the entire NBA. After two games, the series was tied 1-1. Little to everyone’s knowledge, this would be the last win that the Bucks had. The Heat won the next three games, becoming only the fifth eighth seed to knock out the top seed in the conference. The Heat were led by Jimmy Butler, who had a 56 point, nine rebound game, followed by a 42 point, eight rebound closeout game. The Heat play the Knicks in the second round. 

Before this season, the Knicks last postseason series win was in 2013. They got past the Cleveland Cavaliers with an overall record of 4-1. This was the first postseason experience for Cleveland without Lebron James since 1998. The Knicks will play the eight seed Heat in the second round with the higher seeded Knick starting with home court advantage.