" Bucks and Suns still among the favorites, many foreigners, Rudy Gobert dreams of a ring ... Playoffs guide - NEWS-SPORT
Bucks and Suns still among the favorites, many foreigners, Rudy Gobert dreams of a ring … Playoffs guide

Bucks and Suns still among the favorites, many foreigners, Rudy Gobert dreams of a ring … Playoffs guide

After 82 games of the regular season, the long-awaited play-off will serve as a justice of the peace for title contenders and will be followed by Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Milwaukee Bucks. last year winner against the Phoenix Suns. The play-off, strictly, starts on Saturday, April 16 at 19:00 with a clash between Utah Jazz and Dallas Mavericks.

Prior to that six play-off matches were played, to determine the last four qualified teams in the final table. In this little game, Brooklyn, Minnesota, Atlanta and New Orleans have joined the twelve franchises already secured to be able to play these final stages, after the regular season.

Towards a new Bucks-Suns final?

The best record of the season with 64 wins for just 18 losses, Phoenix Suns, last year’s finalists, have the bettors ’favor for the final win. But the dominance of the regular season is by no means a guarantee of a good playoff. We also have to go back to 2017 and the ultra dominant Warriors to see a franchise with the best record in the League win the NBA Finals.

The Milwaukee Bucks know this. The best record in the League in 2019 and 2020, they had to wait until 2021 to lift the Larry O’Brien trophy after a regular less scoring season, finishing in third place in the Eastern Conference. And the Wisconsin Daims intend to repeat it after being ranked once again in third place in the East this season.

Last year’s two finalists seem to be the natural favorites to meet again in June, but their dominance does not look big and too weak could knock them down.

Foreigners can trust him

The fight for the title seems once again very open. After the fierce dominance during the 2010 decade of the LeBron James (Miami then Cleveland) and Golden State teams, no team is unanimous. Symbol of this instability, the last four editions have been won by four different franchises

After Phoenix and Milwaukee, bettors see the Brooklyn Nets as the third force in these play-offs. However, the New Yorkers had to go through the play-off tournament after their disappointing seventh place in the regular season. They will face the Celtics, the second solid in the Eastern Conference and one of the best defenders in the League. But the presence of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving changes everything in Brooklyn. Especially since the often well-informed Shams Sharania has indicated that Ben Simmons may be back soon. With these three players, the nets are definitely better than the seventh in the East. Boston has been warned.

Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets players against Indiana Pacers, April 8, 2022 at Barclays Center.  (SARAH STIER / AFP)

Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors, authors of a good and third season in the West, hope to regain their lead with the return of Klay Thompson after long injuries. The experience of the Miami Heat and its coach Erik Spoelstra will be a fortune for the Florida people, while the youth and fragrance of Ja Morant’s Grizzlies, the second surprise in the Western Conference, will be carefully watched. The bears want to continue to challenge the odds.

Rudy Gobert and Jazz dream of a first title

The best team in the regular season last year, the Salt Lake City players disappointed again in the play-offs, eliminated by the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round. The Jazzmen, however, thought they had found the perfect harmony dominating the League between December and May (52 wins for 20 losses). But against Californians, they have seemed completely out of his mind and went on vacation full of regrets.

With a similar workforce this season, still organized around Donovan Mitchell and Frenchman Rudy Gobert, voted three times the best defender in the NBA and in the race for the fourth crown, the Jazz have failed to regain the score. Only fifth in the West, they start their play-off against the Dallas Mavericks. The only good news is that Quin Snyder players are complete while their opponents have to deal with the injury of Luka Doncic, whose duration is not yet known, but who could miss some matches, or even the entire series.

Rudy Gobert remains, again this season, the Frenchman with the best chances of lifting the Larry O’Brien trophy. A reward that has not been in the hands of a Habs since 2014 and the coronation of Spurs by Tony Parker and Boris Diaw.

The Nets, Wolves, Hawks and Pelicans abandon the game

It was the first. A play-in tournament in a season with 82 games. In the small newspapers of the League for several years, the play-in tournament was born during the 2019-2020 season, truncated by the Covid-19 pandemic. The concept was renewed after a season reduced to 72 games last year, before being laid in stone this year, in a season that had returned to normal operation.

A real revolution for the biggest basketball championship in the world. From now on, only the best six of each conference are guaranteed to be in the play-offs, compared to eight years ago. The four teams ranked between seventh and tenth met in this mini-tournament that defines the last two qualified by conference.

The format is supposed to be simple. The 7th faces the 8th and the winner of this match goes to the playoffs. The loser has a second chance against the winner of a match between 9 and 10, to reach the final table. Therefore, the tenth, if he wins twice, can reach the final stage. An innovation that not everyone likes. “Whoever came up with the idea for this shit should be fired”had criticized LeBron James, a participant in 2021. This year, for example, the San Antonio Spurs (34 wins) could replace the Minnesota Timberwolves (46 wins).

But the hierarchy was more respected with qualifying in a nets and wolves match, the seventh in their conference. At the same time, the Hornets and Spurs, the tenth, went on vacation without a playoff. The Hawks and Pelicans also reached the playoffs, following respective victories against the Cavaliers and Clippers.

But where is LeBron James?

Since his first participation in the play-offs in 2006, Akron’s hometown had lost only once in the final stage, in 2019 already with the Lakers. At the end of a disastrous season for his team, but among the favorites at the start of the season, the Californians did not even reach the playoffs, finishing in eleventh place in the Western Conference with 21 losses in the last 28 meetings.

Despite recruiting Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, Trevor Ariza and DeAndre Jordan in the off-season, the Lakers performed worse than last season when they were eliminated in the first round of the play-offs. Therefore, LeBron James, the top scorer in NBA history, will not have the opportunity to increase the points record in the final stage.

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