By JABARI WILBON
By now, the long 82-game NBA season has come to a close and the playoffs begin Saturday. This year, especially compared to last, there have been many intriguing stories and moments that will definitely make these playoffs worth watching. Last year, everyone knew that the Golden State Warriors were significantly better than everyone else and they showed that in the playoffs by nearly sweeping every team they played.
The Boston Celtics were everyone’s pick to upset the Cavaliers this year in the playoffs. But after an injury to Gordon Hayward and a recent injury to Kyrie Irving, the Celtics are without their two best players.
News articles all across the Internet and social media have surfaced about Irving’s status and the Celtics decision to rest him until next year. Coverage has been heavy and persistent because of the aftermath of him leaving Cleveland and his rivalry with Lebron James. The media has been talking about how much it would mean for Kyrie to eventually overthrow Lebron and have continually updated on his injury.
The Washington Post, along with other newspapers, have put off a full first round prediction for each series. Included in this article is a summary of each team’s regular season and then a prediction of who will win the series and why.
SBnation.com has an article that included the schedule for all of the games in the first round. Overall, the coverage for the upcoming playoffs are on everyone’s radar and will eventually turn in to articles reviewing series and talking about the next series.
Sports Nation also made an article of a hypothetical where the playoffs weren’t split up into East and West. Instead, it took the 16 best teams in the league by record, ranked them, and matched them up this way.
This was a very interesting article because this was something that has been talked about in the NBA for years: the idea of ignoring conferences and pooling all the teams in the league at once. If this had been done for this year, then the matches would be completely differently and a lot more intriguing.
The Celtics would play a tough west coast opponent in the first round in the Timberwolves. The Warriors would face a tough Utah Jazz team that would only have made the playoffs with this method of pooling.
Overall, coverage of the NBA playoffs is already heavy, even though it hasn’t started yet. All of the NBA analyst are tweeting their first round predictions and why they picked them. The 2018 playoffs should be a roller-coaster and the media is going to cover it to its fullest.