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What’s Hot This Week: The NBA Playoffs Heat Up

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Apart from a hot new FPS named Prey, there’s mainly one thing that’s sizzling this week: the NBA playoffs. Here are the most recent developments as of this writing:

Image source: ESPN

Dubs sweep Jazz

It only took the Golden State Warriors four games to eliminate the Utah Jazz. The final score: 121-95. The outcome isn’t really surprising as the Dubs have four hall-of-fame players in their starting lineup.

While the Warriors offense spells death for most teams, it’s their defense that makes them formidable. In game 4, the Jazz shot only 37.1 per cent from the field. Draymond Green was particularly stingy then, limiting the opponents he guarded to 5/15 shooting.

The Warriors remain unbeaten in the 2017 NBA playoffs and are set to face the San Antonio Spurs in the conference finals.

Image source: Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP

Cavs sweep Raptors

Like the Warriors, the Cleveland Cavaliers have an unblemished NBA playoffs record. Their latest victim was the Toronto Raptors, who fell 109-102. The Cavs is actually the first team in NBA history to sweep six playoff opponents in three years.

Lebron James was otherworldly throughout the series, averaging 36 points, 5.3 dimes, and 8.3 rebounds. He shot 57 per cent overall, 48 per cent from downtown, and made 23/25 free throws.

Kyrie Irving, who averaged 8.5 assists in the series, scored 11 consecutive points in the 4th quarter to stave off the Raptors.

The Raptors were again without starting point guard Kyle Lowry, who missed the last two games because of a sprained ankle in game 2. Not that Lowry playing would’ve changed the outcome anyway.

Image source: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Celtics beat the Wizards at home. Again.

The Boston Celtics vs Washington Wizards series has yet to see a road team win a game. And interestingly, each game is decided by double digits. Yep, no close games here so far, making it not very fun to watch. Here’s an overview:

  • Celtics win game 1 by 12 points (123-111)
  • Celtics win game 2 by 10 points (129-119)
  • Wizards win game 3 by 27 points (116-89)
  • Wizards win game 4 by 19 points (121-102)
  • Celtics win game 5 by 22 points (123-101)

If this trend continues, Boston will win the series. Whoever wins faces the Cavs.

Spurs crush Rockets without Kawhi

Here’s the surprise of the week. Surprise not because San Antonio won the series (admittedly, Houston’s blowout game 1 and 4 wins made some pundits think the series is pretty much decided), but because two key Spurs were injured during the six games, and San Antonio still managed to beat Houston.

First is point guard Tony Parker, who’s out for the rest of the NBA playoffs because of a leg injury he sustained in game 2.

Next is MVP candidate Kawhi Leonard, who sprained his ankle in the second half of game 5 and became largely unproductive on both ends of the floor afterwards.

In the series, Kawhi averaged 23.8 pts, 9.8 boards, 5.8 assists, 1.4 steals, and a block per game. Despite not playing in game 6 – in Houston, no less – the Spurs obliterated the Rockets 114-75.

The Spurs will face the Warriors in the conference finals.