There were 16. There are already eight. The NBA post-season puts its cruising speed after the first round and face its Conference Semifinals. Antepenultimate step to the champion ring. There are the defenders, the Milwaukee Bucks, as well as the two best teams from the first duels, the Boston Celtics and the Golden State Warriors. Those who don’t, the Brooklyn Nets, gandes ‘failed’ for the second consecutive season.
Celtics and Warriors lead the forecasts for a portentous first rounds. In the ‘green pride’, the ‘sweep’ of the Nets was spectacular. The ‘Jay’s’, Tatum and Brown, destroyed the two players who could really compete in the rival franchise, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. For their part, the Warriors left ‘MVP candidate’ Jokic powerless against the unprecedented offensive pace of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson… And also the surprise Jordan Poole.
NBA Conference Semifinals
A fact of little relevance at the moment of truth but that highlights the NBA regular season is that no team outside the ‘top-4’ of it has reached the conference semifinals. That is, there has been no theoretical surprise by classification. Nor seventh games.
Miami Heat (1) – (4) Philadelphia 76ers
Joel Embiid’s indefinite leave changes everything. It is the reality of the series between Miami and ‘Philly’, since the African interior is the key to the Sixers who will have to entrust themselves to James Harden. ‘La Barba’ conditions for the good and for the bad, and his decisions will be fundamental.
Because Miami Heat has shown an impeccable game. They ‘erased’ Trae Young with an immense defense, ‘pointed to the cause’ the injured Oladipo and Spoelstra have a team again like the one who played the NBA finals at DisneyWorld. Competitive and annoying for the rival.
Boston Celtics (2) – (3) Milwaukee Bucks
The best series so far in the Playoffs and most likely it will be the entire series. Two teams. On one side ‘of the ring’ the champion, the Bucks. On the other, the Celtics, the best team right now. Giannis Antetokounmpo against a perfect defense, his fear of the outside shot, Middleton’s loss… Everything.
Hopefully seven games, because the show between the Bucks and Celtics can be tremendous. Two ways of playing, two perfect attitudes on the court. That dichotomy between stopping the star, Giannis, with a zone and forcing him from the outside, or looking for intensity at all levels. To save.
Phoenix Suns (1) – (4) Dallas Mavericks
Luka Doncic’s first time in the second round. The Slovenian -star of the Dallas Mavericks and the NBA- led the franchise chaired by the eccentric Mark Cuban to pass the ‘wall’ of the first round after two years. Determining everything against the Jazz and superlative in attack. He generates for himself and his people, and from the outside he is a constant threat.
But it will be the hardest yet, because the Phoenix Suns live in a total now or never. It’s your year. After losing the 2021 against the Bucks have a rejuvenated Chris Paul, Devin Booker touched but present and Bridges’ total player since ‘3’. Although they ‘have a worse time’ than in the ‘Regular Season’, they still know how to compete and that is essential in the Playoff. A great tie.
Memphis Grizzlies (2) – (3) Golden State Warriors
The least even series of the conference semifinals. And in which the team with the highest previous ranking is given no real options. The ‘performance’ of the Warriors in the first round not only gives them favoritism against Memphis, but also for the title of champion. Indefensible. With a galactic Curry, Klay Thompson back and Poole’s explosion it is a clash that has a clear imbalance.
More with the current Grizzlies. Against Minnesota they have shown their irregularity. Capable of winning any match but also of lose 30 before the break. His youth is influential in everything. Of course, with Ja Morant on the parquet… You have to be very daring to rule them out.
The ’12’ from Memphis is one of the attractions of the conference semifinals. Only eight teams for the ring. Stars of all kinds, drama everywhere, series with the smell of ‘kill-kill’… The NBA is beginning to decide. There is less.