By Donte Medder |Staff Writer|
All year long teams have been jockeying for a playoff position and now the final 16 are set.
All the questions asked at the beginning of the season will be answered.
Can Lebron James win a third straight championship or are the Indiana Pacers ready to take a shot at the title?
Can Kevin Durant put a feather on the cap on what seems to be a lock for his first Most Valuable Player award with a championship?
Or do the Los Angeles Clippers legitimately have a chance to hang a banner in the Lakers home arena.
From seasoned veteran teams such as the San Antonio Spurs and Brooklyn Nets to the fresh faced upstart teams such as the Portland Trailblazers and Toronto Raptors, everyone has one goal in mind-an NBA Championship.
The First Round has begun and some things have already become apparent.
For starters, LaMarcus Aldridge cannot be stopped by one man on the rockets. He has 40 points in the first two games of the playoffs.
Aldridge has given the Portland Trailblazers a two game lead over the Houston Rockets heading back to Portland for games three and four.
The Clippers and Golden State Warriors evidently do not like each other at all.
From Golden State head Coach Mark Jackson and Blake Griffin getting almost nose to nose to Klay Thompson saying Blake plays like “a bull in a china shop” implying he is at times completely out of control this team.
They have had bad blood between each other since their first meeting this season in October.
There is no better place to settle their differences than the opening round of the playoffs.
Another series to watch is the Toronto Raptors facing the Brooklyn Nets.
The battle of old verses young begins as the Nets,headlined by stars in the twilight of their careers such as Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, face off against new age stars Demar Derozan and Terrence Ross.
When it comes to age, however, the San Antonio Spurs core of Tony Parker, Manu Ginobli, and Tim Duncan seem to have been around for forever.
Just when everyone writes them off, they come right back as the number one seed in the Western Conference.
They face another Texas team in the Dallas Mavericks who are powered by Dirk Nowitzki and their electric scoring guard Monta Ellis.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have their work cut out for them as they face the always aggressive Memphis Grizzlies.
The Grizzles seem to always give the western conference’s top seeds trouble.
Although the Pacers claimed the number one seed on the East, they have hardly played like it in the past couple months.
It showed in an opening game playoff loss to the Atlanta Hawks at home.
They returned to contender form in the second game winning by 16 points but in order to win an NBA championship, the Pacers will have to play like they did during the regular season.
The Miami Heat look to be in championship form taking apart the shorthanded Charlotte Bobcats in both game one and two.
Al Jefferson, Bobcat’s leading scorer, is suffereing through a Planter fascitis injury, the Heat have taken a two game lead back to Charlotte where they will look for the sweep.
The first steps to crowning an NBA champion is underway.
There are many great competiting teams that will be coming from the East and West coast devisions.
This is going to have a greater competition for that athletes that will be making it to the final playoffs that will be the best teams from the East and the West.
Competiting head to head to show how is the best team within the nation.
Although many teams will be back competing in the playoffs next year, that chance to be in the playoffs isn’t always guaranteed. Making the playoffs one of the most important competitions within the nation.