NBA enters postseason and looks ahead to the draft

Luka+Doncic+scores+15+points+for+Real+Madrid+in+the+Euro+League+Final.+They+went+on+to+85-80%2C+and+Doncic+won+most+outstanding+player.

NBA.com

Luka Doncic scores 15 points for Real Madrid in the Euro League Final. They went on to 85-80, and Doncic won most outstanding player.

Ethan Fine, Contributing Writer

With the NBA finals coming up soon, only four teams left have a chance of taking home the trophy: the Cavaliers, Celtics, Rockets, and Warriors.  For the other 26, the next important date is June 21, the draft.  Many prospects and players with NBA aspirations are putting in as much training as they can to try to impress scouts.

For the first time in 39 years, the Eastern and Western conference finals have both gone to a Game seven.  These teams got here through many hard battles and long series in the previous rounds. 

  In the East, Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers have been battling with the Boston Celtics.  To get to this point, the Cavs had to face the Indiana Pacers in round one, and then the Toronto Raptors in round two.  The Celtics faced the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round, followed by the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round.  Both teams barely even made it out of the first round, with both series going to seven games.  In round two, however, the Cavs swept the Raptors and the C’s beat the 76ers in five games.  

In the Western Conference, the Houston Rockets are facing the Golden State Warriors.  In round one, the Warriors faced the San Antonio Spurs and the Rockets played the Minnesota Timberwolves, and both teams won in five games.  In round two, Houston played the Utah Jazz and the Warriors played the New Orleans Pelicans, and, again, both teams advanced in five games. 

In the Cavs – Celtics series, the biggest story has been Lebron James.  James has been carrying the Cavs in this series and many believe that if it weren’t for him, the Cavs would not be where they are now.  The Celtics also have been playing very well at home this postseason, going 10-0 going into game 7.  If the Celtics can limit James’ dominance, then they have a great chance to win the series.  

The Rockets and Warriors have been battling in a very rough, physical series that has big stakes for both teams.  

Steve Kerr, the coach of the Warriors, described this series as “a war”.  

For the Rockets, James Harden and Chris Paul have been putting up many of their points. They also rely on many three-pointers, although this is sometimes inconsistent. Clint Capela has also been an important player grabbing rebounds and being a large presence inside.

For the Warriors, big-name players like Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Kevin Durant have been scoring most of their points. Meanwhile, Draymond Green has been playing great defense.  If the Warriors can stop Harden on defense and shoot threes like they have been all series, they can easily move on to the finals.  However, if they aren’t making their shots, then the Rockets will advance.

Many students within Schreiber have different opinions on this series. 

“Houston will probably win this series,” said freshman Daniel Haas.

However, many others believe that the Warriors will move on.  

“It is almost definite that the Warriors will move on,” said freshman Andrew Robinson. 

If both Cleveland and Golden State move on, this would be the fourth year in a row since 2015 that it was a Cavs vs. Warriors championship.  

After the lottery on May 15, all of the teams found out when their draft picks were.  The first pick was awarded to the Phoenix Suns, who finished last season with the worst record.  The second and third picks are the Sacramento Kings and Atlanta Hawks, respectively.  Both the Kings and Hawks were lucky and moved up in the draft.  The rest of the lottery is, in order, the Grizzlies, Mavericks, Magic, Bulls, Cavs, Knicks, 76ers, Hornets, Clippers (two picks), and Nuggets.  These teams will face a difficult decision in the upcoming draft.

There have been two players that have been debated at being picked number one overall. These two players are Luka Doncic, a European player that played for Real Madrid of the Liga ACB and EuroLeague and Deandre Ayton, who is from the Arizona Wildcats.  Some players that will follow are Marvin Bagley III from Duke, Michael Porter Jr. from Missouri, Jaren Jackson Jr. from Michigan State, Trae Young from Oklahoma, Mohamed Bamba from Texas, and Collin Sexton from Alabama.

Many have strong predictions regarding this upcoming draft. 

“The draft order will be Luka Doncic, Deandre Ayton, Marvin Bagley III, Mohamed Bamba, Jaren Jackson Jr., Michael Porter Jr., Colin Sexton, Trae Young, Mikal Bridges, and Wendell Carter,” said freshman Kyle Sinnet.  

It will be interesting to see how the two series game sevens play out, and more interesting to see what happens in the championship.  After the exciting championship, the NBA draft will play out.