NBA Playoffs: A Look at the Final Four
by Abby Furdak on Friday, May 22nd, 2015
The NBA playoffs are down to the final four teams, with the top two seeds in each division advancing to the Conference finals. In the East, the Cleveland Cavaliers face off against the Atlanta Hawks; while in the West, the Golden State Warriors battle the Houston Rockets. There are some new faces in the NBA final four this year with Atlanta last making the trip in 1970, while Golden State last appeared in 1976, when they won it all.
The East is a matchup between star power and team power. LeBron James will be carrying the Cavs on his back with injuries to the other top Cleveland players. Kevin Love is out for the playoffs after dislocating his shoulder in a first round game against the Celtics. Kyrie Irving is not feeling 100% but expected to play.
Atlanta is all about balance. They have six players who average double figures in scoring and ten players who play at least 10 minutes per game. DeMarre Carroll is the leading scorer in the playoffs after Paul Millsap scored the most in the regular season. Anyone on the Hawks is comfortable taking an important shot in a critical situation.
Golden State is favored in the West over the Rockets. The Warriors are led by sharp-shooting point guard, Stephen Curry who was the 2014-2015 NBA MVP. Curry is the son of 16-year NBA veteran Dell Curry, the Charlotte Hornets all-time leading scorer. James Harden and Dwight Howard key the Rockets attack. Harden is a pure scorer while Howard is a dominating big man on both ends of the floor.
Golden State finished the regular season with the sixth best record in NBA history and seems to be this year’s favorite to take the crown. Throughout the playoffs they have home court advantage, where they are 43-3 this year. Perhaps most importantly, the Warriors are coached by five-time NBA champ and former Cavalier standout Steve Kerr. Regardless of the outcome, we are guaranteed a champion that hasn’t raised the trophy at least since the Rockets hoisted it in 1995.
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