NBA Playoff Preview: Curry, Warriors Atop Standings

Zach Piatt

Sports Editor

Steph Curry and the red hot Golden State Warriors enter the postseason with the best record in the NBA and don’t look to be slowing down any time soon.

Curry is having an MVP caliber season, averaging 23.8 points, 7.7 assists, and 2 steals per game. He also broke his own record for most three pointers made in a season with 286. Klay Thompson is also having a great year, making the second most threes behind Curry and averaging 21.7 points per game. Golden State is sporting a 67-15 record, blowing away the rest of the West, and is poised to make a deep run in the playoffs.

The New Orleans Pelicans will challenge Golden State. Anthony Davis has led this young team this year, leading the league in blocks, fourth in scoring, and averaging a double-double with boards and points.

The Atlanta Hawks are the one seed in the East and are the true definition of a team. Atlanta doesn’t have any one star player, but a team of good players who play well together. Six players score in double figures, with the highest scorer, Paul Millsap, only averaging 16.7 a game. The Hawks will take on the Nets in round one.

LeBron James and his new big three in Cleveland are the two seed in the East. LeBron is third in the league in scoring and has almost single handedly assembled a competitive playoff team. He influenced the trades for Kevin Love and a few other players and is almost an on court coach. Throw in Kyrie Irving at the point and you’ve got a load of talent ready to succeed. The Cavs will play¬†Boston in the first round.

The Rockets are second in the West, and they’re led offensively by the beard, James Harden. He is second in the NBA in scoring and is averaging 7 assists a game. Harden is the lone star for Houston and has powered the Rockets to the two spot. Houston will take on Dallas.

The defending champion San Antonio Spurs are back in the playoffs once again, only this time the big three hasn’t been the driving force. Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili all still average in double figures, but Kawhi Leonard has taken on the role of being the guy in San Antonio, leading the team in scoring and the league in steals. Danny Green has also added an offensive spark, breaking the team’s single season record for most three pointers made.

The Clippers will take on the defending champs. Blake Griffin leads lob city in scoring with 21.9 points per game. Chris Paul leads the NBA in assists, and DeAndre Jordan leads the league in rebounds and field goal percentage. This series will be exciting. LA has the three seed and San Antonio is the six, but the Spurs are only one game behind in the standings.

Chicago is the three seed in the East, despite a once again injury plagued Derrick Rose. Rose still leads the Bulls in assists even with his limited playing time. Jimmy Butler has provided a huge lift, averaging 20 points a game. Pau Gasol has also produced after being traded from the Lakers, averaging a double-double with points and rebounds. Chicago will play the Bucks in round one.

The four-five matchup in the West could be a battle of the bigs. LaMarcus Aldridge of the Portland Trail Blazers is in the top ten in the NBA in scoring and rebounding. He will match up against Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies.

The four-five series in the East is opposite the West. It’ll be a point guard showdown between John Wall from Washington and Kyle Lowry from Toronto. Wall is second in the league in assisting, and Lowry also distributes the ball well.

Toronto and Washington will kick off the playoffs at 12:30 p.m. today. The first round will continue through Sunday.







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