Amazing will happen

Jeremy King Apr 10, 2011

For those of you that are NBA fans, which I know may vary considering we live in a city with no true NBA team, I am sure that you are gearing up for the NBA playoffs that start in just under two weeks. As of right now, we already know which teams will be in the field of 16, but we do not know who our first-round matchups are just yet.

In fact, one of the most important games of the season will be played Monday, a grudge match between the pompous Miami Heat and the defensive-minded Boston Celtics. This game should decide the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds in the Eastern Conference, which means a lot considering the opponents that each team could face.

Any true NBA fan definitely enjoys the playoffs, even if his or her team isn’t in them, because of the number of close games that happen almost every year.

When people say that March Madness is so much better than the NBA, they couldn’t be any more incorrect. Think back to two years ago, when the No. 7 seed Chicago Bulls took on the defending champion Boston Celtics in a first-round matchup that everyone believed would be a blowout in favor of the Celtics.

However, the Bulls came out and took the first game of the series in an overtime thriller, sending a message to all of the NBA that they would be competing to win, not just to take a few games. At the end of an exhilarating series that featured four games that went into overtime, the Celtics eventually pulled it out.

Fast forward to later that year, and we got to witness what was one of the best series of all time between the Orlando Magic and the Cleveland Cavaliers, which was eventually won by the Magic.

So, why do I bring these historical results up? Well, that is all I needed to prove that the NBA playoff season is one of the best times of the year, just because of the competitiveness of the games and the good chance that a game will come down to the final two minutes no matter what.

This year, it seems as if the matchup that everyone is looking forward to seeing in the Eastern Conference is the potential matchup between the Miami Heat and New York Knicks. Both teams have at least two superstars, and Miami obviously has its “Big Three” that basically proclaimed themselves to be the champions after LeBron “took his talents to South Beach.” I feel that this is the only chance for an upset in the Eastern Conference, as the East is extremely top-heavy when it comes to the playoffs, especially this year. Once we get through the first rounds, however, that is when the real fun will begin in the East.

This year’s MVP, Derrick Rose, will look to bring the first championship back to Chicago since Michael Jordan. The previously mentioned Heat will try and justify their big talk during the summer. The Celtics look to prove that they still have a few more runs left in them to compete for the championship. And, of course, Dwight Howard looks to get over his kryptonite, winning an NBA Championship.

Over in the Western Conference, we always get the treat of seeing a ton of great first-round matchups because of the unbelievable depth that the West presents. Although the top four teams are strong, the bottom four teams always have a chance to upset, and it will be awesome to see a team like the Memphis Grizzlies, who are one of the hottest teams in the country, go up against a veteran team like the San Antonio Spurs.

Not to mention the marquee matchups between the Portland Trail Blazers, who everyone seems to overlook, and the Dirk-led Mavericks, who have yet to get over their playoff woes as well. Not to mention the young Oklahoma City Thunder, who are coming off their first division title, against their division rival, the Denver Nuggets, who are probably the deepest team in the league at this point in the season. No matter what, the West is sure to have its drama, as most of these teams hate each other from that long regular-season grind.

The NBA playoffs are definitely “Where Amazing Happens.” Whether it be Bruce Bowen blindside tackling Steve Nash into the scorer’s table, Jordan pushing off Byron Russell and sinking a game-winner, or LeBron hitting a miracle three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Cavs a win over the Magic, the playoffs pack a huge punch of excitement.

I expect this season to be on par with, if not better than, past years, and like many of you, cannot wait.