Begin on Saturday, April 16
Players to watch: Steph Curry, soon-to-be back-to-back MVP of the league, has led his Golden State Warriors to the best regular season record in the history of professional basketball. That record, previously held by the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls in 1995-1996, was considered this mythical, impossible feat. Curry and the Warriors haven’t just entered that same level of greatness, they’ve technically surpassed it. To describe how he’s played as incredible would be a ridiculous understatement. Obviously, as the most entertaining player in the league, Curry is the man to watch once the postseason kicks off on Saturday. In the Eastern Conference, all eyes will be on LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs have played well enough to earn the #1 seed in the East, and they’re considered the default pick to make it to the NBA Finals, but James and his squad have a lot of improvements to make if they want to pose a serious threat to any team that comes out of the west.
Reasons to watch: The drawn-out NBA season has finally come to close, making way for the main event in professional hoops: The NBA Playoffs. It’s been a pretty boring season in the NBA, in all honesty. With the exception of the world-beating Warriors, most of the teams have played to the level that everyone thought they would. There weren’t any big shake-ups or trades, and there haven’t been any injuries that have severely altered the landscape of the postseason. Boring isn’t necessarily a bad thing though. The lack of big time injuries will give us a chance to see what a lot of teams can bring to the table, including the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder have had crippling injury after crippling injury since their 2012 Finals Appearance, and the third seed Thunder finally have a healthy roster. The aforementioned historically good Warriors and clinical San Antonio Spurs are far and away the favorites to win the West, but the Thunder’s performance in this postseason is monumental in terms of the future of the team with Kevin Durant’s free agency looming in 2016. A good showing in the playoffs could make or break KD’s decision about where he’ll play basketball next season, and that in itself makes it crucial to our city to get some results, even if it doesn’t end in a championship. The fact that there’s a small chance that this could be the last postseason Durant plays in a Thunder uniform makes this postseason the most important Thunder history.