NBA Playoffs Preview

Merdekios Chewaka

The NBA Playoffs are set to begin on Saturday May 22. Held after the regular season the playoffs will consist of 16 eligible teams, and those teams will participate in a best of 7 elimination tournament. The winner from each conference will participate in the finals.


Due to Covid-19, we can see firsthand how unpredictable the NBA season and playoffs might be. For example, players have been sidelined for exposure to Covid or for not following Covid protocols, which can affect the teams. Among the uncertainty, Adam Silver, commissioner of the NBA, remains in high hopes, stating during an All Star Weekend press conference that he is “fairly optimistic” about the 2021-2022 season and playoffs.


While NBA fans and officials are uncertain about how the Covid guidelines might affect the playoffs, one thing we can be certain about are the exciting regular season games being played and the teams that show they can be eligible for the playoffs. Regarding injuries, health protocols, and how well they have been playing, I’ve decided to make a list of the most eligible teams from both conferences. 


Here are my top picks for the NBA Playoffs: 


  1. Brooklyn Nets

Coming in at number one for the eastern conference, we have the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets started with superstars Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant which immediately posed a threat to other teams considering two of the top scorers were on the same team. To top it all off the Nets made an executive decision and traded 3 role players for James Harden, who is possibly one of the top 3 scorers in the NBA. Unfortunately, Kevin Durant is out for a calf strain, but the Brooklyn Nets have had one of the best records without him and in my opinion will continue to keep their record and come in first in the eastern conference. 


  1. Philadelphia 76ers

At number two for the eastern conference we have the 76ers. This team is very solid due to one of the best role players an NBA team can have: Joel Embiid.  Embid has pushed forward this season averaging 29. 9 points, 42.2 percent from the 3, all while averaging 11.5 rebounds. Joel Embiid who is expected to return from an overextended knee injury March 30th has allowed the 76ers to recognize Tobias Harris scoring potential, who has been doing efficiently helping them win games while Embiid is gone. While Joel Embidd scores most of the points on the 76ers, Ben Simmons a valuable player who rotates between point guard and small forward finds players, averaging 7.6 assists per game. This team is very solid due to their healthy chemistry, solid defense, and spectacular offense. 


  1. Utah Jazz

The Utah Jazz currently have one of the best records in the western conference. Without having a single superstar on their team they still dominated because players have found their role and executed them perfectly, such as MIke Conley, who has been efficient from the 3 point line with a 41 percent shot percentage while averaging 5.5 assists. Jordan Clarckson coming off the bench has made an impact on both sides of the court. Rudy Gobert is one of the best players defensively in the paint ,averaging 3 blocks per game and grabbing 13 rebounds. These players have filled in their roles perfectly, but the player who is the glue to this team has to be Donovan Mitchell. Mitchell is the leading scorer, averaging 25.4 points per game and 5.5 assists. Mitchell has been a charismatic leader to his teammates, and shows his passion on the court, being a glue for the team. 


  1. Portland Trail Blazers 

The Trail Blazers are the team people are overlooking. They definitely don’t have the best record but have shown what they can do as a team going forward. Damian Lillard leads the team in scoring, averaging 30 points a night, and he has shown if put in a position where he needs to be clutch for his team, he can be clutch. Robert Covington, a name not many people know, is a power forward who has been performing exceptionally on the defensive end while averaging 1 steal per game. CJ Mcollum has returned from an injury who was the second scoring option for the team, a crafty shooting guard who can create space at will. CJ, in his first game back, scored 30 points plus a win over the Dallas Mavericks, which proves how reliable CJ can be on the offensive end. This team has underrated players waiting to show off their skills which can catch other teams off guard making which can help their record.