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NBA Second Round Preview

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors

By: Brandon Stiehler, The Burg Blog Writer

After a very long, and sometimes hard to watch first round, the second round of the NBA playoffs are finally underway.  Although the Western Conference wasn’t very competitive, the East gave us two very close series that could have gone either way going into game 7.  Eventually, the Miami Heat pulled away from the Charlotte Hornets with a blowout win and the Toronto ended up winning an extremely close one against the Indiana Pacers, who only lost by 5 points.  With every second round match up set and some already started, here are what the current matchups look like:

Eastern Conference

#1 Cavaliers vs. #4 Hawks

Game 1, May 2: ATL at CLE
Game 2, May 4: ATL at CLE
Game 3, May 6: CLE at ATL
Game 4, May 8: CLE at ATL
Game 5, May 10: ATL at CLE
Game 6, May 12: CLE at ATL
Game 7, May 14: ATL at CLE

#2Raptors vs #3 Heat

Game 1, May 3: MIA at TOR
Game 2, May 5: MIA at TOR
Game 3, May 7: TOR at MIA
Game 4, May 9: TOR at MIA
Game 5, May 11: MIA at TOR
Game 6, May 13: TOR at MIA
Game 7, May 15: MIA at TOR

#1 Warriors vs. #5 Trail Blazers

Game 1 GSW 118, POR 106
Game 2, May 3 POR at GSW
Game 3, May 7 GSW at POR
Game 4, May 9 GSW at POR
Game 5, May 11 POR at GSW
Game 6, May 13 GSW at POR
Game 7, May 16 POR at GSW

#2 Spurs vs. #3 Thunder

Game 1 SAS 124, OKC 92
Game 2, May 2 OKC at SAS
Game 3, May 6 SAS at OKC
Game 4, May 8 SAS at OKC
Game 5, May 10 OKC at SAS
Game 6, May 12 SAS at OKC
Game 7, May 15 OKC at SAS

 

Given how close the Raptors and Heat first series’ were, it should be safe to assume that these two teams facing off in round two will make for a very competitive and exciting series.  Both teams are pretty evenly matched since Bosh is out for the season for the Heat, and there is a good chance of seeing these two battle it out for 7 games.  As for the other three that will be taking place, there isn’t much optimism these series will make it to 7 games.  The Cavaliers and Warriors are in prime positions to make there second round series a short one and get more rest heading into the conference finals.  Over the course of the season, the Cavs are 3-0 against the Hawks in the regular season and are coming off of a of the 8th seeded Pistons.  For the Warriors, there really isn’t much to say.  They are probably the best build basketball team in the history of the game, losing only 10 games to this point in the season.  Even with out the league MVP Steph Curry, they are still clearly one of the best teams in the league, and they proved that with there handling of the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday. They may drop one game to Portland but in the end, they will be sitting pretty as they get ready for the Spurs or Thunder… But most likely the Spurs.

Coming into this round, the most interesting series looked to be the matchup with the Spurs and Thunder.  Although San Antonio is the second best team in the league this year, the Thunder proved that they are not that far behind with their performance against the Mavericks in the first round.  They took care of Dallas in 5 games and with in my opinion, two top five players in the game today in Westbrook and Durant, showed they can be a strong offensive force.  But where the problem lies for them is the defensive side of the ball.  And that will be a problem against the San Antonio, who displayed an incredible defense all this season.  Not only will the Thunder need to be nearly perfect on offense, they will need to be absolutely perfect on defense to even have a chance.  And sadly, Saturday’s blowout loss doesn’t give much hope for the rest of the series, especially with the Spurs having home court, where they are 40-1 on the season.

It remains to be seen how the rest of the playoffs will pan out but if the Spurs can come away with another win tonight, the only series worth worrying about would be the Hawks/Heat.

 

Hopefully you all like The Burgh Blog’s first NBA article! There will be more to come in the following days and weeks!

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