NBA Playoff Insight

NBA Playoffs are underway and off to a crazy start. Source:

Evan Dushek, Writer

The 2021-22 NBA regular season has come to an end and before the traditional 16 team playoff bracket can commence, the play-in tournament will be held. The tournament started on Tuesday, April 12 and will be finished by Friday, April 15. The play-in tournament’s current format was implemented just last season. It is a continuation of the play-in tournament introduced in the 2019-20 season when the league attempted to grab hold of fans during the Disney World bubble restart. The play-in tournament consists of four teams from the Eastern Conference, and four from the Western Conference in order to battle for the final two spots as each conference’s seven and eight seed. The Brooklyn Nets, Atlanta Hawks, Minnesota Timberwolves and New Orleans Pelicans came out of this years’ play-in tournament. 

The 2022 NBA playoffs officially started on April 16, the day after the play-in tournament concluded. In each playoff series the winner is crowned after they win their fourth game out of a potential seven.  There are six teams with secured spots in the playoff tournament from each conference. In the Eastern Conference: the Miami Heat earned the number one seed, the Boston Celtics were awarded the two seed, the Milwaukee Bucks ended the regular season at the three seed, the Philadelphia 76ers earned the four seed, the Toronto Raptors are the five seed, and the Chicago Bulls will compete as the six seed. Out in the Western Conference: the Phoenix Suns tied the league’s most wins with 64 and are the number one seed, the Memphis Grizzlies finished second, the Golden State Warriors earned the three seed, the Dallas Mavericks were awarded the four seed, the Utah Jazz will compete as the five seed, and the Denver Nuggets will have the last secure spot in the West as the six seed. 

Many believe nationwide that this year’s playoff tournament will be one to remember. The league has more talent and legitimate competitors than ever before, and as these playoffs grow nearer the excitement is certainly rising. Now, here is some insight on what the playoffs may look like.


The Favorite- Phoenix Suns

The Phoenix Suns will look to appear in the NBA finals for the second consecutive season and are favored to do just that. Phoenix finished the regular season with a franchise best 64 wins to lead the entire NBA. With veteran leadership from Chris Paul, Jae Crowder and Javal Mcgee paired with elite young talent like Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges the Suns rank among the league’s best on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor.


The sleeper pick-  Brooklyn Nets 

As the 2021-22 NBA season began, one would be astonished if told the Brooklyn Nets would nearly miss the playoffs and be competing in the play-in tournament, but now that is the reality. However, very complicated circumstances have brought the Nets to this point. With star point guard Kyrie Irving’s denial to get his COVID-19 vaccination forcing him to be on the sidelines at home games for most of the season, as well as the departure of James Harden through trade, Brooklyn’s unusual season had seemingly settled down as the regular season came to a close. The Nets could very well make some noise in the playoffs. 


Most anticipated first round match-up-  Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets

Once again, many eyes are going to be watching to see what the Brooklyn Nets can do this year despite their rather underwhelming regular season campaign and what better opponent could fans ask for then the young, extremely talented and red hot Boston Celtics. The Celtics have lost only three of their last 16 games, and only six of their last 30. This star studded match-up is highlighted by the forward position where viewers will see Kevin Durant head-to-head with Jayson Tatum in what will likely be a magnificent scoring battle. This series is making OHS students rave. Junior Blake Burmeister said,” Matchup between some of the greatest forwards in the league right now., I think those two bashing against each other will just be great.”


Finals prediction- Phoenix Suns vs. Milwaukee Bucks (NBA Champion- Milwaukee Bucks)

A repeat of last year’s finals is surely probable thanks to one of the league’s greatest talents, Giannis Antetokounmpo. The reigning Finals MVP has continued his dominance in this year’s regular season averaging nearly 30 points, 11.6 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game. Antetokounmpo has shown no signs of slowing down and nobody will be surprised if he rips through the playoffs once again.