Round one of NBA Playoffs end with a bang


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Kawhi Leonard of the Toronto Raptors confronts Charlotte Hornets’ Miles Bridges during a game on March 25.

Tylin Jarrett

The National Basketball Association (NBA) just concluded its opening round of the playoffs on April 27 and was possibly the most exhilarating round in the history of the league.

The craziest part about the 2019 NBA Playoffs was that this was the first time LeBron James wasn’t playing despite his consistent involvement since the 2004-2005 NBA season. James and the Lakers did not make the playoffs, culminating with a final record of 37-45 this season.

Being the greatest basketball player on the planet, James always manages to attract an abundance of viewers and his mere presence is what a majority of NBA fans look forward to watching when they hear about the playoffs.

This season’s playoffs, however, will not include 34-year-old “King James.” And while the viewership might have tanked quite a bit, this year’s first round was intense, thrilling and extremely fun to watch.

While most of the games have been very close, there was one series in particular that caught almost every NBA fans’ eye: The Oklahoma City Thunder and the Portland Trail Blazers. With superstars such as guard Russell Westbrook and forward Paul George of the Thunder squaring off against the star-studded duo of guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum of the Blazers, this series was already predestined to be a very entertaining one. To add onto the obvious clash of talent, Westbrook and Lillard have had problems with each other in the past, so things started to get chippy once the series started.

Both guards were trying to prove that they were better than each other and this further enhanced the enjoyment and pleasure that fans had in watching the series. The series went to five games, ending on a 37-foot three-pointer scored by Damian Lillard and won the game and the series, sending Westbrook and the Thunder home empty-handed.

Besides the series that were swept, such as the Milwaukee Bucks and the Detroit Pistons (the series resulting in favor of the Bucks), almost every single game was very close and competitive, keeping the fans engaged in the game at all times. The Denver Nuggets and the San Antonio Spurs played a long and drawn-out seven-game series, with the Nuggets eventually coming out on top in the end.

At first glance, many people predicted these NBA Playoffs to be very boring due to the absence of the best player in the world. However, the other players looked at the situation as a chance for them to show what they can do and reveal the awesome talent they possess that got them to where they are right now.

It is safe to say that the fierce fire and desire that has been seen thus far is what most NBA fans want to see for the rest of these playoffs. And from the looks of it, the intensity and excitement will only rise from here.