Basketball: NBA: Time to get serious

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The race to succeed the Milwaukee Bucks begins early Saturday night. Go back to the posters that will revive the first round of qualifiers.

Jason Tatum vs Kevin Durant, Game Within, Between Celtics And The Nets.

Getty Images via AFP

Boston-Brooklyn with Jason Tatum duel Kevin Durant, Milwaukee-Chicago and opponent Giannis Antetokounmo-Demar DeRozan, Philadelphia-Toronto and Cameroonian Joel Embiid-Pascal Siakam, Golden State-Denver move-in showdown Stephen Curry-Nicola Jokic, are the tour’s most tempting posters The first of the NBA playoffs.

Eastern Conference: Miami – Atlanta

The Heat, who reached a somewhat unexpected final in 2020, did not hide this time, showing impressive team strength to take the lead, despite the frequent absences of their best players (Jimmy Butler, Pam Adebayo, Kyle Lowry, Tyler Hero..) .

Fighting like hell, Florida residents know the equation to go above and beyond. And Atlanta, whose lot if not so much depends on Trae Young alone, doesn’t seem to be able to bother them.

Boston – Brooklyn

By grabbing second place, the Boston Celtics exposed themselves to a barrage of snare. Because the nets, long and disappointingly doomed, are doing much better, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, who are able to win matches on their own, are finally in full operation.

But Boston has some backing up with Jason Tatum and Jaylene Brown, in much of an amazing journey for the team that came back from ninth at Christmas.

Being able to defend well over time will be crucial, and in that respect the Celtics seem to be better equipped. They also have a more balanced and complete squad, and less reliance on their two best guns than the Brooklyn team.

Milwaukee – Chicago

Held by his 2019 and 2020 player, Giannis Antetokounmpo, who remains Imperial (29.9 points, 11.6 rebounds, 5.8 assists on average), the defending champion is the favorite against the Chicago Bulls, bolstered by DeMar DeRozan, Alex Caruso and Lonzo Paul, but who failed to Fulfill their promises after the excellent start to the tournament.

The confidence and automation of a stable workforce, with Chris Middleton, Junior Holiday, and Brooke Lopez, who have recovered from a back injury, as well as experience spring games for Milwaukee.

Philadelphia – Toronto

Attention, trap series for Philadelphia. Guided by Joel Embiid, author of his season’s best (top scorer with 30.6 points and 11.7 rebounds per game) and bolstered by James Harden, even if he hasn’t given the full measure of his talent yet, the Sixers have the advantage on paper.

But on the contrary, Toronto ended the season with a big blow, and their defensive cynicism, which is the basis of the title collected in 2019, can no longer be shown, like Pascal Siakam who will have a hard time Embiid.

Western Conference: Phoenix – New Orleans

Best regular season team (64-18, new franchise record), Phoenix is ​​the favorite to return to the final. After defeating Milwaukee last year, Monty Williams’ team has improved further in the wake of Devin Booker and Chris Paul, and has not shown any weaknesses.

We don’t see how New Orleans, surely equipped with CJ McCollum and Brandon Ingram, can worry The Suns in a series.

Memphis Minnesota

Dauhpin’s stunned by the Suns, Memphis will now have to assume his and Ja Morant’s stature as the new star, king of the top ten with trampoline plunges. However, the Grizzlies don’t count on him, winning 16 of the 18 games he missed due to a knee injury.

The key will be experience and their ability to handle pressure. Against Minnesota, in the playoffs for the second time in 18 years, it will be the number one factor in their favor. The second is still unknown because the wolves do not lack talent, such as Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards, or Grinta with Patrick Beverly.

Golden State – Denver

The resurrection of the Splash Brothers – top scorer with three points, and Klay Thompson, crowned after two-and-a-half years with serious injuries – surrounded by team spirit, Draymond Green, and talented youth, could be a sign of Golden State’s return to the top of the league. .

The first big test awaits the Californian against defending champion Nikola Jokic, who is still on top (27.1 points, 13.8 rebounds, 7.9 assists on average), but is a bit alone in attack, in the absence of Jamal Murray.

Dallas Utah

Will Luka Doncic be restored? This question worries Texans fans because the Slovenian miracle cures a severed calf. Without him, Dallas’ chances of progressing would be slim.

It’s up to Utah to take advantage of it, to finally make a turn. This campaign appears to be the last chance given to Rudi Gobert and Donovan Mitchell to prove that they can live up to their ambitions.

(France Press agency)

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