The Bucks and Suns are still among the favorites, and to many strangers, Rudy Gobert dreams of an episode… playoff guide

After 82 regular season games, the long-awaited playoffs will be a peace justice for the franchises contending for the title and behind Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Milwaukee Bucks, Last year’s winners against the Phoenix Suns. The playoffs, strictly speaking, begin Saturday, April 16 at 7 p.m., with a game between the Utah Jazz and the Dallas Mavericks.

Prior to this, six matches were played, to determine the last four teams qualified to the final table. In this mini-game, Brooklyn, Minnesota, Atlanta and New Orleans have joined the twelve franchises that have already confirmed that they can play these final stages, After the regular season.

Towards a new Bucks-Suns final?

The season’s best record of 64 wins for just 18 losses, last year’s finalist, the Phoenix Suns, favored the bookmakers for the ultimate victory. But dominating the regular season does not in any way mean that there will be good playoffs. We also have to go back to 2017 and the very dominant Warriors to see a franchise with the best record in the league win the NBA Finals.

The Milwaukee Bucks know this. The league’s best record in 2019 and 2020, they had to wait until 2021 to lift the Larry O’Brien Cup after a less visible regular season, as they finished third in the Eastern Conference. The Wisconsin Dimes intend to reconfirm having, once again, finished third in the East this season.

The two finalists from last year appear to be the natural candidates to meet again in June, but their dominance doesn’t seem overwhelming and many underdogs could topple them.

Strangers can believe it

The fight for the title seems very open-ended, once again. After outrageously dominating LeBron James (Miami and then Cleveland) and Golden State over the 2010s, no team was unanimous. This symbol of instability, the last four versions have won four different franchises

Behind Phoenix and Milwaukee, bookmakers see the Brooklyn Nets as the third powerhouse in these playoffs. However, the New Yorkers had to go through with the playoffs after finishing a disappointing seventh place in the regular season. They will face the Celtics, a solid runner-up in the Eastern Conference and one of the best defenses in the league. But the presence of Kevin Durant and Keri Irving changes everything in Brooklyn. Especially since the often well-informed Shams Shraniye has indicated that Ben Simmons may be back soon. With these three players, the net is definitely better than the seventh in the East. Boston warned.

Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, players of the Brooklyn Nets against the Indiana Pacers, April 8, 2022 at the Barclays Center.  (Sarah Steer/AFP)

Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors, authors of a good and third season in the West, are hoping to regain their supremacy as Klay Thompson returns after long injuries. The experience of the Miami Heat and coach Eric Spoelstra will be an asset to the Floridians, while the youth and enthusiasm of the Grizzlies of Ja Morant, the unexpected second in the Western Conference, will be carefully watched. Bears want to continue to defy the odds.

Rudi Gobert and the jazz dream of the first title

The best team of the regular season last year, the Salt Lake City players once again disappointed in the playoffs that eliminated the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round. However, Jazzmen believed that they had found perfect harmony by dominating the league between December and May (52 wins vs 20 losses). But they did it against the Californians He looked completely disharmonious and went on vacation full of regret.

With a similar workforce this season, still organized around Donovan Mitchell and Frenchman Rudy Gobert, voted the NBA’s best defender three times and in the run for a fourth crown, the Jazz failed to reclaim the score. Only fifth in the West, did they begin their playoff games against the Dallas Mavericks. The only good news is that Quin Snyder players are complete while their opponents have to deal with the injury of Luka Doncic, whose length of unavailability is not yet known, but could miss several matches, or even the entire series.

Rudi Gobert remains, this season again, the Frenchman with the best chance of lifting the Larry O’Brien Cup. It is an award that has not been in the hands of housing associations since 2014 and the coronation of Tony Parker and Boris Diaw for Tottenham.

Nets, wolves, hawks and swans withdraw from play

It was the first. Championship play in the season 82 games. In the league’s small tabloids for several years, the playing championship was born during the 2019-20 season, which was cut short due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The concept was renewed after a season reduced to 72 games last year, before being installed this year, in a season that has returned to normal operation.

A real revolution for the biggest basketball tournament in the world. From now on, the top six in each conference will almost certainly be in the playoffs, versus eight previously. The four teams ranked between the seventh and tenth positions combined in this mini-tournament, which determines the final qualifiers in the conference.

Formatting is meant to be simple. The seventh faces the eighth and the winner of this match goes to the playoffs. The loser gets a second chance against the winner of the match between 9 and 10, to reach the final table. Thus, the tenth, if he wins twice, can reach the final stages. Modernity does not satisfy everyone. Whoever came up with this nonsense needs to be fired.had criticized LeBron James, and participated in 2021. This year, for example, the San Antonio Spurs (34 wins) could replace the Minnesota Timberwolves (46 wins).

But the hierarchy was respected by qualifying in one match for the Nets and Wolves, seventh in their conference. Meanwhile, the Hornets and Tottenham, 10th, went on vacation without qualifying. The Hawks and the Pelicans also made it to the playoffs, after each defeating the Cavaliers and Clippers.

But where is LeBron James?

Since his first playoff participation in 2006, the Akron native has missed the final stages only once, already in 2019 with the Lakers. At the end of a disastrous season for his team, but among the favorites at the start of the season, the Californians didn’t even take part, as they finished 11th in the Western Conference with 21 defeats in their last 28 encounters.

Although Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, Trevor Ariza and Daenerys Jordan enlisted in the offseason, the Lakers fared worse than last season when they were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. Thus, LeBron James, the leading scorer in NBA history, will not have the opportunity to increase his point record in the final stage.

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