The Student News Site of Oakdale High School

The Oakdale Post

The Student News Site of Oakdale High School

The Oakdale Post

The Student News Site of Oakdale High School

The Oakdale Post

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The 2024 NBA Playoffs as It Stands

Anthony+Edwards+celebrates+after+an+electric+Game+6+win+against+the+Denver+Nuggets+in+the+Western+Conference+Semifinals.
https://www.aol.com/news/timberwolves-star-anthony-edwards-named-002628402.html
Anthony Edwards celebrates after an electric Game 6 win against the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Semifinals.

As the Dallas Mavericks prepare to play the Boston Celtics for the NBA Championship, we look back at what led up to this matchup. While the 5th seeded Mavs defeated the top teams in the west, the 1st seeded Celtics have effortlessly dismantled undermanned opponents. This contrast has defined the 2024 playoffs, and could be a deciding factor in who is victorious. 

The Surprises

“The Mavericks were the biggest surprise this postseason. I would’ve never thought Kyrie and Luka would even beat the Thunder,” junior Nate Colbert expressed. 

The Mavs made it to the playoffs, but bounced in and out of the Play-In throughout most of the regular season. Their conference semifinals victory against the number 1 seeded Oklahoma City Thunder was a surprise for most fans, especially with Luka Doncic only contributing 24.7 points per game on 44.7% from the field and Kyrie Irving giving 15.7 points per game on 44%. Dallas is making their first finals appearance since 2011, when they won their first championship.

“The Pacers surprised me the most. I didn’t think they’d make it as far as they did,” freshman Tommy Hayden commented. 

The Indiana Pacers also bounced in and out of the Play-In, before sneaking into the playoffs as the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference. They earned their first conference finals appearance since 2014, defeating the undermanned Milwaukee Bucks and New York Knicks. Indiana lost in 4 games to the Celtics, with their star Tyrese Haliburton sitting out games 3 and 4 with an injury. 

The Disappointments

“The most disappointing team was the Suns by far. They should’ve been fighting in the finals, so them going out in the first round makes them the most disappointing,” Colbert said. 

The Phoenix Suns entered the playoffs as the 6th seed in the Western Conference after an underwhelming regular season. Phoenix came into the season with high expectations after obtaining former All-Star Bradley Beal. Other acquisitions included center Jusuf Nurkic and sharp-shooting forward Grayson Allen. The team dealt with lingering injuries, and their bench performed poorly. The Minnesota Timberwolves handed them a first round loss in a 4-game sweep. 

The Los Angeles Clippers once again disappointed fans with an early playoff exit due to injuries. The addition of former All-Star James Harden bolstered their offense in the regular season, and stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George each had their healthiest regular season in years. Los Angeles met Dallas in the first round; however, Leonard only played games 2 and 3 due to a sudden knee injury, averaging only 12 points over those two games. The Clippers lost the series in 6, frustrating many who expected the team to compete for the title. 

Finals Preview

This could be the most exciting finals series in years. Doncic and Jayson Tatum are among the youngest superstars in the league, and each is fixed on acquiring the title. A matchup between two younger stars is a change compared to others in recent history. 

A shifting factor could be Porzingis’ availability. It’d be no surprise if he played game 1, but his minute count will likely be low. The former All-Star averaged 20.1 points and 1.9 blocks a game during the regular season. Porzingis gives Boston more spacing with his shooting ability, while also being able to rival Dallas’ big men in the paint on both sides of the floor. 

The series could be close, but the Celtics have the rest advantage and a better roster. During the regular season, they had the best net rating, best offensive rating, and third best defensive rating in the league. However, the Mavs have momentum and will be the toughest team Boston faces this postseason. It’d be no surprise if they snatched the prize. 

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About the Contributors
Zak Koshar
Zak Koshar, Writer
Zak Koshar is in 11th grade. This is his first year taking journalism and plans on being a Sports Broadcaster/Reporter.
Rohan Mokha
Rohan Mokha, Writer
Rohan Mokha is in 11th grade at OHS. He enjoys sports and hanging out with friends.
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