Paul Rutherford – USA TODAY Sports
You may not want to watch the remaining games whenever your team is knocked out of the playoffs in any sport. But, if you’re a die-hard fan, you can appreciate competition and good fun. So, since my San Antonio Spurs won a different prize (the Victor Wembenyama sweepstakes), I’m left to watch this year’s NBA playoff remaining teams: the Denver Nuggets against the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics against the Miami Heat.
Holy basketball, Batman!
If it’s not Jamal Murray unleashing in the fourth quarter or casually dropping 30 points in the first half, it’s Jimmy Butler reminding Grant Williams why you shouldn’t talk so early. (Spoiler Alert: it did not end well for Grant Williams.)
If it’s not the Nuggets showing why they are the number one seed, unleashing a barrage of points, it’s Bam Adebayo putting Jaylen Brown into spin cycle mode. (Spoiler Alert: it didn’t end well for Jaylen Brown either.)
Transparently, I picked the Lakers to win the Western Conference Finals in six games and the Celtics to win the Eastern Conference finals in five games.
I was wrong. I know nothing. Mistakes were made.
The Nuggets and Heat are up 3-0 on their respective opponents, and I’m so happy I was wrong. When it’s not my team, I live for the chaos. The unpredictability of playoff basketball is addicting. It draws you in, keeping you on the edge of your seat and your heart beating fast. The unsung heroes, the last-minute shots, the upsets…there’s nothing like it. It’s the best time of the year.
Full credit should also go to Nuggets head coach Michael Malone and Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra for getting the best out of their teams and destroying many of the narratives around their teams not being ready for the moment. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what any team does before the playoffs; it only matters what teams do once they get in.
“The battlefield is a scene of constant chaos. The winner will be the one who controls that chaos, both his own and the enemies.” – Napoleon Bonaparte