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Sunday, April 15, 2018

All set for playoffs at NBA

Por MRod

The regular phase of the NBA concluded with a fast sprint. After seven months and the 82 games played by each of their 30 teams, the last day was anguished for several. Minnesota clung to the last ticket for the playoffs thanks to its victory against Denver (112-106, after an extra time). They have dreamed of that for a long time.

The last day was critical and determined spectacular matches. The defeat of San Antonio in New Orleans (122-98, with 22 points and 15 rebounds by Anthony Davis and 21 points and 15 rebounds by Nikola Mirotic) led to the same duel as in the final of the West. Back then, Golden State swept 4-0 and Kawhi Leonard was injured in the first game. The Spurs escapes good luck. He played nine games between December 12 and January 13. But a mysterious muscle injury has prevented him from playing again. T

he Warriors have also been troubled by grievances. At this time his concern is to know if it is convenient for Stephen Curry to reappear after the arthroscopy performed on his left knee on March 24. Houston has taken a well-earned first place in the West with the best record in its history, 65 wins, seven more than the Warriors. Chris Paul, Green, Anderson and Capela have suffered significant injuries, but James Harden has led the team that leaves as a favorite in the first round against Minnesota.

Utah lost the chance to close its splendid regular phase in third place by falling to Portland (102-93). Ricky Rubio will play for the first time the playoffs with the field factor against Oklahoma City. The Thunder, beating Memphis (137-123), moved Utah to fifth place. The triumph of the Thunder came with 20 rebounds from Russell Westbrook, four more than needed to close for the second consecutive year with a triple-double average: 25.4 points, 10.1 rebounds and 10.3 assists. Let’s wow now!

Cleveland had no choice for third place because the Sixers closed with a firm step and 16 consecutive wins. The Philadelphia team, despite the loss of Joel Embiid, overwhelmed Milwaukee (130-95). Markelle Fultz, number one of the draft of 2017 and who has missed 68 games because of an injury, had 13 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds. At 19 years and 317 days, he became the youngest player to get a triple double. In a game that started long after the Sixers, Cleveland lost to the Knicks (98-110).

LeBron James got the 10 points he needed that keep him as the one who has reached at least that number in 837 games in a row, and then retired to rest, as all the regulars did. The Cavaliers close in fourth place and play the first round against Indiana, after a season of huge instability in the squad, which incorporated Clarkson, Nance, George Hill and Hood in February and transferred Isaiah Thomas, Frye, Rose, Crowder, Shumpert and Wade.

The Celtics, despite the rosary of injuries, some as relevant as those of Hayward and Kyrie Irving, won the East and will face Washington. It was also known that The Knicks, eleventh in the East with 29 wins and 53 losses, fired Jeff Hornacek; and Orlando, penultimate in the East with 25 wins and 57 defeats, Frank Vogel.