By BRIAN SWEENEY
During this year’s NBA playoffs, sixteen teams are currently in the first rounds of the playoffs. In the Eastern Conference, the Toronto Raptors and the Philadelphia 76er’s took the lead during their first game of the opening round. The Raptors were able to secure their first win in the opening game of playoffs in franchise history after going 0-8 in past years. In the Western Conference, the New Orleans Pelicans were able to cruise past the Portland Trail Blazers in game one and the Golden State Warriors blew by the San Antonio Spurs.
Despite that these teams are currently in the middle of the first round of playoffs, there are various things happening in the league. Rumors of center Joel Embiid might be able to make a comeback for the 76er’s are swirling around the league. This would be huge for the team to have their best player to come into play during the second or third game. Embiid has officially passed the NBA’s concussion protocol but was held out in the 76er’s game two loss to the Heat, as Heat guard Dwyane Wade led the team with 28 points. Embiid has missed some times after having to have surgery after one of his games due to a fractured orbital bone back in late March and has not played any games after the incident. Despite his condition, the 76er’s did well in game one with a solid performance without Embiid’s assistance. If Embiid is able to come back, Philadelphia may be able to route the Heat and make it to the second round.
In the Western Conference, Stephen Curry might be able to make a return to the Warriors’ starting lineup in the semifinals. Curry suffered a sprain during late March and again will likely return to play for the Warriors in the semifinals. Curry is currently happy with his recovery progress after his injury. During a live Warriors broadcast, Curry stated that “he had no setbacks” and that “every day has been something good, advancing the rehab process.”
During the broadcast, Curry was excited and looks forward to making more progress as we get towards the playoffs.
In a 20-minute interview, upon being asked how the recovery process has been treating him, Curry responded, “It’s been an interesting two weeks so far. Just trying to get some rhythm, some strength back, some flexibility, range of motion, all that type of stuff,”. After being ruled out for at least three weeks due to his injury, during this season, Curry has played in 52 games, averaging 24 points, five rebounds and six assists per game.
Another event that occurred during the NBA playoffs, LeBron James has mastered the first-round knockout for the season. But as the season continues, James isn’t going to take on the Pacers lightly, despite his overall performance throughout his NBA career. “It’s going to be a very good matchup,” said James. He also stated that as the regular season goes up, down, and sideways for the Cleveland Cavaliers and with the postseason finally arriving, this is the moment where James shines the most.
As the playoffs continue, we can only expect more to come.