The 2020 NBA Playoffs are here after what feels like the LONGEST wait in history thanks to COVID-19. As the games kick off, all of us NBA fans are wondering who will emerge victorious... among some other thoughts as well. Here are 11 thoughts all NBA fans are having in the midst of the playoffs.
1. Will the 76ers win any games without Ben Simmons?Giphy
After Simmons went out with a knee injury for the rest of the season, the talk was whether or not the 76ers will win without one of their key guys.
2. Will Luka Doncic have his ego checked?Giphy
Alright, this one may just be a me thing, but ever since he acted like it was a snub for him to be considered for Most Improved Player and not Most Valuable Player with the likes of James Harden, LeBron James and Giannis, he has just been bothering me more than usual. He's talented for sure, but I just can't get past his ego.
3. Will James Harden drop 50 points?Giphy
Harden is on the verge of averaging 40 points per game this year. While defense has always been more of a struggle for Harden, recent history shows he has made huge strides in that part of his game and is becoming a threat there as well.
4. Will we see another TJ Warren/Jimmy Butler showdown?Giphy
The Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers will meet in the first round of the playoffs. Both teams have had successful seasons, but the rivalry and rift between stars Jimmy Butler and TJ Warren has been the talk leading up to the meeting. In a previous meeting this year, Warren was ejected from the game, and Butler was given a technical for an encounter on the court. If you ask me, Warren started it, but hey, what do I know.
5. Will Joel Embiid stay healthy?Giphy
Embiid has quite the history of injuries, and without Simmons, the 76ers are going to need a healthy Embiid in the playoffs.
6. Will the Raptors repeat?Giphy
Admittedly, this is more of a finals' question, but everyone is wondering if the Raptors will win back to back NBA championships. As a huge Pascal Siakam fan, I wouldn't be opposed to this.
7. Will Tacko Fall play?Giphy
Fall has become a fan favorite this year, despite his limited play time. Standing at anywhere from 7'5" to 7'6", depending on the source, Fall quickly became a favorite by not only Celtics' fans but NBA fans in general. I had the pleasure of watching Fall play college ball since he played in the same conference that my college's team did, and you don't realize just how tall he is until you see him in person! Here's hoping Fall gets some play time this round!
8. Do the Rockets have enough of a bench without Russell Westbrook?Giphy
Westbrook made news when it was announced that he would sit the first few playoff games due to a quad injury. The Harden/Westbrook duo has been the key to success this year for the Rockets, and many are wondering if they're a deep enough team without him on the court to support Harden.
9. Who will be the upset?Giphy
Of course we all expect certain players and certain team to come out victorious, but nothing ever goes quite as planned. If I had to pick an upset or close call for this year's playoffs, I think the Mavericks and Clippers game could be close, and I'd even go out on a limb and say that Portland is playing very well right now and could hold their own with the Lakers more so than what most people are expecting.
10. Will the Bucks turn around their bubble play?Giphy
After Giannis expressed his frustration with how the Bucks have played in the bubble, it has everyone wondering if they're going to go as far as what most people were thinking they would pre-COVID. Giannis is an incredibly talented player, but he can't lose his cool again like he did in an earlier game.
11. Will Kawhi be totally quiet yet amazing in typical Kawhi fashion?Giphy
Oh wait, that's not even a question because we all know Kawhi will be amazing! (Can you tell I'm a Kawhi fan?) For real, though, Leonard won Finals MVP last year, and his performance in the bubble has definitely been eye catching so far!