Cavs and Warriors lead the pack for start of playoffs

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(Photo: Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports)

Stephen Curry and LeBron James go for a rebound.

Gracie Thies, Reporter

The NBA Playoffs are in full swing as the matchups began on Sat, April 16. The regular season closed with a memorable game played by NBA legend, Kobe Bryant

     The Golden State Warriors also closed out the regular season winning seventy-three games, surpassing the 1996 Bulls’ win record and now boast the NBA’s best-ever regular season record. During the Warriors seventy-third win of the season against the Memphis Grizzlies, Stephen Curry sank six 3-pointers and scored twenty points in the first quarter alone. Curry ended the game scoring forty-six points with twenty-four shots.

     “I’d never in a million years would have guessed that that record would ever be broken. I thought it was like Joe DiMaggio’s hit streak, really, and I was wrong,” said Warriors coach Steve Kerr after the game.

     With that, the playoffs begin consisting of sixteen teams, eight from each conference. They play the best-of-seven series until the East and West crown their champions. Then, the two remaining teams will square off in the NBA Finals.

     The Eastern Conference playoff teams and seeds are: No. 1 Cleveland Cavaliers, No. 2 Toronto Raptors, No. 3 Miami Heat, No. 4 Atlanta Hawks, No. 5 Boston Celtics, No. 6 Charlotte Hornets, No. 7 Indiana Pacers, No. 8 Detroit Pistons. The Western Conference teams and seeds are: No. 1 Golden State Warriors, No. 2 San Antonio Spurs, No. 3 Oklahoma City Thunder, No. 4 Los Angeles Clippers, No. 5 Portland Trail Blazers, No. 6 Dallas Mavericks, No. 7 Memphis Grizzlies, No. 8 Houston Rockets.

     Now that the playoffs have started, analysts and former NBA athletes are turning to the brackets to predict which teams will make it to the finals. Last year it was the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers, with the Warriors winning the the NBA Championship title.

     “ I went with the boring route in my initial prediction, taking a repeat of last year’s Finals with the Warriors winning their second-straight title. I see no reason to change it,” said Sports Illustrated’s writer, Rob Mahoney.

     The Warriors and Cavaliers matchup is yet the most popular prediction for the Finals. It is the typical pick with how great the two teams are playing, compared to the rest of the playoff teams.