Over the weekend the Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid scored 44 points against the Indiana Pacers, locking up this season’s scoring title and a first round berth in the playoffs against the Toronto Raptors. Now, the NBA postseason is here.
Compelling storylines are plentiful this time of year, often centered on which players and teams emerge as the NBA’s alpha dogs: In the Western Conference, will Chris Paul — the all-time great point guard of the Phoenix Suns and one of the best players never to win an NBA championship — get it done for the first time in his 16-year career? Can the precocious Memphis Grizzlies become the youngest team ever to reach the Finals? How about the Golden State Warriors? If Steph Curry recovers to top form from his foot injury, are they ready to challenge for their fourth title in seven years, now that Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are healthy as well?
There’s also a ton of drama in the East. Giannis Antetokounmpo would definitively prove he’s the best player in the league if he helps the Milwaukee Bucks to a successful title defense. Elsewhere, can Jayson Tatum and his Boston Celtics, with the best record in the NBA since the All-Star break, finally fulfill their vast potential? Will James Harden prove he’s got what it takes to win in the playoffs, with Embiid as his teammate? And can Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, after a strange and disappointing regular season, lead the Brooklyn Nets to championship glory?
LZ and Will talk about an NBA season that has gone into overdrive.