2020 NBA and NHL Playoffs Begin

Written by Carter Cox (Sports Editor)

Running and panting on the court, the Rockets and Thunder were battling it out in game seven of the first round. Chris Paul coming off an incredible season was playing lights out that game. While for the Rockets, Russel Westbrook was having a good game. There were five seconds left on the clock and the Rockets were beating the Thunder 103-102. The Thunder didn’t want to give up after having such a surprising season. Steven Adams saw Luguentz Dortz the standout rookie for the Thunder. Dortz was having his best game of the season with thirty points.  Dortz was wide open with nobody near him at the three-point line. Steven Adams whipped the pass to him and James Harden was prepared to race up from the paint to try to block him. Dortz was not going to step down from this challenge and shot the three. In the split-second, Lugentz Dortz shot the ball, James Harden blocked it by the tip of his fingers. The ball went sailing up in the air and came back down. The Rockets ended up winning that game 104-102 and moved onto the next round in the playoffs. 

The NBA playoffs are happening and so far it is more exciting than ever. In the first round, the Clippers beat the Mavericks in six games, and even though Luka Doncic lost, Luka Doncic had an outstanding series against them. The Pacers also had a great series and swept the Miami Heat. One of the NBA’s favorites to win at the time, the Milwaukee Bucks had a great series. They won the series four games to one. Lebron James and the Lakers beat the Trailblazers which was a team that was on fire at the time. The Raptors had a great series too and played phenomenally and beat the Nets in four games. Jayson Tatem in the first round of the playoffs was on fire and helped the Boston Celtics beat the Philadelphia 76ers in five.  James Harden also had a fantastic series proving that he was a candidate for the MVP and beat the Thunder in seven games. One of the most surprising wins was for the Denver Nuggets which came back after trailing in the series against the Utah Jazz three games to one. The Denver Nuggets ended up beating the Utah Jazz four games to three. 

In the second round of the playoff series, the Miami Heat upset one of the finals contenders to win it and beat the Milwaukee Bucks in five games. Jayson was red hot once again in the series and ended up winning it for the Celtics in seven against the Toronto Raptors. The pair Lebron James and Anthony Davis delivered and sent the Lakers to the West Conference Finals. They beat the Houston Rockets in five. There was another big upset after the Clippers were beating the Nuggets three games to one. The Nuggets came back and into the second round were six and zero in elimination games. They made NBA playoffs history by being the first team ever in more than one series to come back three games to one. 

Some of the players with stunning performances in the playoffs are Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic. Murray has been exploding these playoffs in elimination games. Murray is playing like he is an MVP candidate and in tough games, he makes the plays that count. Jokic is also playing fantastically in the playoffs he has been a player that shoots, passes, rebounds, and has a great defense. This player is an all-around player. One other outstanding player is Jayson Tatem;  he is a scorer and is not afraid to make big plays to help their team thrive. James Harden was outstanding and scored so many points and carried the Rockets into the playoffs and in the playoffs.  One of the last outstanding players was Kawhi Leonard. The defense of Kawhi Leonard and the offense was outstanding even though the Clippers lost. Kawhi proved that he was one of the best. The last two outstanding players in the playoffs are Lebron James and Anthony Davis. Lebron James was an all-around player Lebron could, score, pass, rebound, and helped the Lakers have a great season. Davis was also outstanding at scoring and in the rebound game. The Lakers needed a star center and Davis delivered. 

Many people at the beginning chose the Lakers, Clippers, and Bucks to win the finals. But the Bucks and the Clippers are out of the finals. The Lakers don’t have a clear path to it since they have to play the Nuggets that are on fire. They do have two superstars and an overall balanced team and the team hopes it has the skill and heart to win. The Lakers are beating the Nuggets in the series two games to none. For the East, the Celtics or Heat have a hard path to get to the finals but they won’t give up without a fight. The Heat beat the Celtics in game one of the series in a flawless hard-fought victory. Now the Heat is beating the Celtics in the series two games to one. Many people think that the team with the best odds in the East are the Heat because they are playing phenomenal.

Here are people from SLV and who they think are going to win the NBA finals. “I think that the Lakers are going to win the Finals because they have two amazing superstars. They also have a well-rounded team and a good coaching staff. I think the Lakers have the skills to win it”. That student thinks that the Lakers have the skills to pay the bills but anything can happen. When I asked another SLV student this question they said “I hope the Lakers win but I hope that the Nuggets win the finals. If Nikola Jokic keeps hitting threes I think they will win”. This SLV student thinks that the Lakers will win but if Jokic plays at par the student thinks the Nuggets will win the finals. In the end, many people think that the Lakers and Heat are the favorites but who knows anything can happen. 

Hockey sticks were battered, players were on their knees, and the game was one of the most intense hockey games in the playoffs. The New York Islanders were down three games to one against the Tampa Bay Lightning. It was in double overtime and they didn’t want to have to go back home after trying so hard to get where they were at. The Tampa Bay Lightning were trying to close out this series to get to the NHL Stanley Hockey cup finals. The Tampa Bay Lightning were attempting to close it out and get the final goal to win the game.  Unexpectedly a hockey player from the New York Islanders stole the hockey puck and slashed it away out of the player’s possession. The player then whipped around the player and skated fastly to get the hockey puck. Right behind the player was the Tampa Bay Lightning player that was stolen the puck from. Neck to neck the player saw a player that was wide-open and fell sliding to pass it to the player. The player that was passed to without hesitation knocked in the goal for the win. To help the New York Islanders last another day. 

The NHL playoffs have been unlike any other. This is going to be a season to remember. The last teams standing are the Dallas Stars who beat the Las Vegas Golden Knights in five games. The Dallas stars have had quite the journey to get to the NHL finals. They weren’t expected to have gotten as far as they had gotten. They had a good season but people didn’t think they had what it took to get to the finals but they proved people wrong. The Tampa Bay lightning had a fantastic season and are playing well together. Their team has the skill and it has gotten them this far in the playoffs. Whether they can win the championship against the Dallas Stars is one of the questions people are curious about. The Dallas Stars are on fire and have a well-rounded team that has had a playoff spurt. Tampa Bay was one of the older favorites to win this season but they haven’t won a championship for sixteen years. For about twenty-one years the Dallas stars haven’t won the championship. Both teams have won one championship and are hoping to win their second championship. 

For both of the NHL teams here is part of the journey they went on to make it to the championship. The Dallas Stars had a good season but many didn’t think they had the skills it took to get to where they are. Out of twelve teams in their conference, they got fifth place. In the first round, the team won against the Calgary Flames. It was a well-played round by both teams. The Dallas stars had the skills it took to win the series. In the second round, the Dallas Stars beat the second-best team in the team’s conference, the Colorado Avalanche, and pulled off the upset in seven games. The Dallas Stars almost gave up a three and one lead but they managed to bounce back and had key moments in game seven to pull through. In the third round, the Dallas Stars were relentless and beat the Las Vegas Golden Knights in five games. It was another upset and not many were expecting it. That is the team’s journey of how they made it to the championship. For the Tampa Bay Lightning, their team was fantastic in the regular season and never gave up. They ended up second in their conference. In the first round, the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Blue Jackets in five games and never stopped trying to score. The team then battled their way through the best team in the conference and pulled off an upset to beat the best team in the regular season, the Boston Bruins. Tampa Bay was able to pull off this stunning win in the series. So far in the Stanley Cup Finals, the Dallas Stars are beating the Tampa Bay Lightning in the series one game to zero. 

The team that is predicted to win the championship is the Tampa Bay Lightning. They have an incredible team all around. The Tampa Bay Lightning have won the one championship that they went to but a lot of the time fell short early in the playoffs. This time they have managed to hang on for this far but do they have what it takes to win the championship. The Dallas stars have not the best record when it comes to winning championships. The team has lost three championships and has only won one championship. But it is still great that they have won one. Here is what some SLV students have to say about who will win the NHL Hockey Stanley Cup Finals. “I think that the Tampa Bay Lightning will win the championship. They have a great overall team, good team spirit, and have the heart that it takes to win. The team has a good record when it comes to winning championships.” That SLV student thinks that the Tampa Bay Lighting is going to be the team to win it because the Tampa Bay Lightning is a good team.

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