Students who watch NBA Playoffs pick Warriors

Sam TapperContributor

As the weather gets warmer and we inch closer to summer, that can only mean one thing for basketball fans across the country: the NBA Playoffs are back.

This year’s NBA season was filled with excitement and surprises, with LeBron James in a Lakers uniform and out of the Eastern Conference for the first time being just one example.

For the first time in 13 seasons, LeBron will not play in the postseason. This came as a shock to many fans, especially seeing how teams like the Orlando Magic and Brooklyn Nets made the playoffs. Even without King James, this year’s playoffs have been, and should continue to be, as exciting as ever.

This week, a survey was conducted on campus to gauge who watches the NBA Playoffs and who students predict will win.

Of the 40 students surveyed, 52% said they do not watch the playoffs or the NBA at all.

However, of those who said they do, 48% of them are picking the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors to win it all again.

“I’m going to go with the Warriors over the Bucks,” said freshman Robert Zurzola. “Because the Warriors are overpowered, four all-stars.”

Despite having a down year by their standards, failing to win over 57 games for the first time in the Steve Kerr era (the previous two seasons resulted in the Warriors winning 65 in 2016-17 and 58 in 2017- 2018), Golden State still has the most star-studded roster in the league.

The Warriors feature two of the best players in the world – guard Steph Curry and forward Kevin Durant – as well as a lights out all-star shooter in Klay Thompson and another all-star and do-it-all player in Draymond Green.

That group of players alone would be enough to win another championship, but the Warriors made another big move in the off-season when they signed center DeMarcus Cousins, one of the best big men in the league, to a one-year deal. Cousins averaged over 16 points-per-game and eight rebounds; however, he is likely done for the season with a torn left quad he suffered in game two of the first round of the playoffs.

“Personally, I still think it’s going to be the Warriors,” said freshman Matt Urquia. “I wouldn’t mind seeing another team win, but realistically I feel like they still have a super team, even with Boogie [Cousins] injured right now.”

Not everyone is favoring the Warriors though, as students’ predictions ranged from the East’s top seed Milwaukee Bucks to the Oklahoma City
Thunder, the six-seed in the western conference.

“I would say Oklahoma,” said sophomore Rolando Puello. “Westbrook gets a sense of urgency when he’s starting to lose, and he’s got Paul George. They started off kind of slow, but this is all it takes, all it takes is for them to turn up.”

Russell Westbrook and George are both MVP candidates this season, as Westbrook averaged a triple double for the third consecutive year, making him the only player in NBA history to do so. George averaged a career high in points (28) and rebounds (8.2) per game. Currently, the Thunder are down 2-1 in their series against Portland.

Despite being a New England university, shockingly only 15% of students believe the Boston Celtics will win the title this year. The Celtics were predicted to run away with the East, as they returned their entire roster from a season ago, that pushed LeBron and his Cavaliers to seven games in the conference finals. In addition, the Celtics also gained a healthy Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward.

Despite the talent on paper, the Celtics struggled mightily, finishing with a solid, yet disappointing 49-33 record, placing fourth in their conference.

“With the Celtics not having it together as much as fans would like them to have,” said Pascal. “I think that gives the Bucks an even better chance with not many other super teams in the East.

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