Buck’s Buck Forward, Net’s Net Nothing: NBA Eastern Conference Round One



With NBA Playoffs underway, surprises are beginning to abound.

Andrew Bernson, Freelancer

With NBA Playoffs underway, surprises are beginning to abound.

Numerous injuries might affect some team’s journey to the “promised land.” Players have stepped up to help their teams win. However, some have not performed up to expectations, instead hurting their respective teams.

Let’s start with the Milwaukee Bucks, who handled the Chicago bulls winning 4-1. The Bucks took a hit with the injury of all-star Kris Middleton, a big factor in Milwaukee’s championship run last year. On the side of the Bull’s, all-star Demar Derozan was relatively quiet other than his 41 points in game two, leading the Bulls to a 114-110 victory. 

Don’t worry Bulls fans—at least your team didn’t get swept like the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets were defeated by the Boston Celtics due to the lackluster performances from Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. 

Kyrie’s subpar performance may come as a surprise to some; the seven time All-Star usually steps up in these types of games and performs well. Durant’s performance seems to indicate that he’s only his best when he’s surrounded by 4 other hall-of-famers. He chokes in critical moments. Ask me and I’d say his legacy is diminished.

Not one player is really standing out for Boston; they are just playing well as a team.

Despite my own expectations, the Miami Heat won 4-1 against the Atlanta Hawks. While the Hawks do have Trae Young, the best point guard in the league, his teammates have failed to help him along the way. Young is playing to the best of his ability, but his teammates simply aren’t picking up the slack. 

The Heat, led by all-star Jimmy Butler, have lucked out so far in this series. But how long will their luck last? If the Hawks had helped Trae just a little bit, it’s possible they could have done some damage in the playoffs.

The last two teams who battled it out in the East were the Philadelphia 76ers and the Toronto Raptors. Led by MVP candidate Joel Embiid, the Sixers have managed to win 4-2. 

It seemed as though the Raptors couldn’t catch a break; an injury to Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes forced him to miss games 2 and 3, and an injury to all-star Fred VanFleet forced him to come out of game 4 and miss game 5. 

Although the Sixers won this series, Embiid is dealing with a thumb and eye injury that could affect him for the rest of the playoffs.