As the 2013 NBA Playoffs begin, there are a plethora of storylines that we can watch. Each team has their stories to tell and their players’ individual journey is unique. Let’s take a look at the five best stories that we should be watching for.
Not One, Not Two…
The Miami Heat were mocked when they had their championship celebration before the “Big Three” had even played a game together. Then, when they made the 2011 NBA Finals and lost, they mocking ratcheted up to a whole different level.
Since then, not much has happened. The Heat ran roughshod through the 2011-12 season en route to their first title together. They’ve destroyed most of the league during the 2012-13 season and enter the playoffs as the overwhelming favorites. LeBron James has cemented himself as the best player in the world and will win another MVP award.
Suddenly that “not one, not two” speech doesn’t seem too crazy.
The Boston Celtics Emotional Stand
After the acts of terror that occurred during the last few days, the Boston faithful have been standing together more than ever. The people of Boston have a knack for rallying around events like no other city in the United States.
The Boston Bruins’ crowd singing the National Anthem was something that will go down in sports (and American) lore forever.
As far as the Celtics are concerned, they are a proud bunch who have rallied after losing their star point guard Rajon Rondo. Can we ever really count out Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and coach Doc Rivers? No.
It’s a very interesting and volatile time to be a member of the Milwaukee Bucks. First, we’ve got Jennings making ridiculous statements about the Bucks defeating the Miami Heat in six games. We’ll give him a pass for being a young and emotional man on that one.
What’s more interesting is the battle for the dollar. Both Jennings and Ellis are in line to get new contracts after this year. They’ve seemingly taken turns having huge stretches during the regular season. Ellis has an early-out and Jennings is a restricted free agent, so who do they keep?
If they think they need to have a big playoff series to prove their worth, there could be some fireworks on the bench and on the floor between the two of them.
Doing It For Kobe Bryant
Team Mamba, indeed! Who is the hottest team in the Western Conference heading into the playoffs? At 8-2, it’s the Los Angeles Lakers. They’re a different team without Bryant on the floor, but not necessarily worse.
Having a healthy Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard in the paint instantly makes them the best 1-2 punch in the paint in the entire NBA. It’s a shame that Steve Nash isn’t healthy, because this team would be as intriguing a story as any.
They’ve got the long-hated San Antonio Spurs in round one, and it’s a much better matchup for them than the Oklahoma City Thunder or Denver Nuggets would have been. They’ve been fighting all year long to overcome the hype and now they have a (very) legitimate chance.
The Next Superstars
The NBA has definitely turned into a young man’s league. While regular season performances are great, it’s the playoffs that can make a career. We’ve got a handful of young guys who are in great position to make a name for themselves in this year’s playoffs.
Stephen Curry, Paul George and James Harden are a few guys who are in position to lead their teams to the promise land. Would we be all that surprised if Curry hit for 50, George put up a triple-double or Harden scored 15 in the fourth quarter to lead their teams to victory?