NBA playoffs: Can anyone beat the Warriors?


Keith Allison

Stephen Curry has been a key part of the Warriors dynasty and will be a major part of their playoff run this season.

Landon DeBoer, Sports Editor

In the blink of an eye, the NBA regular season has ended and the playoffs are now in full swing with eight teams left in contention for the Larry O’Brien trophy. Here are the cases for the teams with the best odds of becoming champions and cementing their names in NBA history.

The favorites to win the title for the third straight year are the Golden State Warriors. The one-seeded Warriors have been towards the top of the league for the last five seasons and will look to claim their fourth title in that span. With stars such as Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, as well as a good supporting crew consisting of players like Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala, the Warriors still have the talent to make a run in the playoffs. After defeating the Los Angeles Clippers in round one of the playoffs and shockingly dropping two games during the series, the Warriors were hungry to show that they still were the best team in the league. Heading into their second round against the Houston Rockets, the Warriors made a statement with their impressive performances in the first two games of the series to show that they were still well in contention for yet another season. The Warriors have won the first two games of their series with the Rockets, largely due to the help of Durant, who has scored at will on any defender put in front of him.

In the Western Conference, other than the Rockets who will most likely get eliminated by the Warriors in the second round, the third-seeded Portland Trail Blazers have the best chance to defeat the Warriors and advance to the NBA Finals. The Trail Blazers, led by star point guard Damian Lillard and shooting guard C.J. McCollum will try to guide their team to a victory over the number two-seeded Denver Nuggets first. If the Blazers can get past the Nuggets, they then will attempt to pull off a potential upset over the defending champions in the Western Conference Finals. Lillard has been stellar in the playoffs, averaging 31.1 points, 5.7 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game according to ESPN. Alongside this incredible stat line in the playoffs, Lillard has also been clutch in the Trail Blazers’ quest for glory, already hitting a buzzer beater against the Oklahoma City Thunder to send the Blazers to the second round.

In the Eastern Conference, the top two seeds may have the best chance to make the NBA Finals. Both the Milwaukee Bucks (one-seed) and Toronto Raptors (two-seed) have the star players needed to win an NBA championship. The Bucks, led by MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo and filled with role players like Eric Bledsoe, Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez, will look to defeat a young Boston Celtics team. With a victory over the Celtics, the Bucks would either face off against a Raptors team also filled with role players, alongside star Kawhi Leonard, or play the Eastern Conference Finals against the Philadelphia 76ers.

As to the essential question… can anyone beat the Warriors? My answer is no… or, at least not at this point. I have yet to see a team that can match the intensity and passion the Warriors can bring to the table. Only time will tell if anyone can accomplish the daunting task of beating one of the greatest teams ever assembled.