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My Kings tonight are finally clinching a playoff spot for the first time in 16 years, ending the longest active playoff drought in NA pro sports. None of my students have a memory of when the Kings weren’t losers. I’ve waited so long 😭
 
As an aside: I have no animosity towards the Jets or Jets fans. But I think it would be funny if Aaron Rodgers - after forcing a trade to the Jets - would still end up missing the playoffs with them. Boo Aaron Rodgers boooooo!

NBA playoff picture is coming into focus, and it's going to be a really interesting post-season. There's no one team that's the obvious runaway favorite in either conference. Which is not how this usually goes. Some people might think that's boring or bad but I think it's awesome. Parity is good. Feeling like your team actually has a chance is good. The NFL thrives on parity, I'll never understand why some NBA talking heads insist on dynasties being good for basketball.

Kings seem pretty firmly locked into the 3-seed, which means they could face any one of like 5-6 teams depending on how the bottom half of the playoff bracket shakes out. Nobody in the West appears to be all that dominant or invulnerable either. Normally you would assume a young team without playoff experience wouldn't go very far, but this year anything can happen! I think the scariest team in the West is the Grizzlies, just because of how hard they play. But they have a number of injuries to key players, and who tf knows what will happen with Ja Morant. The Nuggets are also scary, but they've been in a slump this entire month; their defense sucks; and you can just attack Jokic relentlessly and stand a good chance of winning. I think the Kings have split the series with the Nuggets so far this season. As of right now, the first round matchup will be versus the Warriors, who so far look like the most pathetic title-defenders this side of the 2011 Mavs. You can't ever count Steph out, but the Kings should be able to get 4Ws here so long as they don't hit the world's worst cold streak.

If I had to put money down on any one team, I'd say the Bucks will probably win it all. The three best teams in the league are in the East. The Sixers are good, but Embiid is slow, their team isn't deep, and Doc Rivers is a hilariously awful coach. The Celtics peaked early in the season and they're kind of borderline spiraling right now. The Bucks are scary and this is probably a better team than the Bucks team that won the championship a few years ago. But injuries will be key for them; they've got some injury prone players and if any one of them goes down they'll be vulnerable.

Only additional thing I have to say is that it's disgusting to watch the league fixing games to get the Lakers into the postseason. The FT disparity in every Lakers game is nausea-inducing. I don't remember the exact stats off the top of my head, but it's something ridiculous. To the effect of: since the all-star break, the Lakers are averaging double the number of FT attempts/game than the next most team. This is why nobody trusts you, NBA! This is why you aren't more popular! People don't want to watch fixed games!
 

Violentvixen

(She/Her)
This LSU-Iowa game is intense

Edit: Dang, Carson just hit the three to end the half, she is insane, apparently she's 5/5 on threes in the first half?!
 
I dunno if any of y'all watching the NBA Playoffs, but so far the First Round has been utter madness and some of the most glorious basketball I've seen in a while. In just the last week we've seen:

- Jimmy Butler and the Zombie-Heat go full beat-mode and, as an 8-seed, knock off the 1-seed Bucks. This is despite this year's Bucks being a better team than the one that won the championship a few years ago. Giannis was hurt through some of the games, but Jimmy Beans was playing out of his freaking mind. He basically looked like prime MJ.

- The 7-seed Lakers just completely humble and oblitherate the 2-seed Grizzles. A team who I was the most afraid of in the entire Western Conference. Lebron is 38.5 years old, and is playing like he hasn't missed a step, it's absolutely insane. This isn't supposed to happen in Basketball. And Anthony Davis looks like AD again which is terrifying.

- The Suns and Clippers had a really good matchup before the Clippers got hurt. Suns might be the favorites to win it all at this point as long as their team can stay healthy. They're a superteam, they just don't have much depth, but they might not need it. Them going against the Nuggets next round is going to be a crazy matchup.

- The Knicks are feisty and this might be the best/most exciting Knicks team since the 90s. That matchup against the Zombie-Heat is going to be very interesting.

- Boston vs Philly in the 2nd Round is potentially going to be an ECF-tier matchup. The Sixers are a flawed team but they're playing with a lot of heart. Boston is a way better team on paper, but they peaked early in the season and are not playing with any heart so it's anyone's guess how this will turn out.

And last but not least:

The Kings/Warriors series has been the best first round series I've seen since the We Believe Warriors. Probably better tbh. The Kings and the Warriors have never been in the playoffs at the same time, let alone played against each other. There's real animosity and rivalry between the fanbases. To say the play has been hard and 'chippy' would be an understatement. The Warriors are not the same team that won the championship last year, but they're still tough and play with a ton of swag. I don't know the last time I've hated a player as much as Draymond Green (not just sports-hate but real hate) and he's playing like it's 2015 again which is painful to be on the other side of. Curry is Curry. The rest of the roster is trick-or-treat. Steph in his entire carrier has never gone down 0-2 in the playoffs ever, but did this year to the Kings which is nuts. The Warriors then proceeded to win three games in a row, including a Game 4 where DeAaron Fox broke his index finger on his shooting hand. 5 of the 6 games have been close through most of regulation, and four of them have basically gone down to the last few seconds/buzzer. DeAaron Fox went from people calling him the "Worst contract in the NBA" last year to an All-NBA, MVP candidate, and won a much deserved Clutch Player of the Year Award. (First year of the award; the guy led the league in just about every clutch statistic and it wasn't even close.) This series has been a dream come true and 17 years in the making (the last time the Kings were in the playoffs lol). Earlier tonight, the Kings, after losing 3 straight, ran the defending champs off the floor in an elimination game on the road. Absolutely insane stuff.

Game 7 is on Sunday at 3:30pm EST. I'm actually terrified and elated at the same time.
 

Violentvixen

(She/Her)
Damn, Vegas just will not go down without a fight and I'm into it.

Edit: And back to back champs! I really thought New York had it for a bit there, good game.
 
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