National Basketball Association playoffs kick off

The Nuggets and Timberwolves played a win and you're in game last night.                     Image Jim Mone  PA Images

Here are a few that stand out from this past weekend's games.

Junior journalism major Ian Jackson realized this and believed that Golden State will win a second straight championship.

The NBA regular season has come to a close, and the league is set to kickstart the playoffs.

Milwaukee has a lot of reasons to feel optimistic after Game 1. In addition, they also have Klay Thompson, another solid shooting guard. How Washington faced the unexpected is a testament to the resiliency and inner strength of this team.

"We're not satisfied", Casey said.

In the absence of Kawhi Leonard, Aldridge led the San Antonio Spurs all season but just like last season in the Conference Finals, he didn't show up in this Game 1 against the Golden State Warriors.

The Canadian team, lead by Demar DeRozen and Kyle Lowry, got most of their success due to their much improved defense.

Wednesday's final night of the regular season was well beyond dramatic - an overtime game between Minnesota and Denver to decide the last berth, another overtime game between Miami and Toronto to determine some East fates, a 46-point first quarter by Philadelphia, an absurd 20-rebound, 19-assist night from Russell Westbrook. The 76ers should be a year or two away from being a real championship contender. Or the Greek Freak's supporting cast, arguably better than last year's Bucks that put a scare into Toronto, steps their game up and gives the man some help.

Yes, Lillard and McCollum got going as Portland's game against New Orleans wore on Saturday night.

April 13, 2016: The Sixers finish the season with a 10-72 record, the worst in the National Basketball Association and the franchise's fewest wins in 43 years.

And he had never lost the first game of a first-round series during his 15-year career.

They match up well with the Bucks, having several big strong wing players that could disrupt Giannis Antetokounmpo in James Johnson and Justise Winslow.

The Thunder have been a middle-of-the-road defensive team since losing Andre Roberson in January, and that figures to make the difference here - the Rockets will shoot 35-40 3-pointers per game against OKC, a team that has allowed opponents to make 39.1 percent of their 3s over their final 25 games. But that was only one game.

- Players to Watch: LeBron James, Kevin Love, Rodney Hood (Cleveland); Victor Oladipo, Myles Turner, Thaddeus Young (Pacers).

Oladipo said it best postgame: "We're fully aware of LeBron. and we realize it's not going to be easy, but that doesn't mean we're going to come in here and just fold".

IN was in control from the outset, opening a 21-point lead in the first quarter and leading by 23 in the third. Cleveland had no rhythm offensively and finished shooting 38.5 percent from the field and 23.5 percent from beyond the arc in Game 1. When KAT received the ball in the post against the Rockets, he averaged 1.34 points per possession - and that's not necessarily just against Harden.

The Jazz were prepared for the moment, but OKC proved to have too much firepower. The Thunder were the talk of the town after the offseason additions of forwards Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. Aside from those two, Houston did not look like its normal self. But an Eastern Conference title isn't out of the question, especially considering Boston is guaranteed home-court advantage for at least two rounds. So how did he only have nine shots in Minnesota's 104-101 loss to Houston on Sunday? Anunoby hasn't been one of those rookies whose numbers jump off the page at you, but he was stellar in Game 1 for Toronto.

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