The NBA Playoffs are Here

2 mins read

By Hezzy Benson ’26 and Thomas Vo ’25

We at the Highlander Newspaper decided to take a look at who the strongest contenders are for this year’s edition of the NBA Playoffs, and consider the must-watch series on both the East and the West.

Eastern Conference

In the East, five teams have clinched their own playoff positions, being the Milwaukee Bucks, the Boston Celtics, the Philadelphia 76ers, the Knicks, and the Cleveland Cavaliers. It’s hard to ignore a potential Sixers-Nets matchup and to turn away from the noise Giannis always seems to make in the playoffs, but we’ve chosen the Knicks vs the Cavs as the must-see series in the east. 

Series to Watch-

Knicks vs Cavs

From a Knicks’ side, Brunson must be a leader of the team and bring everyone else up to the level he can achieve. Though Randle is currently out, more time will be available for Obi Toppin to make some noise, and the stage is also set for Canada’s RJ Barrett to have the breakthrough he always seems so close to having. Immanuel Quickley is also a contender for the sixth man of the year. IQ’s precision and devastating pace, dancing and prancing toward the hoop is unique, and when he gets on a run, he is unstoppable. A backcourt of Brunson and IQ is -physically speaking- modest, but they can outscore Donovan Mitchell together easily. It will be up to this very potent Knicks side to get something going- and I bet they will.

Western Conference

Meanwhile, in the West, only three teams have clinched their own playoff positions, the Denver Nuggets, Memphis Grizzlies, and Sacramento Kings. Nikola Jokic of the Nuggets is also on the list for the possible “MVP”. The young Grizzlies are constructing their core much more substantially than before as they won their last 5 games in a row. Ja Morant, despite the hardships encountered this season, reinforces the potent offense for the team. The most exciting team to be looking forward to in the playoffs is the Sacramento Kings since this is the first time since ‘06 that they acquired first place for a playoff berth. 

Series to Watch-

Kings vs Warriors

Having won last year’s NBA championship, the Warriors are hungrier for this year’s ring to complete their second back-to-back under coach Steve Kerr. Currently, Andrew Wiggins, a talented small forward, is out due to personal issues. However, it is reported that he will soon return to join the offensive force for the Golden States. The Warriors’ big 3 consisting of Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, and Stephen Curry have proven to prepare themselves for the challenging contest. With Jordan Poole, Donte DiVincenzo, and their former player signing, Gary Payton II, the Warriors are looking forward to defeating every opponent. 

On the other hand, the Sacramento Kings with the starting rosters of De’Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis, Kevin Huerter, Keegan Murray, and Harrison Barnes, are looking more frightening than ever. In addition, they have a young and skilled bench with talented players. Having clinched their first playoff berth since ‘06, the Kings are not going easy on anybody. 
This year’s NBA championship is promising!

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