It feels like last NBA season just ended, and just like that, another one has come and gone. The Lakers hoisted the trophy Oct. 11 and then seven weeks later opened their regular season, which ended Sunday. It was basically two years rolled into one with a quick catnap in between. Injuries, rest, blowouts and, yes, the dreaded “health and safety protocols” are why this season will be remembered, even if we’d prefer it be forgotten.
Sunday provided a great sports day, with the Stanley Cup playoffs underway and the NBA giving us an NFL Week 17 vibe with all the machinations and scenarios that were viable. The NBA might go a long time without getting as lucky as it got this year, as the play-in round was given a jolt by sheer luck. The Wizards-Hornets and Warriors-Grizzlies matchups meant both conferences had direct play-ins to the actual play-ins. The Warriors and Wizards not only clinched No. 8 seeds with their victories, but both went Over their closing season win totals by a half-game. The Warriors had been 33-33 with a win total of 38.5, so they needed to run the table and defeat the Jazz and Suns en route to finish the season 6-0 and cash the Over. The Wizards started 3-12, overcame a two-week layoff and completed a furious rally to reward Over bettors with a trip to the window. For a wager on a 72-game season, Wizards bettors’ sweat came down to the last minute of the last game. Sunday was a delightful appetizer to what should be a five-star meal, a postseason with fans and home courts back in play. Let’s take a look at what these playoffs have to offer.