THURSDAY APRIL 27, 2017
 
Blog SPORTS EXTRAS
THE 2016 NBA PLAYOFFS HAVE ARRIVED
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The start of the 2016 NBA playoffs were almost anti-climactic, given the amazing final night of regular-season play. Almost ... but, not quite.

Sure, Steph Curry and the entire Warriors squad took Golden State to the most historic season of all time with 73 wins and just 9 losses to smash the record set by the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls.

And, yes, Kobe Bryant had an unforgettable last night of his career that left many a spectator in tears and the crowd in the arena fairly hysterical, as he scored an amazing 60 points to end his illustrious career with signature flair.

But while that all did happen, it can’t eclipse the excitement of postseason play, with great match-ups that are sure to get the adrenalin flowing. The final eight teams in the Western Conference are Golden State, who are facing the Houston Rockets; the San Antonio Spurs who are taking on the Memphis Grizzlies; the Dallas Mavericks vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder; and the Los Angeles Clippers, who are vying with the Portland Trail Blazers. In the East, the Cleveland Cavaliers are staring down the Detroit Pistons; the Toronto Raptors are hoping to beat the Indiana Pacers; the Miami Heat is going head to head against the Charlotte Hornets; and the Atlantic Hawks go against the Boston Celtics.

Just as Golden State is expected to take the series from Houston, so are the outstanding Spurs expected to send the Grizzlies packing with ease. No one is anticipating too much suspense regarding the outcome of those two match-ups, though both the Grizzlies and the Rockets could take a game from their far-superior opponents if the Warriors or the Spurs have an off night. Regular-season statistics point to the strong Oklahoma City team coming out on top of the Dallas Mavericks, while the Clippers-Trail Blazers series could be more interesting. Although LA is expected to win with ease, the series could still supply a few twists and turns if Portland digs deep and pulls out some magic.

The No. 1 team in the East, the Cleveland Cavaliers, is nowhere near as dominating as Golden State, but LeBron and the Cavs are still expected to make short shrift of the up-and-coming Detroit Pistons. The #2 seed in the Eastern Conference, the Toronto Raptors, is not the strongest of teams, though they are still expected to come out ahead in their series against the Pacers. But playoff history isn't on Toronto's side. The Heat and the Hornets could supply one of the most suspenseful series, as the two teams are pretty evenly matched and the outcome could go either way, although pundits are given a slight edge to the Heat. Finally, the contest between the Atlantic Hawks and the Boston Celtics, the No. 4 and No. 5 seeds, respectively, in the East, is anyone’s guess.

So will Golden State be meeting the Cavs in the Finals – again - and will Steph Curry take home the MVP - again? Those are the questions on everyone’s mind… Regardless of what happens, though, you can enjoy some great sports wagering at the William Hill basketball betting page, where placing a bet is a cinch and where hassle-free online gambling is what it’s all about. 

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