Crunch Time in the NBA
Crunch Time in the NBA
The NBA playoffs are the biggest thing in American sport this spring as the top eight teams from each conference battle for supremacy. So far fifteen teams have booked their place, with only one berth still up for grabs. In the Western Conference the Minnesota Timberwolves and Denver Nuggets will fight it out for the eighth spot in that conference. And they’ll do so by playing each other.
In the Eastern Conference the Toronto Raptors have secured top spot and will be guaranteed a playoff against the eighth-ranked side, which will either be the Miami Heat or the Washington Wizards. The Boston Celtics are a comfortable second and so will also either play the Heat or the Wizards. You can catch a preview of that possible match-up on Kwesé Free Sports: Wizards vs Celtics (KFS, 11 April at 2:00 CAT).
In the West it’s all about the Houston Rockets, who’ve been powered into clear top spot by James Harden, who has one hand on this year’s MVP trophy. The Golden State Warriors are comfortably in second spot and are odds on to play the Rockets in the Western Conference Championships. Although there’s some way to go before then. Remember that playoffs are decided over the best of seven games. The four better-ranked teams enjoy the advantage of playing the first two games of the series at home and then having an extra home game, should it come to that.
In the Eastern Conference the Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers and Cleveland Cavaliers have secured the top four spots and therefore will kick-off their series at home. From an African perspective there’s much to celebrate in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Look out for Semi Ojeleye (Boston Celtics); Serge Ibaka, Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby (Toronto Raptors); Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor (Philadelphia 76ers).
Things are a little more fluid in the Western Conference in terms of the third and fourth spot and that’s why not many pundits are betting against a Rockets-Warriors Conference Final. Which is also good news for African viewers, with the Rockets boasting some exciting African talent: Clint Capela, Luc Mbah a Moute and Chinanu Onuaku.
While we’re not sure for now who will be playing whom in the playoffs, tune in to Kwesé Free Sports on 14 April to catch the first game (NBA Playoffs, KFS, 14 April at 23:30 CAT). And on 15 April we bring you a bunch more games on Kwesé Sports 1, with games starting at 21:00 CAT.
Kwesé Sports will be there for the entire playoffs, bringing you all the big games LIVE. Note that the Conference semifinals (also best of seven) start at the end of April, with the finals starting middle of May (best of seven). The Finals best of seven begins end of May.