NBA PLAYOFFS POWER RANKING

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Let’s suppose the playoffs had power rankings right now, shall we… Heading into the playoffs, the Houston Rockets were clearly ready for takeoff, a lackadaisical group of Warriors was looking like anybody’s picking (didn’t expect that to last though), and a youthful, hormone-charged Sixers team was taking on all comers and that was just 3 out of the 16 teams.

Where were we with those rankings?

Interestingly, the first 12 spots of the power rankings were occupied by playoff teams, with the Denver Nuggets being the only party crasher. Houston led the power rankings closing out the regular season, followed by the Raptors. The Raptors took the top seed in the East and were the only team to feature in the top five of both offensive and defensive ratings. Both teams have taken the balling world by dunks this season, dispelling talks of an easy Warriors v. Cavaliers IV. The Warriors lost 10 of their last 17 games in the regular season, with their chef and captain, Stephen Curry out for most of the final stretch due to injury. The defense was a huge concern for the Warriors coming into the playoffs, while everything except LeBron James (GOAT) was a problem for Cleveland.

But it’s the playoffs, so what’s happening??!

Through the first round of games in each series, the clear leaders of the playoff rankings would be the Warriors. “Strength in Numbers” is not just a mantra for these Warriors, it is a way of playing basketball and a culture that animates them. With Curry out, the team waived Omri Casspi and brought in two-way talent Quin Cook, but coach Kerr had other plans which have so far paid humongous dividends as they lead San Antonio 3-0. Andre Iguodala has been sensational at point guard, while JaVale McGee looks poised for a special playoff run. Durant and Thompson have been simply sizzling hot. The Warriors have the best defensive rating and assists to boot but will have to do something about the nagging turnover numbers.

The Philadelphia Sixers will come in second place, if not for the fact that they shot lights out in game 1 (64% from 3-pt), then for the fact that they broke multiple franchise records I that game, and looked like a veteran playoff team on a mission. Ben Simmons only reinforced the talk about him being a prodigy, and even with Embiid out, the team didn’t miss a beat, dropping a cool 130 pts on the icy Miami Heat team (game 2 was another story though). The Raptors are a close third, just barely wading off the Paul George-led Oklahoma City, who let Westbrook take a back seat as he powered the Thunder to a statement win against Utah.

It was a VICTOR-Y! as the Pacers sped past the Cavs in a win that shocked everyone except Oladipo and his Pacers teammates. Toronto has become a volume team this year and their bench collectively deserves the sixth man of the year (in our eyes), they tore through a Wizards team that got in its own way with poor shooting, while the other games were pretty close, with the Celtics going down to the OT wire against the Bucks.

Here’s our ranking

Golden State Warriors (3-0)
Philadelphia 76ers (1-1)
Indiana Pacers (1-0)
Oklahoma City Thunder (1-0)
Toronto Raptors (1-0)
Houston Rockets (1-0)
New Orleans Pelicans (1-0)
Boston Celtics (1-0)
Miami Heat (1-1)
Minnesota Timberwolves (0-1)
Cleveland Cavaliers (0-1)
Portland Trailblazers (0-1)
Washington Wizards (0-1)
Milwaukee Bucks (0-1)
Utah Jazz (0-1)
San Antonio Spurs (0-3)

But HEEEY, it’s only been one game, we are not getting too carried away just yet.