Finals season

Isa Luzarraga, Entertainment Editor

The deafening cacophony of 17,000 spectators screaming drowns out the squeaks of sneakers on the hardwood. From the sideline, frantic coaches yell for a timeout, to foul on the next possession, anything to ensure their team moves on in the Playoffs. As the seconds tick by on the scoreboard, the game is a complete blur. Once that buzzer sounds, only one team will achieve the greatest accomplishment of their career, an NBA championship.

Larry Bird, former Celtics star forward and three-time MVP, has uttered many famous words. None perhaps as iconic as these referencing the NBA playoffs.

“Push yourself again and again. Don’t give an inch until that buzzer sounds.”

Bird’s words exemplify the difficulties teams have to overcome on their path to the Finals. The 2019 NBA Playoffs have brought some quality games to the viewing audience, despite the absence of big star LeBron James.

The highlight of the first round has to be the Denver Nuggets vs. the San Antonio Spurs series. Going all the way to Game 7, fans saw a close game filled with controversy at its close.

As we approach conference finals, one can’t help but make a few notable observations. Had the Denver Nuggets won their Game 7 against Portland, they would’ve made it to the Western Conference finals for the first time in a decade.

The Nuggets have a young team filled to the brim with talent and potential. 24-year-old forward Nikola Jokic is leading Denver with an average well over 20 points in the Playoffs. Which makes it even more disappointing that the Portland Trailblazers beat the Nuggets in Game 7.

That leaves us with Portland vs. Golden State in the Western Conference final. With sharpshooters Steph Curry and Klay Thomp- son battling young gun CJ McCollum off his 37 point performance in the semifinal, it is sure to be a series any basketball fan would hate to miss.

Looking at the other side of the bracket, I’m hoping for a Toronto Raptors win over the #1 seed Milwaukee Bucks. Being a die hard Kawhi Leonard fan, I think his leadership and skill along with the help of center Marc Gasol could help the Raptors achieve a spot in the Finals. After his fall-away, game winning jumper to beat the Philadelphia 76er’s in Game 7, it was clear that Leonard will continue to be the spark plug the Raptors need to win the title.

But who knows? Milwaukee is another young team with guard Giannis Antetokounmpo averaging over 25 points in the Playoffs so far. Regardless of the outcome, a #1 and #2 seed battling it out in the Conference Final promises an always interesting series.

Ideally, this NBA fan wants to see the Trailblazers and the Raptors battle it out for the title, with Toronto ultimately winning. Mostly I just want two former San Antonio Spurs coming away with rings.

Whatever happens, one thing’s for sure, me and millions of others around the country will be watching another piece of NBA history fall into place.