The NBA playoffs are a month in, and a couple of surprises have happened so far.
Let’s discuss the remaining four teams and their chances of winning the NBA Championship.
It seems as though at least once a year, a team goes on a Cinderella run to make the final four.
This year, the Mavericks are on a surprising run, eliminating the Jazz and Suns to make it this far.
The Mavericks began the first round as underdogs, missing their star player in Luka Doncic for the first few games. However, they held their own in his absence and were able to eliminate the Jazz in six games.
Doncic and the Mavericks found themselves in a 0-2 deficit against the Suns, who boasted the best record in the league. They managed to tie the series 3-3 and blow out the Suns in an away game to win the series.
They are now up against the Warriors, who will be their greatest challenge yet. The Mavericks will put up a strong fight, but it is hard to see them advancing to the finals.
The Miami Heat have been enjoying a relatively easy run thus far.
They dismantled the Hawks in five games and knocked out the 76ers in six games. They now have home court advantage for the Conference Finals, which will be huge.
As the first seed, the Heat have been taking care of business. Despite having the best record in the East, they were still doubted due to their early exit last year.
They are proving those doubters wrong, and being led by Jimmy Butler and his current playoff surge, the Heat are a legitimate threat to win it all.
The Boston Celtics entered the playoffs as underdogs, despite being a second seed.
Many expected them to be knocked out by the Nets. Jayson Tatum and the Celtics swept the Nets, which has been the only sweep in these playoffs so far.
Next, they faced the two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks.
The Celtics fell into a 2-3 hole against the reigning champions, but managed to win the next two games.
They are now up against the Miami Heat, finding themselves in the same position as two years ago. They were defeated by the Heat in the Conference Finals back in 2020, and look to get revenge.
The Celtics can potentially win it all this year, and the winner of this Celtics-Heat series seems like a toss up.
Golden State Warriors
The Warriors have not faced too much adversity in these playoffs, eliminating the Nuggets and Grizzlies.
They did so in five and six games, respectively. They are now the heavy favorites to defeat the Mavericks and head to their sixth finals in eight seasons.
Led by Stephen Curry, the Warriors have tons of scoring that can overwhelm any team, making it nearly impossible to topple them when they get hot. Their defense is not subpar either, making them the biggest threat to win it all.
Expect Curry and the Warriors to win their fourth title since 2015.