Biggest Winners, Losers, and Surprises of Round 1 NBA Playoffs
Round One has certainly been a special one so far. These games have been getting more entertaining day after day. I’m interested to see how everything plays out because honestly, the title is up for grabs… Here are my Winners, Losers, and Surprises of the 2023 NBA Playoffs.
Round 1 Surprises:
The Miami Heat: Wow man, no one expected Miami to win, let alone in five games. Jimmy Butler proved why he should be a Hall Of Famer and a ring would solidify it. Jimmy himself averaged 37.6 ppg against a defensive-oriented Bucks team. With the momentum, Jimmy is hungry to continue this performance. Though I don’t expect them to win it all, they’re my dark horse for this year’s Champions despite losing a very key piece in Victor Oladipo. It’ll be interesting to see how the Heat play in Round 2 against….
The New York Knicks: The New York Knicks surprised me, especially with their defensive display against the Cavs. The way they locked in and shut down Donavan Mitchell. Cutting his season average by -5.1 ppg. The series between the Heat and Knicks might be the most entertaining of the 2nd round.
The Sacramento Kings: Last time the Kings made the playoffs I wasn’t even born yet. One expected the Kings to make the playoffs let alone being a non-play-in team. Regardless of the result, they took a tough Warriors team to 7; you just can’t hate the Kings for the number of things they went through as an organization. Hopefully, this success will continue into next season.
Round 1 Winners:
Russell Westbrook: Though the Clippers couldn’t get it done, Westbrook had a great series, busting his tail on both ends of the floor. Unfortunately, Westbrook couldn’t carry the team over Phoenix. Yeah, Westbrook is aging, but the sweepstakes for Westbrook have begun as he just proved he’s still a quality player.
Anthony Edwards: Even though it sucked seeing Edwards lose to Denver, Ant played his tail off. His willingness on defense and his extraordinary confidence on the offensive side officially established him as a Superstar. He increased his average in every stat outside of rebounding and 3pt percentage;, Ant’s destined for greatness.
The Golden State Warriors: The Warriors proved that they’re ready to contend once again, their in-season success doesn’t reflect their success in the playoffs. A slight red flag of the inexperienced Kings can raise a bit of question but I wouldn’t count the Warriors out coming out of the West, Going against a tough Lakers squad I wonder who will come out on top.
Round 1 Losers:
The LA Clippers: The only thing gained from the LA Clippers run this year is that they learned it’s time to blow it up. It’s clear as day that Kawhi is honestly done. His knees have given out though he’s very productive when healthy, this team just can’t contend without him. Also with Paul George, it seems the injury bug is more apparent than ever. Both in the last year of their deal unless they take their player option, contention for the Clips is over.
The Minnesota Timberwolves: This organization is in literal shambles right now; outside of Anthony Edwards there are no bright spots. Injuries due to frustration, Karl Anthony-Towns just proving he’s not the face of the franchise and just Rudy Gobert. Their early exit this year proved despite winning this team is going in the wrong direction.
The Cleveland Cavaliers: Cleveland really disappointed me. I didn’t expect the Cavs to really go out like that. I had high hopes for a deep run, especially considering their in-season success they had going into the playoffs. But then we watched Brunson just own the Cavs organization. This team has a lot of potential but must be tapped into next season.
Rudy Gobert: Rudy Gobert is simply a cancer. Since Rudy single-handedly shut down the NBA season two years ago ever since then he has been one of if not the most hated players in the NBA. His production was just awful, his defensive prowess has been at an all-time low, mind you Minnesota traded their entire future for this guy… Rudy Gobert is not a serviceable big anymore.
The Memphis Grizzlies: In a span of 2-3 months the Grizzlies became a laughing stock because of the surrounding entitlement within this organization with a 1st round exit. The Grizzlies are very promising yet the only thing with the Grizzlies is that it’s a mental thing when it comes to them. I feel if the entire organization can lock in there’s no telling what this team can potentially do.
Dillon Brooks: Do I even need to explain Brooks? He tried to trash-talk the greatest player to ever do it in this league realizing he can’t back it up. He tries so hard to play this psychological game yet fails so hard. This portrayal of this villainous character in the league is very entertaining but with 31% shooting while playing piss-poor defense in the playoffs you have no business to speak. He needs to work on his game before he’s shipped off to Guangdong.
The NBA playoffs have already got off to a hot start full of surprises with a great season already with the potential within these playoffs this can certainly go down as one of the greatest NBA seasons of all time.