Published: Sun, April 14, 2019
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Kevin Durant Blasts His Haters For Questioning His Move To Warriors

Kevin Durant Blasts His Haters For Questioning His Move To Warriors

Can any team stop the Warriors? The Sixers are a favorite to claim the East title, but it will be hard to accomplish that feat without their biggest star.

DeMarcus Cousins will play in his first-ever postseason. Jusuf Nurkić's injury is a huge blow to Portland, and the team's 7-2 record after his injury is deceiving, as the Blazers actually went 1-2 against playoff teams in that time. Boston has been everything but consistent during the regular season and lack defensive tenacity without Smart.

The Warriors, of course, haven't just been going to the postseason every year, but getting all the way to the finals once they do.

And then there's the rematch from a year ago: The fourth-seeded Houston Rockets against the fifth-seeded Utah Jazz.

These two teams have history dating back to 2014, when Golden State took the Clippers to seven games in the first-round playoff season. On the other hand, Golden State has historically been great at home in Round 1, covering 10 of their previous 14 contests. But behind a historic scoring season by James Harden, Houston still has one of the strongest defenses in the league, anchored by a switchable Clint Capela and an extremely versatile P.J. Tucker.

With Kevin Durant's free agency decision looming, the Warriors star opened up about his time with the Warriors and explained he gave up a lot to play with the defending back-to-back champions.

However, this postseason is shaping up to be much different. He leads his team in nearly every statistical category while playing only 33 minutes per game.

Or Toronto, humiliated by the Cavaliers in the last two years but armed now with a former NBA Finals MVP in Kawhi Leonard. They've been overlooked all season, and I can't wait to watch them face off against Philly and probably Milwaukee, but their first-round matchup with Orlando won't be quite as riveting.

Although the Rockets are a 4th seed, they're the 2nd best team in the Conference. His version of the Bucks have averaged more points and more attempts from beyond the arc than any other team - and that includes the shot-happy Warriors.

You shouldn't expect any surprises in the first round as the talent of the top 4 seeds is far greater than the remainder of the conference, but the fireworks will start in the later rounds. Dirk Nowitzki and Dwyane Wade finished their legendary careers, while rising stars Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokic and Luka Doncic proved that they can be dominant enough when it counts.

The East is even more split.

Still, underestimate the Celtics at your peril. It will be interesting to see which of them step up under pressure and lead their team to the NBA Finals.

5 reasons the Milwaukee Bucks can win the National Basketball Association championship: Micah Wimmer over at The Step Back offered up his five reasons for why the Bucks could win it all this season. For the Celtics, it is all about the destination, rather than the uncomfortable journey they have been on in recent months. He wanted what Golden State had, and he decided that whatever negativity followed him along the way that he was going to get that type of success. They're typically based on an end-of-season outcome.

There's Milwaukee, with Giannis Antetokounmpo in position to exit June fully atop the National Basketball Association with a title and an MVP award. The Rockets shoot threes at an unprecedented rate, while Utah is the best in the league at limiting 3-point attempts.

Brook Lopez has been the iron man and two-way anchor for injury-riddled Bucks this season: Also of the Journal Sentinel, Matt Velazquez touched on the stabilizing presence Brook Lopez has been for the Bucks throughout the season as well as providing some other news and notes heading into the team's final game of the regular season.

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