NBA Playoffs Take Place
The 2021 playoffs are much different than the 2020 playoffs. The 2020 playoffs had to be in a special bubble in Orlando, Florida. They had COVID-19 guidelines, rules, and COVID tests everyday. The 2021 playoffs are so much different because COVID numbers are going down, people are getting their vaccine, and the playoffs aren’t in the bubble. The 76ers, Suns, Nets, Nuggets, Bucks, Hawks, Clippers, and the Jazz all advanced to the second round.
The first round had some competitive series, and some not so competitive series. The 76ers led by Tobias Harris and Joel Embiid beat the Wizards 4-1.The Suns led by Devin Booker and Chris Paul beat the Lakers 4-2. The Nets, led by James Harden and Kevin Durant, beat the Celtics 4-1. Nuggets led by Nikola Jokic and Michael Porter Jr beat the TrailBlazers 4-2. The Bucks led by Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton beat the Heat 4-0. The Hawks led by Trae Young and John Collins beat the Knicks 4-1. The Clippers led by Paul George and Kawhi Leonard beat the Mavericks 4-3. The Jazz led by Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert beat the Grizzlies 4-1.
The 2021 playoffs had a lot of great players showcasing their true talents. Some of the players that showed their clutch talents in the playoffs were Damian Lillard, averaging 34.3 points per game even though they lost the series to the Nuggets. Devin Booker averaged 27.1 points per game with the series win over the Lakers. Donovan Mitchell averaged 31.8 points per game with the series win against the Grizzlies. Trae Young averaged 28.9 points per game with the series win against the Knicks. Giannis Antetokounmpo averaged 24.3 points per game with the series win over the Heat. Tobias Harris averaged 23.9 points per game in the series win over the Wizards. Kevin Durant averaged 32.0 points per game with the dominant series win against the Celtics.
The NBA knew it was going to be a challenge to get through all of the games without a large COVID outbreak happening. David Weiss, the NBA’s senior vice president of player matters stated “At the same time, the virus keeps changing, so what we have to do keeps changing.”The NBA does not announce whether a player has been sidelined because of a positive COVID test because of exposure to someone who has tested positive. In the case that the player tested positive, the player will be out for a number of days based on his level of exposure, often a week or more. The NBA can never tell when there is going to be an outbreak, and if there were to be one, what would they do in the playoffs.
The 2021 playoffs are off to a strong start. The league has been a much safer place since players, coaches, and staff have been getting the vaccine. Even with no bubble for the playoffs, there haven't been outbreaks or even a single player that has tested positive for COVID-19. There is much more to come in the 2021 playoffs, and we can’t wait to see what happens.