How Coronavirus Has Derailed the Sports World (Part 1)


Matthew Swanenburg, Staff Writer

April 18th should have been the start of one of the greatest events sports has to offer: the NBA Playoffs. But instead, everyone is stuck at home, social distancing with nothing but old re-runs on T.V. As the days keep passing, it’s becoming more and more likely that we never see a champion crowned this season in the NBA, leaving the rest of the season up to imagination. Any person’s prediction could be right. Any wild or crazy theory will never be proven wrong. Instead we are left with endless speculation. And, since there isn’t anything better to do, let’s do some speculation too. Assuming the playoffs started on April 18th and seeding remained the same as it was when the season was postponed, here is how I would have seen the playoffs going down.

Round 1:

1 seed Los Angeles Lakers vs. 8 seed Memphis Grizzlies

My prediction: Lakers- 4, Grizzlies- 0

This should not come as a surprise for anyone. The Lakers boast two top five players in the league, in LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and have a defense capable of stifling most, if not every, team. The Lakers also have great options off the bench, like veteran big man Dwight Howard, NBA Champion point guard Rajon Rondo and young forward Kyle Kuzma. The Grizzlies have a lot of young, flashy talent and a great coach, but this team is nothing more than a great story. A team that exceeded every expectation and should be extremely pleased with their future led by rookie point guard Ja Morant.


2 seed Los Angeles Clippers vs. 7 seed Dallas Mavericks

My prediction: Clippers- 4, Mavericks- 1

The poor Dallas Mavericks. They’ve played better than a seven seed all year. But injuries made them plummet from a top four seed to a team facing one of the toughest opponents in the league. The Clippers have not had a whole lot of experience together, with many injuries throughout the season, but when they are all healthy, they are undefeated. They’ve beaten the top seeded Lakers two times this season, and neither time were they at full strength. And while the Mavericks boast a historically good offensive efficiency, that will most likely not cut it against the great Clippers and their deep roster. With all- NBA defenders like Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Patrick Beverly and Marcus Morris, this team is versatile enough to contain most stars in the league. Sophomore phenom Luka Dončić has already solidified himself as a top 10 player in the league, but we don’t know if he can raise his game to another level in the Playoffs. He has some good players on his supporting cast like big man Kristaps Porzingis and guard Tim Hardaway Jr., but it’s nothing compared to the depth of the Clippers.


3 seed Denver Nuggets vs. 6 seed Houston Rockets

My prediction: Rockets- 4, Nuggets-2

The Nuggets may have the better record and homecourt advantage in this lineup, but the Rockets’ firepower is undeniable. With former MVP’s like Russell Westbrook and James Harden, this team will be too much to handle. The Nuggets are led by great offensive player Nikola Jokic, but the Rockets’ up and down style would be too much for a team with only a few legitimate offensive threats. Too much would have to go right for the Nuggets to take this series away from the Rockets.


4 seed Jazz vs 5 seed Thunder

My prediction: Thunder- 4, Jazz- 2

This is another upset that really wouldn’t be a shock. The Thunder had a rough start to the season, but since then they have been on par record wise with teams like the Lakers and Clippers. They have four of the top six late game performers in Chris Paul, Shai Gilgeous- Alexander, Danilo Gallinari and Dennis Schröder and have a very solid big man in Steve Adams to hold down the paint. The Jazz have shown flashes of excellence, but the sustained success of the Thunder has me leaning towards them.