Preview: 2022 NBA playoffs are fast approaching



The Phoenix Suns have been the best team in the NBA all season all season long and will look to get back to the NBA Finals after losing to Milwaukee last year.

CADEN SHEA, Sports Editor

The NBA regular season is quietly coming to an end, which can only mean one thing: the NBA playoffs are approaching. Many teams have been working the whole season just for this moment. Stars will be made, legendary moments will occur and a champion will be crowned. It’s time to look at some of the most intriguing teams and stories that will emerge from the playoffs. 

The Western Conference is led by the defending conference champions, the Phoenix Suns. This Suns team has the best record in the league (by a lot) with a current record of 62-16. They have looked like the most dominant force in the league led by Devin Booker, Chris Paul and Deandre Ayton. Don’t be surprised if they make another deep run in the tournament this year, possibly capped off holding the trophy. A surprising team is in the No. 2 slot in the West: the Memphis Grizzlies. The Grizzlies went from being a team that routinely missed the NBA Playoffs to being one of the best teams in the league. Led by all-star point guard Ja Morant, the Grizzlies look to become one of the teams to watch out for in the future. 

The No. 3 slot in the West belongs to the Golden State Warriors. This team has been plagued with injuries the whole year. When one star player comes back, it seems like another one gets injured. Despite all this, the Warriors are sitting at the No. 3 slot in their conference. If players like Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson can be healthy by the start of the playoffs, this will be one team that will definitely be a must-watch. The last team in the West that has definitely clinched a playoff spot so far is the Dallas Mavericks. With players like Luka Doncic, Spencer Dinwiddie and Jalen Brunson, this team is dynamic and fun to watch. Doncic is a guy that can elevate his team to win on any given night. The Mavericks are looking very good at the No. 4 spot.

There are a bunch of teams in the West that are still trying to make it, whether that be clinching a playoff spot or getting into the play-in tournament. These teams are the Denver Nuggets, the Utah Jazz, the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Los Angeles Clippers, the New Orleans Pelicans, the San Antonio Spurs, in that order. One of the most surprising teams on this list is the Lakers. This team was hailed as a super team going into the regular season, boasting players like LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook, but were officially eliminated from playoff contention on April 5, completing one of the most disappointing seasons in the history of the franchise. 

The Eastern Conference is also very competitive at this time. The Miami Heat are currently in control at the No. 1 seed. Boasting players like Tyler Herro, Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry, this team looks to get back in the championship this year. Not far behind them, however, are the Jayson Tatum-led Boston Celtics. This team has been very chippy and have earned every game to get them to this point. This Celtics team will be very fun to watch in every game they play in these playoffs, but the current NBA champions are not far behind them, however. The Milwaukee Bucks are looking to defend their crown against anyone who tries to take it from them. The Bucks are captained by a once-in-a-generation player in the form of Giannis Atntetokounmpo who is wanting to keep his championship and legacy in these playoffs. 

The East is filled with competition throughout the playoffs. The new-look 76ers team with James Harden and Joel Embiid are sitting at the No. 4 seed and could also be true contenders. The Chicago Bulls have been the surprise story of this whole tournament with players like DeMar DeRozan and Zach Lavine stepping up and playing incredible basketball. 

The NBA play-in tournament begins on April 12 and will determine the No. 7 and 8 seeds in each conference, with the playoffs beginning on April 16. This season has a lot of intriguing storylines and will be interesting to see how things unfold over the course of the next few months.