NBA season heating up in April



Gordon Hayward, 20, has proven to be a rising star for the Utah Jazz, scoring 40 points against the Clippers, alongside nine rebounds

DYLAN PADY, Sports Editor | [email protected]

The NBA playoffs are just finishing up game four of a seven game series and as of press time, the Celtics, Bulls, Rockets, Thunder, Clippers and the Jazz have yet to compete. Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles all currently possess a 2-1 lead over their opponent but that is scheduled to change before Monday morning. I still believe the Celtics will beat the Bulls, Rockets will beat the Thunder and I would be extremely content if the Jazz beat the Clippers.

The Utah Jazz won the first game of their series against Los Angeles this season. Utah’s organization had not won a playoff game since 2010 when they beat the Nuggets, 4-2. A favorite player for any Jazz fan would be Gordon Hayward, the 6’8” shooting guard who was drafted as the ninth pick in the first round of the 2010 NBA draft.

In his first couple seasons with the Jazz, Hayward averaged 16 minutes played and  just under six points scored. In his most recent regular season, Hayward averages 34.5 minutes played, 22 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists. In his most recent loss against the Clippers, Hayward had 40 points, nine rebounds, four assists and two blocks. He is not as recognized as other great players, although I find him underrated. Check him out on the court tonight as the Jazz defends their home court for game four in Salt Lake City.

In the Chicago v. Boston series, a lot of the media’s attention has gone to the Celtics and how they were going to steamroll past Chicago. After winning two games and leading the series, the media quickly changed their perspective of the Bulls and the team’s success, essentially hopping on the bandwagon. Jimmy Butler, the 6’7” shooting guard for the Bulls is an explosive player and a lot of fun to watch on the court. In this season’s playoff games, Butler has earned 66 points, 11 assists and is shooting just under .50 percent in field goals and .286 percent from downtown.

In other news, Cleveland advanced to the second round after beating the Pacers, 4-0. Warriors lead the Trailblazers 3-0, Wizards lead the Hawks 2-1, Raptors and Bucks are tied at 2-2. The Spurs and the Grizzlies are also tied 2-2 after Memphis hit a last second shot in OT to claim the victory over San Antonio.