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In the NBA there are four of them left

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The four semi-finalist teams of the NBA playoffs, that starting from tomorrow night the access to the finals in June will be played. They are Golden State Warriors and Dallas Mavericks in the West, Miami Heat and Boston Celtics in the East. From the results of the previous round, however, the main news is that last year’s two finalists, the reigning champions Milwaukee Bucks and the Phoenix Suns, are were eliminated, both in Game-7, with two heavy defeats.

The Bucks were beaten 109-81 by Boston on Sunday. Against the best team in the championship for a few months now, the reigning champions had managed to bring the series to the seventh race, but there they collapsed, thanks to the absence of Khris Middleton, fundamental in the title victory last year, and the evident fatigue of Giannis Antetokounmpo, struggling to face the defense of Boston alone, the best of this championship.

In Sunday’s decisive victory, with Jayson Tatum being followed on sight by half the opposing team, the scene for Boston was taken by Grant Williams, scoring 27 points, his highest career playoff performance.

Phoenix’s latest defeat was even more surprising, for so many reasons. The team of Devin Booker and Chris Paul was complete and for two seasons had been considered the best in the league, for number of wins and quality of the game, also thanks to Monty Williams, already awarded as coach of the year. They had qualified for the playoffs with 64 regular season wins, more than any other team in the league, while also setting the record for victories in its history.

Against Dallas the series began with two wins, but then things got complicated and in the next five games there were four defeats, the last of which with a clear 123-90. Dallas’ impressive performance was led by that of his best player, 35-point Slovenian Luka Doncic, who in the first two quarters alone scored the same points (27) as all of Phoenix put together, penalized by great shooting inaccuracy. Along with Doncic, Dallas also benefited from the individual performance of Spencer Dinwiddie – swapped in February with Washington for Latvian Kristaps Porzingis – who scored 30 points from the bench.

The other two series had ended earlier, with one race less. The Golden State Warriors of the usual Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green – on the field together for just 11 minutes in the regular season – struggled to overcome a young and very promising team like Ja Morant’s Memphis Grizzlies, second pick in the 2019 draft. , best rookie of the league the following season and Most Improved Player – most improved player – of the current season. However, they managed to close it in six races and return to the finals of conference after three years.

To the east, on the other hand postseason of the Philadelphia 76ers ended once again earlier than expected, with many difficulties, starting with injuries to its most important player, center Joel Embiid. After risking too much in the first round against the Toronto Raptors, Miami came a 4-2 aggregate defeat. It didn’t help much to add James Harden to the current season, given the minimal impact made by one of the best attacking players in the league in recent years. In Philadelphia we are already discussing his renewal, considered by many to be too high an economic risk – given the requests, age and performance – and also the stay of the coach, Doc Rivers, which according to some journalists the Lakers are thinking. to restart after the last disastrous season.

With these results, the NBA is sure to have a new winner after the last three years of winning Milwaukee, Lakers and Toronto. Dallas hasn’t won the title since 2011, Boston since 2008, Miami since 2013 and Golden State since 2018. For all but the latter, they were completely different eras. In Dallas there was still the German Dirk Nowitzki, who retired three years ago. In Boston – which also reached the finals in 2010, losing them to the Lakers – there were Doc Rivers as coach, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen on the pitch, with the latter going to Miami and winning the last one. title in Florida alongside LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.

This year’s semifinals, or the finals of conference, start with race-1 between Miami and Boston on Wednesday, when in Italy it will be half past two in the morning. The next day it will be the turn of Golden State-Dallas. Regardless of when they end – however not before May 25 – the finals will start on June 2.

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