Traditional powerhouse Boston vs. back-to-back winner Denver

After a record-breaking box office season, the National Basketball Association (NBA) has kicked off the 2023-2024 Playoffs (PO-7 best-of-seven) tournament to determine the “King of Spring”. With LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers (West) and Joel Embiid’s Philadelphia 76ers (East) through the gateway to the play-in tournament, there are only two tickets left for spring basketball. The winners of the Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans (West) and the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls (East) will earn a spot in the Round of 16 PO.

Experts predict that the traditional powerhouse Boston Celtics and the defending champion Denver Nuggets will dominate the Eastern and Western Conferences, respectively, in this season’s spring basketball, which kicks off on March 21 with the Orlando Magic and 텍사스홀덤 Cleveland Cavaliers.

Once centered around Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, Boston bolstered its roster with the additions of Jerry Holliday and Kristaps Porzingis ahead of the season, and it paid off. The Celtics have the most wins in the league this season (64-18), both in the East and West. The Celtics were so dominant that they were separated from the second-place New York Knicks by 14 games in the Eastern Conference. Boston’s strength is its offense, which averages 120.6 points per game, and its three-point shooting, which is league-leading at 16.5 threes per game at a 38.8% clip. The defense is no slouch either. They average just 6.6 blocked shots and give up 109.3 points per game.

If there’s one team in the Eastern Conference that could threaten Boston, it’s the Milwaukee Bucks. Third in the East, Milwaukee has shown that they are a force to be reckoned with, including a 104-91 victory over Boston in their last meeting on October 10th. The problem is the injury to their ace, Yanis Adetokunbo. Adetokunbo injured his calf in the last game against Boston and is questionable for the first game of the PO, which is scheduled for the 22nd. Milwaukee, which will have to play around Damian Lillard, will have to get past Indiana first.

Denver is the favorite to win the Western Conference. The Nuggets, who finished atop the standings last season, will be led by Nikola Jokic, the “Joker,” for a second straight title. Jokic averaged 26.4 points (10th), 12.4 rebounds (4th), and 9.0 assists (3rd) this season, good enough to be named the league’s Most Valuable Player (MVP). Denver’s first opponent will be the Lakers, who are led by the ageless James. The Lakers met Denver in the Western Conference Finals last season and dropped the series in four games. However, the Lakers have been strong in the short term this season, winning the in-season tournament, so it’s hard to predict the outcome.

Oklahoma City, atop the Western Conference, is also over the top. The Thunder clinched first place in the league with a 135-86 win over the Dallas Mavericks in the final game of the regular season. The average age of Oklahoma City’s roster is 23.9 years old, making it the youngest team since the NBA implemented the PO seeding in its current form in 1984. The team is led by the development of Cyril Rogers-Alexander into one of the league’s top guards, while super-rookie Chet Holmgren has been a force to be reckoned with.

Meanwhile, the NBA drew a total of 22.234 million fans this season. This surpasses the previous record of 22.259 million set in the 2017-2018 season. The average attendance per game is 18,877, and 791 sold-out games (64%), both of which are all-time highs.

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