Photo Courtesy: USA Today

Warriors and 76ers Close Out

Advance to Semifinals

April 25, 2018 - 11:19 am

By Austin Medina

Before Monday, the only team to secure a spot in the next round of the NBA playoffs was the New Orleans Pelicans. The Pelicans surprisingly swept the #3 Trail Blazers and they now know who their next opponent is.

The Warriors defeated a Kawhi Leonard-less Spurs team 99-91 in Golden State to win the series 4-1. The Warriors made light work of San Antonio, even without two-time MVP Stephen Curry. The Spurs were a wreck in the playoffs, after winning 48 games in the regular season. Coach Gregg Popovich lost his wife after Game 3 and the saga with Leonard showed on the team. Manu Ginobili, at age 40, may have played his last game in the NBA. He shared a special moment with Warriors’ head coach Steve Kerr, who was Ginobili’s teammate back in 2002.

In the East, the 76ers defeated the Miami Heat 104-91 in Philadelphia to win the series 4-1. After winning just 56 games over the past three seasons, the 76ers won 52 games this season and won their first playoff series since 2012. The combination of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and three-point marksmen have Philly playing their best basketball. They are awaiting the winner of the Celtics-Bucks series, which Boston is currently leading 3-2. Either opponent would be the underdog against Philly, as Boston is playing without All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward.

Similarly to Ginobili, questions about Dwayne Wade possibly playing his last game is being discussed. Wade, age 36, looked his age most of the season. He had a vintage game in the Heat’s Game 2 win, but the consistency just isn’t there anymore. Wade commented on the possibility of retiring.