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Questions Heading Into NBA Playoffs Second Round

Posted by Jay Sanin on 5/1/2016 7:10:09 AM

After what has felt like an eternity, the NBA Playoffs are finally starting to transition into the second round, which means that a new set of challenges are coming for each of the teams still involved. In order to address those challenges, the remaining sides will have to answer some very important questions about how they will not only handle their opponents, but how they will align themselves to have the best chance at success.

1. Can Portland Take Advantage?

The Portland Trail Blazers do not have the odds in their favor in their series against the mighty Golden State Warriors, but they do have a slight break in the absence of Warriors star Steph Curry for the first half of the series. The question for Portland is whether their great guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum can take advantage of his absence and steal some early games for Portland.

If they were to do so, that would put a lot of pressure on Curry to come back and play at a high level, even though he probably won't be at 100% when he finally does get back on the court.

2. Will San Antonio Lose at Home?

All season long, the San Antonio Spurs have been as close to perfect as there has ever been in the NBA. Chances are you've put their odds to win at home into an odds calculator and been disappointed at the potential yield this season, because they've been such huge favorites there all year. Having only lost once at home all season, Oklahoma City needs to win at least one game in San Antonio to have a chance to win this series. Will that happen? Is it even possible? Time will tell.

3. Who Will Guard LeBron James?

Atlanta Hawks fans are thrilled to be in the second round, surely, but they aren't thrilled to see the team that knocked them out in last year's playoffs, the Cleveland Cavaliers, standing before them. For the Hawks, the question is who will guard LeBron James, who has either a speed or size advantage over every last one of their players. It will not be an easy series for Atlanta if they can't figure that out quickly.

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