If there was something that might hold back the Warriors this year, if there was a weak link in their four All-Star chain, if there was a glimmer of hope for the rest of the Western Conference, it was that Draymond Green was not quite himself offensively throughout the regular season.
So much for that. Green is back, in full, and was a key component in the Warriors’ sweep of the Jazz, finishing them off with a Game 4 triple-double — 17 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. Golden State was a great team even without a stellar offensive year from Green, but his postseason re-emergence has transformed the Warriors back into the Western Conference wrecking ball we thought they’d be this season.
While the West was set (apart from seeding in the Clippers-Jazz series), the East playoff picture became clear once the Pacers and Bulls won Wednesday, eliminating the Heat after a valiant effort down the stretch. At the top of the East, the Celtics captured the No. 1 seed with a win over the Bucks as the Cavs punted on trying to take the conference crown.
Since the regular season has come to a close, let’s take a look at the final NBA standings and first-round matchups in the NBA playoff bracket.
The Celtics took care of business against the Bucks to ensure the top spot, and that’s important for a team that went 30-11 at home in the regular season. The Bulls easily defeated the Nets after Brooklyn decided to rest several players in the regular-season finale.