Beyond the Arc

By Ben Fiore


Yesterday, we witnessed something you almost NEVER see. BOTH the No. 1 seeds in the NBA playoffs lost Game 1 of their opening series. The Bucks lost 122-110 to the Magic, and the Lakers dropped to the Trailblazers, 100-93. Now while the fanbases in Orlando and Portland have their time in the limelight, I’m telling the fans of LA and Milwaukee NOT TO PANIC.

First off, it’s one game. They both clearly need to make adjustments but it’s nothing serious enough to assume the season is ruined. That’s why they play series’ in this sport right? The Bucks and Lakers just need to hone in their self discipline is all.

They are the top seeds for a reason. They hold the two best records in the NBA. The Bucks are led by the reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, and the Lakers are led by LeBron James. Two men on a desperate quest to win a title. I feel that neither of these series’ will end with the 8 seed advancing, but I do see one 8th seed team as more of a threat than the other…

Now I know what you’re thinking, come on Ben don’t do that. Sorry bud, I am doing it.

The Trailblazers pose a much larger threat than the Magic. It just boils down to pure talent. Now the Magic have proven they are not to be taken lightly, but I feel that will ignite a fire for the Herd to come back and trample them the next 4 games. Especially because the Magic don’t have a guy doing this to their defense on his own;

Damian Lillard was named the bubble MVP and is making a case for him to be the season MVP. He has been dangerously consistent and helping his teammates around him get fundamentally better and turn them into a team that looks like they should be seeded much higher than 8th.

Now although it has been “Dame Time” recently, I still can’t see this series going more than 6 games. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but I have too much faith in LeBron, AD, and that supporting cast. They need to make defensive adjustments and maybe put LeBron on Dame, and put Danny Green on CJ McCollum. Whatever they decide to do, I firmly believe they will win that series whether it takes 5, 6 or even 7 games.

Bucks in 5, Lakers in 7 (as a stretch). But to all worried members of the Bucks and Lakers fan bases, let’s all just take a deep breathe. Let’s remember this season has just been flat out weird and different but things will naturally fall into place and those No. 1 seed teams will advance like they are supposed to. These No. 8 seed teams have a less than 10% chance of taking the series, so please relax.

I know this is slightly unsettling now, but you WILL BE OK. Just have faith, and stay tuned.