2015 NBA season comes to a close as playoffs arrive

Jan 16, 2015; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) dunks the ball against the Golden State Warriors during the fourth quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: USATSI-187418 ORIG FILE ID: 20150116_pjc_ax3_322.JPG

The 2014-2015 NBA season is coming to a close so with the playoffs looming in the distance, now is a good time to look back and see what a good year it has been. Like any other basketball season, 2015 has had its handful of surprises. Who saw the Atlanta Hawks winning 60 games this season? Who saw the league’s reigning most valuable player, Kevin Durant, only playing 27 games due to a bad foot? Who saw the Golden State Warriors having the best record, winning 60+ games? These are true examples of what makes the association great.

Power has shifted in the NBA, a competition that was a two man race in 2014 for the most valuable player award is now wide open as stars such as Steph Curry, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, and young players such as Anthony Davis enter the discussion. Curry has taken the Warriors to new heights as he scoring 23.9 points per game, averaging 7 assist a night, and grabbing four boards on average, all of them career highs. Thunder guard Russell Westbrook has had a historic season himself, producing 11 triple doubles this season. That number leaves the rest of the league in the dust as the closest one is James Harden with 3.

With a new season comes new teams trying to contend for the title. The biggest surprise were the Atlanta Hawks who won a franchise record 60+ games. The 2015 Hawks looks like the 2014 San Antonio Spurs 2.0. The ball movement on that team is insane and more impressively the team does not have that one superstar carrying the majority of the load. Veterans like Jeff Teague, Al Horford, and Paul Millsap have stepped us and have sky rocketed.

The Cleveland Cavaliers, who were the talk of the offseason after acquiring Lebron James and Kevin Love last summer, were the only team close to competing with the Hawks in the eastern conference as they won over 50 games. The defending NBA Champions San Antonio Spurs are as good as the spectators expected, but they have had success this year by different means as point guard Tony Parker has been banged up for most of the season so it has been rising star Kawhi Leonard who has picked up the slack. The return of Derrick Rose Part. 3 wasn’t too successful as he partially tore his right meniscus and had surgery. Luckily, the injury wasn’t too bad and Rose was able to return later in the year, he will see the playoffs for the first time in 3 years.

Fortunately, for fans of the league the best is yet to come as the 2015 NBA playoffs around the corner. Can the Warriors cap off their historic season with a championship? Will Lebron James make a 5th NBA Finals appearance in a row? Fans of the association will be watching intently as all the questions will be answered.

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