UWO students react to NBA playoffs


April Lee /The Advance-Titan — Just like in the NBA, the D-3 Titan women’s season was stopped dead in its tracks because of COVID-19. Unfortunately, the women’s season did not resume play to finish up their season like the NBA has.

Cory Sparks, Sports Editor

As the NBA makes its way through the conference finals round of the playoffs, fans around the world, and around campus, watch as a thrill-filled pair of matchups unfold.

In the eastern conference finals, the fifth-seeded Miami Heat are taking on the third-seeded Boston Celtics. In the western conference finals, the first-seeded Los Angeles Lakers are taking on the third-seeded Denver Nuggets.

With only those four teams remaining, there was definitely a hometown favorite left out of the mix.

“I am a major Bucks fan, so obviously I wanted them to win the finals, but if I had to pick another team other than them it would have been the Portland Trail Blazers,” UW Oshkosh sophomore Carter Knutson said. “They were sort of an underdog going into the playoffs, and Damian Lillard was playing the best basketball of his career, so my dream finals would’ve been Bucks vs. Trail Blazers.”

The Trail Blazers ended up falling to the Lakers in a round one matchup, four games to one, thanks to the dominant duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, while the Bucks lost to the Heat in a second round matchup, four games to one, thanks to a show-out performance from four-time all-defensive team qualifier Jimmy Butler, 2020 “Most Improved Player” candidate Bam Adebayo, rookie standout Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson.

In terms of some stellar performances throughout the playoffs so far, students have taken notice of a couple of players.

“Donte DiVincenzo [really showed out] on the bucks. Without him, the Bucks wouldn’t have put up a fight against the Heat,” UWO sophomore Evan Donahoe said.

As for players who are still in the playoffs, there’s been one Marquette University alumnus in particular who has caught the attention of many people.

“I feel like I always see Jimmy Butler putting up great numbers,” UWO junior Cliff Yuma said. “He is a veteran player, [and] he always helps the team win and seems to have really good chemistry with the young guys.”

Although it’s notable to mention the stellar performances, students took just as much of a notice when some big stars didn’t shine as bright with their seasons on the line.

“One player, who has been a big surprise to me, has been the play of Paul George,” Knutson said. “Most people would have picked a player that is playing good, but Paul George never showed up in the playoffs and it essentially cost them. He was very inconsistent and just wasn’t himself.”

As the games wind down and the NBA finals approach, students narrow down the options and determine a new favorite to win out of the remaining teams.

“My favorite is the Lakers. I know [Dwight] Howard has been boosting up the team spirit and it’s working out well for the Lakers,” Donahoe said.

When the NBA Finals does happen, and a team raises their trophy as they claim the 2020 NBA champions title, one thing is for certain: the on-court televised reaction will be something fans have never witnessed before.

“It’s weird watching someone hit a game winner with no fans, because I’m used to the whole stadium going crazy,” Yuma said.