The NBA’s First Round Reminded Us Not to Make Assumptions

You know what they say happens when you assume. Generally it doesn’t work out for anyone. This is even worse in regards to the NBA, where every assumption is sure to be wrong. Even the simplest prediction or opinion is more likely to make you look stupid than not.

Long or short term, it doesn’t matter. The Houston Rockets had the best record in the NBA. By six games. Above 2nd place Raptors. The Cavaliers traded half their team en route to the 4th seed.

We were all stupid for assuming anything about the regular season, but luckily we didn’t learn any sort of lesson and made the same mistakes once the playoffs started. I don’t mean that sarcastically. Being proven wrong is almost always way more fun that having your opinions confirmed. How boring is that?

As a Kanye stan, I had always held the opinion that he’s a little bit crazy but ultimately a genius who could get to some uncomfortable truths. Whatever the hell is happening now is making me look like an idiot, but dammit if it ain’t interesting.

Much like the first round of the playoffs. Two games in, I was quite positive that the Blazers couldn’t possibly continue getting run out of the first round by a sixth seed without so much as winning a game.

The internet blessed us with several “the Sixers are better without Joel Embiid” takes after they took down the Heat without him in Game 1.

Many, myself included, assumed that while Donovan Mitchell was incredible, knocking off Russell Westbrook, Paul George and…umm…others, was still too far-fetched.

Assuming anything from any particular game, quarter or possession of the Cavaliers-Pacers series was futile. What more could you ask for?

And just when some were certain that Milwaukee and Minnesota were disasters just waiting to implod- …oh. Okay, well I guess it’s still safe to assume a few things in this league. That’s fine.

These playoffs have already proven why we watch sports in the first place. Nobody would keep watching if everything came out all chalk all the time. The Uconn women lose every once in a while. The USSR had to get their comeuppance from a rag-tag group of scrappy Americans in Lake Placid. Eventually, to the annoyance of almost everyone, the Red Sox and Cubs had to break their curses. On rare occasions a team will blow a 3-1 series lead.

Assumptions being broken and things no one could have ever assumed taking place. These moments aren’t restricted to the biggest moments described above. Anyone even vaguely interested in the NBA found more than enough of these moments in the postseason’s first two weeks.

Bojan Bogdanovic dropping 30 while guarding LeBron James. Everything Donovan Mitchell did. Anything the Thunder’s big three did. Boston getting the two seed after losing a star then winning their series after losing their other star. Jrue Holiday, Rajon Rondo, Nikola Mirotic. Toronto NOT falling apart…yet. Manu Ginobli saving the day, potentially, one last time. The Sixers taking the governor off of The Process and flooring that thing into the 2nd round, and possibly beyond.

(LeBron is as good as he ever was and Lance Stephenson still acts exactly how you would assume he will and they’ve still got a one-sided beef. Admittedly, it is nice to have something you can always count on.)

I made my series predictions before the first round. I got three wrong and only had two in the correct number of games. Literally nobody from ESPN picked the Pelicans.

Good! Try to find me someone outside the greater Oregon area who didn’t enjoy that series.

Making predictions is fun. Having opinions is fun. But only because you’ll probably be wrong. Assume anything you like but stay humble. You don’t have to be insufferable if you weren’t right. It’s all part of the game.

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