Generally the first round of the NBA playoffs serves as a formality for the favorites to get a little bit of glorified practice against opponents other than their teammates, however, this year things are going a bit different than usual. 30 games into the 2014 NBA postseason we have witnessed a competitive spirit that is unmatched by any opening round of any playoffs in the history of professional sports’ postseasons.

Seven of the eight first round matchups are beyond competitive (with the exception of the Miami Heat/Charlotte Bobcats series which had two close games in the beginning before a blowout in game three) leaving fans on the edge of their seats no matter if they are watching it in the arena, a local bar or at home in their living room. Hoop fans have gone to heaven thanks to this wide-open array of basketball at its highest level where each and every team (expect the Bobcats) feel they have a legit opportunity to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy in June.

Now grant it seven of the eight opening round series have been amazing to watch however there have been a few more than the rest that have been 100% enthralling and beyond captivating including the Oklahoma City Thunder/Memphis Grizzlies series, the Golden State Warriors/Los Angeles Clippers series, the Portland Trailblazers/Houston Rockets series and the Brooklyn Nets/Toronto Raptors series. While all four have been must see entertainment they all have been so for varying reasons.

Thunder vs Grizzlies

Let’s start with the OKC/Memphis series shall we; what’s better than a best of seven series tied at two games apiece where the last three consecutive games have all went to overtime? Maybe a seven game series tied at three apiece with the last five games going to overtime with game seven going to triple overtime.

The Thunder and Grizzlies may supply us with that but already we’ve seen unbelievable four-point plays produced by OKC stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook which made O.T. possible in two of those games. When this series is all over and done with the winning team will be battled tested and the series itself will produce some very memorable playoff moments.

Trailblazers vs Rockets

The Portland/Houston series has also produced three overtime thrillers including games one, three and four; in fact the total point differential in this series is Blazers 473 – Rockets 466, yes that’s right four games separated by seven points.

Portland All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge is introducing himself to the entire world on the playoff stage posting huge numbers in this series in game one he put up a Blazers postseason high 46 points only to follow that up in game two with 43 more. He along with fellow up and coming star Damian Lillard have the Blazers set to take the series by just winning one more game as they have a 3-1 advantage over James Harden, Dwight Howard and the Rockets.

Warriors vs Clippers

Entering the 2014 postseason many expected this series to be the one-to-watch and it hasn’t even begun to disappoint. The series is tied at two games apiece currently and each of the first four games has been action packed with points, points and more points.

The extraordinary matchup at the point guard position between Chris Paul and Stephen Curry along with the two teams’ dislike for one another has fueled this cross-state series with the winner being able to hold the Cali bragging rights this season with the Lakers being a non-factor.

This series has produced everything a true basketball fan and even a casual one could ever want however there is a problem the series may possibly get overshadowed by the ignorant and asinine comments that were made by one of the two team’s owner who I won’t even give the acknowledgment of naming. Hopefully the players can shake off all of the non-sense surrounding the series and continue to provide the fans with an amazing series; and hopefully that joke-of-an-owner gets what he deserves.

Nets vs Raptors

Last but not least here is the battle-of-a-series between the Brooklyn Nets and Toronto Raptors which is currently tied at two games apiece, which is exactly what was expected after the division rivals split the season series two games apiece with each winning once on the other’s home court.

This series has had everything from the Raptors General Manager Masai Ujiri chanting an anti-Brooklyn remark that began with an f word, Paul Pierce knocking down clutch jump shot after clutch jump shot, the Brooklyn fans chanting U.S.A. in response to the GM’s remarks, R&B artist Drake lint rolling his pants while sitting courtside in the fourth quarter of game one and R&B diva Rihanna sitting courtside with a see-through blouse and no support in game three. Now if that isn’t a lot in a series I don’t know what else you could ask for.

Oh yeah let’s not forget that each of the four games have been nail bitters that have gone back and forth from beginning to end. Through four games the Raptors have scored 372 points while the Nets have scored 370 bringing the point differential in this series to a miniscule two points in favor of Toronto. I for one can’t wait to see how this series unfolds.

If these first 30 playoff games have been this great can you imagine how great the next thirty will be as the postseason unfolds and gets down to the final eight teams, then four and then two? One thing is a strong possibility; this could go down as the greatest postseason we’ve ever witnessed period, point blank!

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