The second round of the 2022 NBA playoffs is officially underway


The official 2022 NBA playoff bracket heading into round 2.

Jaden Scamehorn, Staff Writer

The 2022 NBA playoffs is officially underway, and with it the passion, energy, and chaos that is seen every single year amongst fans and players. The playoffs started Apr.16, with 16 teams making the cut, but as the second round begins the number is down to eight.

Starting off in the East, the Celtics and Bucks kicked off the beginning of the second round, which will be one to look out for after the Bucks took a 1-0 lead on Sunday. The Celtics are hot coming off of an easy 4-0 sweep of the series against the Brooklyn Nets

The Celtics are a great defensive team, led by defensive player of the year award winner Marcus Smart. They were able to shut out the big Nets duo in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving and three time NBA all star Jayson Tatum was able to take over on offense. 

The Bucks, who won the NBA finals last year, dominated the Chicago Bulls in their first round matchup. Giannis Antetukumpo did what he does best and gave the Bulls big trouble, closing the series 4-1. The Bucks are the defending NBA champions and are still playing like it, but this series will be very interesting as the Bucks may be without Kris Middleton for some time due to an MCL sprain he suffered in the first round. 

If the Celtics are able to contain Antetokounmpo the way they did KD and Kyrie, they can take the series, but if not, the Bucks should breeze by Boston.

The Miami Heat vs. The Philadelphia 76ers is another interesting series, as Philly may be without star center Joel Embiid for some time. The 76ers defeated the Toronto Raptors pretty easily, winning it 4-2 with Embiid playing like an MVP front runner. 

The Heat took down Trae Young and the Hawks 4-1, playing amazing defense, shut down the Hawks offense and played very efficiently on offense behind Jimmy Butler. 

The series between the 76ers and the Heat will be a tough one for Philadelphia if Embiid isn’t able to play after he suffered a concussion and a broken Orbital bone. Newly acquired star point guard and former MVP James Harden will have to step up in a big way if they want to get past the Heat. 

Miami will have to continue their defensive success and hope Embiid doesn’t play at all. It’ll be interesting to see if Philly is able to adjust, and if not, the Heat should win it easily. 

As for the Western conference semifinals, a highly anticipated matchup between Luka Doncic leading the Dallas Mavericks, and the veteran, young star duo, Chris Paul and Devin Booker with the Phoenix Suns. 

The series started Monday May 2 with Phoenix taking game one. The Suns made it all the way to the NBA finals last year but fell short to the Bucks in game six. This year the Suns led the NBA with the best regular season record, ending the year with 64 wins and a mere 18 losses. The Suns have a very talented team, and the duo between Booker and Paul is one of a kind. Phoenix took down the New Orleans Pelicans in game 6, despite not having Booker for two games. 

Donicic led the Mavericks past the Utah Jazz in a 4-2 series win. Dallas is a sneaky team, and if they are able to play with the success they did in round one and Luka gets loose, they can give the Suns some trouble. The series could go either way, but right now Luka can’t take on the number one team in the NBA on his own.

Another very interesting matchup is cooking up in the West as the Memphis Grizzlies and the Golden State Warriors face off. The series is now tied 1-1 after Ja Morant scored 47 points to help Memphis tie the series. 

Golden State has been dominating, with a three headed trio in Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and the young up and coming Jordan Poole. The Warriors handled the Denver Nuggets with ease, even with Curry resting a few games they were able to win the series 4-1.

Ja Morant is a name plenty of NBA fans are talking about after his performance in round one of the playoffs. Morant has been balling and helped put away the Minnesota Timberwolves 4-2. 

This series is a toss up. If Morant keeps playing as aggressive as he is, scoring 47 points in the game the Grizzlies could be a contender. The Warriors “splash bros” are going to be a tough team to beat.

The second round of the playoffs will be one to keep an eye on, with plenty of teams in the hunt for an NBA title. 

Contact Jaden Scamehorn at [email protected]