The Student News Site of Ramapo High School




2024 NBA Playoffs: A New Generation Rises


Over the past decade, NBA fans have become accustomed to watching superstars of the 2010s dominate in the playoffs and add to their list of accolades. However, many of these stars including, Lebron James, Kevin Durant, and Steph Curry find themselves looking from the outside in during the playoffs this year. For the first time in league history, the top 10 active scorers over a past decade did not make it to the second round of the playoffs (nba.com). With only six starters ages 30 or older in the playoffs, many young teams with little experience and big expectations are looking to establish their name in this league’s future.  


With one round finished so far, the second round continues with countless new rivalries and faces taking over the league in front of our eyes. Out west, the Oklahoma City Thunder made history by becoming the youngest first seed in league history and hope to continue their youth’s historic season. Led by MVP candidate Shai-Gilgeous Alexander, the young Thunder look to make a deep run this season despite their inexperience. Facing them in the second round is the Dallas Mavericks who have arguably the NBA’s best duo in 24-year-old MVP candidate Luka Doncic and the oldest starter in the playoffs in Kyrie Irving. After a historic regular season from Doncic,

 Mavs fans are hoping to see him perform similarly in the playoffs in spite of a left knee injury that has certainly hindered his play. In the other West Semis, the reigning champion Denver Nuggets look to repeat and dominate as they did last year. The league’s best player and this year’s MVP, Nikola Jokic continues to dominate alongside his point guard Jamal Murray who annually elevates his game in the playoffs. However, their path to another ring won’t be as easy as last year with the league’s youngest superstar Anthony Edwards catching the league by surprise. After being the eighth seed the year prior, the Timberwolves surprised Minnesota by capturing the third seed in a difficult Western conference with help from the rise of Anthony Edwards and the league’s number one-rated defense led by defensive player of the year Rudy Gobert (nba.com).  


While the Eastern Conference was considerably weaker than the West this year, many teams have seen this as an opportunity to dominate in the playoffs. The only team viewed as a legitimate contender left in the East are the Boston Celtics who are coming off a league-best 64-win season. Throughout the year, the Celtics were considered to be in a league of their own in the East with a larger difference between themselves and second in the East than the gap between the first-seeded Thunder and 10th-seeded Warriors in the West. The hopeful Cleveland Cavaliers must look past this in order to take down the juggernaut Celtics. With a youthful and skilled roster, the Cavs placed fifth in the east this season thanks to All-Star Donovan Mitchell and their dominant defensive frontcourt in Evan Mobley and Jarret Allen. In New York, an old rivalry is renewed with the Indiana Pacers in the second round. Led by East’s best point guard Jalen Brunson, the Knicks placed second in the East despite several key players suffering severe injuries throughout the season. Following his second season with the Knicks, Jalen Brunson continues to impress as he reaches new heights no one could have imagined he would in New York. Ramapo math teacher and long-time Knicks fan Mr. Kalman stated, “I think this New York Knicks team is fun to watch because they play so hard and enjoy playing together. They have really overachieved this year due to an MVP-like season from Jalen Brunson and All-Star production from Josh Hart”. After upsetting the third-seeded Bucks in the first round, the sixth-seeded Indiana Pacers look to pull off another upset in the second round against New York. Pacers 24-year-old point guard Tyrese Haliburton led the league in assists per game and helped Indiana record the sixth most points per game in NBA history (nba.com)

Ramapo Senior Ben Fischer had this to say on this year’s playoffs, “I think it’s great that younger players are really starting to shine in the playoffs. A new generation of stars was bound to come and they’re doing so in a very entertaining way.” With high stakes and little experience, these young teams hope to capitalize on the opportunity in front of them.

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