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Mentz’s Minute: The 2012 NBA playoffs: Get your popcorn ready

April 26th, 2012

With so many different sports taking place during this time of year, it’s difficult to find the time to focus on just one thing at a time. However, for the next few weeks at least, my attention will be 100 percent directed towards the 2012 NBA playoffs.

The playoffs start this Sunday, and for me, the NBA playoffs is like Christmas has come early this year, despite being just a few short months ago. After a truncated, 66-game NBA season, the playoffs are finally upon us. Many people, including myself, did not even think that an NBA season would happen after a very public, very ugly NBA lockout towards the end of 2011. Now that the playoffs are here though, I can finally breathe a sigh of relief.

As is the case with every year’s NBA playoffs, there’s once again a multitude of storylines and headlines that will be the hotly debated topics among NBA pundits in the coming weeks.

First off, can the superstar trio of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh finally win a championship together after coming so close one season ago?

Can Derrick Rose put the city of Chicago on his shoulders and lead the Bulls to their first Finals appearance since the Michael Jordan era?

Is now the time for Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder to finally make a statement and win a title?

Can the San Antonio Spurs bounce back from a first round elimination last season and make one last push for a championship?

Are the Boston Celtics capable of pulling off a miraculous Finals run against a difficult gauntlet of Eastern Conference opponents?

Does Kobe Bryant have enough left in the tank to lead the Lakers to the NBA Finals once again, this time searching for his sixth champonship ring to tie the immortal MJ?

With so many questions at hand, there’s only one way to answer them: Let the games begin. What has happened in the regular season since Dec. 25 is meaningless now, and all that matters is the present.

The quest for the 2012 NBA Championship is a wide open race, and I couldn’t be more excited to watch.

Pull up a lawn chair. Crack open a nice, cold … you know. Enjoy the NBA playoffs on your TV screen. Hey, it beats studying for upcoming final exams, right?

Follow @ZachMentz on Twitter or email him at zmentz14@jcu.edu