Amelia Parreira is a journalism junior and Mustang News sports columnist. | Ian Billings/Mustang News

Amelia Parreira

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There isn’t anything quite like the screeching sound of rubber soles against a laminate hardwood floor or the swish of a ball gliding through a netted basket. Not to mention the roar of an energetic crowd as the home team grabs a rebound.

Luckily, it’s springtime, which means those sounds are continuously surrounding us as we await the NBA Finals.

Of course, all the teams still in the playoffs have potential. But which of the eight will be good enough to win the Larry O’Brien trophy?

It’s a tough call, but I believe the Golden State Warriors can definitely take it all the way.

With a 67-15 record, the Warriors have numbers that exceed any other team in the league this season. Golden State already swept the New Orleans Pelicans in the first round of postseason play and now look to take over the Memphis Grizzlies. The Warriors took a Game 1 win over the Grizzlies by a score of 101-86 but were robbed of a consecutive win on May 5, their first home loss since January.

.@StephenCurry30: “I think we’ll be able to bounce back like we have all season.”

— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) May 6, 2015

This week, Warriors guard Stephen Curry was named the 2015 NBA Most Valuable Player, which he has most certainly earned during his time with the Warriors. Curry, one of the biggest keys to success in the Golden State organization, averaged 23.8 points per game during the 2015 regular season. He so far has a whopping 31.4 average points per game in the playoffs.

You don’t see numbers like that too often.

It couldn’t have gone to a more deserving player. So happy for Steph #squad #DubNation

— klay thompson (@KlayThompson) May 4, 2015

Another Warrior to look out for is guard Klay Thompson. Over the course of the playoffs, Thompson has scored a total of 118 points, averaging 23.6 points per game. He also scored the team’s second-highest number of points in the regular season, with an average of 21.7 points per game.

Curry and Thompson are only two examples of how strong the Warriors are, both offensively and defensively. If they keep up their power and energy, they are sure to win the championship.

I am also impressed with the Atlanta Hawks, who finished the season with a 60-22 record, not too far behind the Warriors.

After soaring their way through the first round against the Brooklyn Nets, the top-seeded Hawks face the Washington Wizards in Round 2. Though the Hawks took a 104-98 loss to the Wizards on May 3, they came back to tie up the series with a 106-90 victory.

Though the Hawks’ strength comes more from teamwork than individual skill, forward Demarre Carroll is one to watch out for. Carroll’s smooth, swift shots and efficient offensive action have so far earned him an average of 18.9 points per game in the playoffs. Forward Al Horford is another major aspect of the Hawks offense, having scored a total of 1,156 points over the 2014-15 season.

According to an article by Odds Shark that appeared in Sports Illustrated on May 4, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls have the best chances of winning this year’s championship. These predictions may or may not be the most reliable.

Though the Cavaliers have powerful players like forward LeBron James, who so far has averaged 25.4 points per game in the playoffs, and guard Kyrie Irving (24.6 points), the Cavaliers will be without other keys throughout the second round of the postseason. Along with guard J.R. Smith’s absence from the court for the next two games, the Cavaliers will be forced to play without forward Kevin Love for the rest of the season because of a shoulder injury. With two missing pieces, the Cavaliers will have to try even harder to pull off another playoff series success, like they did when they swept the Boston Celtics in the first round.

“I’m very determined for us to maintain our level and ambition to reach our goals.” Coach Blatt #ALLinCLE

— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) April 30, 2015

The Chicago Bulls are yet another team to have multiple tough team leaders. Guard Jimmy Butler has already scored 169 points in postseason play, holding an average of 24.1 points scored per game. Alongside Butler is guard Derrick Rose, who has scored a total of 139 points so far in the playoffs with an average of 19.9 points per game.

Bulls lead wire to wire and take Game 1! #SeeRed #CAVSvBULLS

— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) May 5, 2015

As for now, it’s too soon to tell which teams will make the cut and which will fall short. Sometimes statistics mean nothing and we end up with something completely unexpected. All we can do right now is hope for the best and enjoy postseason play.

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