Realistic Expectations for Every 2nd-Round NBA Playoff Team

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Realistic Expectations for Every 2nd-Round NBA Playoff Team
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
Stephen Curry was arguably the MVP of the first round.

The first round of the NBA playoffs had its fair share of exciting moments, but the second round has the potential to provide even more breathtaking sequences.

From a superstar perspective, the way Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant performed in two six-game series stole the show.

Only in his fourth season, Curry is already considered one of the best three-point shooters of all time. In the Golden State Warriors' first-round series, Curry emerged as a legitimate superstar and carried them to victory without All-Star power forward David Lee.

Curry's performance in the first round bolstered his resume while adding to his narrative.

Which player will dominate in the second round and thus become the "It Guy"?

Russell Westbrook's injury drastically changed the entire playoffs, as it threw the battle in the Western Conference into a state of flux. The injury is just an example of how quickly expectations can change, as the Miami Heat are now the overwhelming favorite to hoist the Larry O'Brien Trophy come June.

This time last year, the Heat were perfectly healthy. That quickly changed when Chris Bosh strained his abdominal muscle in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. While the Heat ultimately prevailed, there were doubts about their ability to overcome Bosh's absence.

The NBA world always changes, but mapping out realistic expectations is a fair way to assess the situation after the games are played.

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