5 reasons to watch the NBA playoffs

After Oklahoma City put the finishing touches on Memphis yesterday, in a convincing 105-90 Game 7 win, it’s time for the conference finals — and there are many reasons to kick back with your favorite adult beverage and enjoy.

1 Fear the beard. Fans have dedicated two Facebook pages to James Harden’s facial stylings, which has been referred to as the “8th Wonder of the World.” Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the 21-year-old guard is blossoming before our eyes. He hit four 3-pointers yesterday and is averaging 12 points per game this postseason.

2 Honest Abe is watching. You might not get too many looks at DeShawn Stevenson (the Mavericks guard averages about 13 minutes a game), but keep an eye out for No. 92. Stevenson might have the most tattoos of any player left — and none is better than the face of Abraham Lincoln stenciled on his throat.

3 And so is Jordan. How many times will Michael Jordan’s name get mentioned in the Heat-Bulls series. It’s Jordan’s former team vs. the man — LeBron James — who wants to be Jordan. Plus Jordan himself predicted that the Bulls can win six titles with league MVP Derrick Rose. We’ll set the over/under for MJ name drops at 100 for the series.

4 Choke’s on you. Maybe. LeBron James temporarily silenced some of his critics after personally closing out the Boston Celtics last week, scoring the last 10 points in a Game 5 win and sending Miami to the Eastern Conference finals for the fourth time in franchise history. But … is James ready to be a real closer? Or will he revert back to his old ways and shoot near airballs at the end of games? Tick, tock LeBron.

5 Six degrees of Sixers separation. There are several faces that will be familiar to Sixers fans in these playoffs. Three-point specialist (and Ashton Kutcher look-alike) Kyle Korver is with the Bulls; Nazr Mohammed, Royal Ivey are with the Thunder, along with head coach Scott Brooks and assistant Maurice Cheeks. metro

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