NBA Weekly Recap: April 24

Story posted April 25, 2022 in CommRadio, Sports by Mac Young

The NBA Playoffs are underway with Round 1 and some of the lead contenders are already in jeopardy of bowing out due to their injured stars.

The Phoenix Suns, the most dominant team in the league in the regular season, are in deep trouble.

Devin Booker has a hamstring injury that will keep him out for a few weeks, and at the very least, the rest of Phoenix’s series with the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Pels, led by forward Brandon Ingram, are seizing the opportunity to upset the No. 1 seed in the West by tying the series up at 2-2 Sunday night.

Ingram led the way for New Orleans with 30 points in its 118-103 Game 4 victory.

The Suns were clear NBA Finals favorites after posting the best record in the league at 64-18 and winning the Western Conference last season. Now they will have to try and best the red-hot Pelicans in a best-of-three set without their top scorer.

Another top contender, the Philadelphia 76ers, is dealing with the nightmare of their leader and MVP finalist Joel Embiid tearing a ligament in his thumb.

Embiid has opted to play through the pain and will push back surgery that would keep him out for at least eight weeks.

The Sixers were coasting through their first-round series against the Toronto Raptors, going up 3-0 thanks to an Embiid overtime buzzer-beater, but the team looked lost in Game 4.

Embiid was clearly struggling with his thumb from everything to rebounding and shooting free throws. The 7’0” center from Cameroon shot just 7-for-16 in Philadelphia’s 110-102 loss.

The Sixers still hold a commanding 3-1 lead over the Raptors, but there are definitely long-term concerns if they wish to make a deep playoff run like many expected them to.

The Brooklyn Nets are facing elimination by way of a sweep to the stingy Boston Celtics and are dealing with an injured player who has yet to step on the floor for the team.

Ben Simmons was traded to the Nets Feb. 10. Many believed he would only be out a few games while he got his conditioning back up to game-level to play with the Nets.

Then word began to come out about some lingering back issues for Simmons.

First, rumors claimed he would come back after Brooklyn’s play-in-game, then the hot ticket item was that Simmons would be coming back for Game 4 against the Celtics.

Now, down 3-0 in the series, it seemed inevitable that Simmons would finally suit up for the Nets to try and salvage the series against Boston, but reports now claim he is not playing.

It is looking like it could be another disappointing end to a season for the duo of elite scorers, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.

Across the rest of the Association, there have been all sorts of fun series and storylines to follow.

In the East, the Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks have chokeholds on the Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls, each holding 3-1 leads and clinching scenarios on their home floors upcoming.

In the West, Golden State holds a 3-1 lead in its series over 2021 MVP and 2022 MVP finalist Nikola Jokić and the Denver Nuggets. Meanwhile, Jordan Poole is continuing to emerge as a star for the Warriors.

Speaking of young talent showing up, Anthony Edwards has looked unconscious at times for the Minnesota Timberwolves in a currently tied 2-2 series against the No. 2 seed Memphis Grizzlies.

The Dallas Mavericks and Utah Jazz are also locked at 2-2 in their series, which could have big implications barring a Suns first-round exit.

Whatever the outcomes are over the coming days, this has definitely been one of the most thrilling first rounds of the NBA Playoffs in years with the best yet to come.

Maclain Young is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email