Students watch a basketball game during the NBA playoffs. Teams normally play a total of 82 games during the season, but this season was shortened to 66 games as a result of a player association lockout during the offseason. Cali Blodgett | Scroll Photography

The NBA playoffs are underway and many students have been watching and keeping track of their favorite teams.

Some students are from cities that have NBA franchises and root for their teams to win and advance through the playoffs.

“I’ve got my team, but mostly I root for the Heat and the Lakers to lose,” said Austin Glaus, a sophomore studying sociology from Florida. Glaus sports the Orlando Magic.

“I gotta admit I love the Jazz, and they’re already out of the playoffs, but we still try to watch every game at my apartment,” said Rob Austin, a junior studying recreation management.

Austin said he and his friends are planning to throw several parties at their apartment for the NBA finals. They hope a lot of people come to enjoy the games.

“We just like to get everybody together with a bunch of food, a big TV, good times and watch the games. There’s nothing like the NBA finals,” Austin said.

Even while watching the same sport, friends often vary on who to root for.

“Anyone who doesn’t love the Lakers is just jealous because they don’t have Kobe,” said John Osborn, a freshman studying business management.

Osborn is from Southern California where the Lakers play, and his favorite player is Kobe Bryant, who is considered one of the premier players in the league, having won multiple awards and five championships.

The Los Angeles Lakers are playing the Oklahoma City Thunder in a best-of-seven game series.

The NBA is getting more popular and on ESPN it has had its highest TV ratings, according to USA Today. Ratings are 10 percent over last year.

This popularity may be due to players such as LeBron James and Kevin Durant, both competing in this year’s playoffs.

“Watching Dirk Nowitzki take the Heat apart last year made a lot of people remember how much fun the NBA was to watch back when Michael Jordan was playing,” said Glaus. “It seems like more people are paying attention.”