If you haven’t had a chance to keep up with the second round of the NBA Playoffs, have no worries as this is here to catch up on what has been going on, and predictions for the next round. Let’s start by looking at the Western Conference.
New Orleans Pelicans vs Golden State Warriors
Currently the Golden State Warriors lead the series 2-1. After having been dominate against the Trail Blazers in the first round, the Pelicans looked like they were ready to prove that they had what it takes to make a playoff run. Anthony Davis continues to play very well as in the postseason, he is averaging 30 points, 13 rebounds, while also shooting nearly 55% from the field. However the biggest surprise for this team has been the play of Holiday and Rondo. These two guards having been a good supporting cast for Davis this postseason. In the postseason Rondo is averaging 11 points, and 14 assists while Holiday is averaging 24 points. This looks promising for the Pelicans, however they are going up against the defending NBA Champs.
Golden State got some good news as their star point guard Stephen Curry returned from injury in game 2 of this series. Having missed all of the first round, there were questions on how Curry would look coming back, but those questions quickly faded as Curry went for 28 (5 3-pointers) in his return, which was coming off the bench.
While the stars on the Pelicans have been playing some fantastic basketball, this series will likely end with the defending Champs making it back to the Western Conference Finals.
Final Prediction: Golden State over New Orleans 4 games to 2.
Houston Rockets vs Utah Jazz
Rockets lead 2-1 over Jazz. The Jazz won’t be able to shoot their ways out of this series against the Houston Rockets, but rather have to use that defense that they are known for to try and slow this Rockets team down. As we saw in the first round against the Timberwolves, the Rockets seemed to have a switch that once they flipped it on, they were not missing and pulled away to turn the games into blowouts. If the Jazz want to make it past this round, they cannot allow that switch to be turned on.
This series is offense vs defense in a nutshell and to see which one will come out on top makes this series interesting. However, As good as the Rockets can be, it just seems hard to go against them.
Final prediction: Houston Rockets over Utah Jazz 4 games to 2. Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets meet up in the Western Conference Finals.
Now let’s jump over to the Eastern Conference where the matchups are a little more one-sided at the moment.
Boston Celtics vs Philadelphia 76ers
Boston leads the series 3-0. This is a historic meeting for these two teams throughout NBA Playoff history, however it looks as if Boston will take this one. Boston who is currently playing without its two All-Stars in Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving was quickly written off for making a run in the Playoffs. After going to a game 7 against the Bucks in the first round, people were quick to put their votes on this young Sixers team in the second round. However the Celtics have jumped out to a 3 game lead and will look to sweep the Sixers. Play from Tatum, Horford and Rozier have been outstanding for this Celtics team, not to mention the bench has stepped up as well. All season its been next man up for this team, and they haven’t disappointed.
If your the Sixers you need your young stars in Embiid and Simmons to take over and try to draw this series out. 3-0 is a big hole to try and climb out of, but you have to go back to what your good at to try and get a win. This team has been fun to watch all season, but it might be drawing to an end.
Final Prediction: Boston Celtics over the Philadelphia 76ers 4 games to 0.
Toronto Raptors vs Cleveland Cavaliers
Cavaliers lead 3-0. Toronto has a franchise record winning season as they claimed the first seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs, however there is one small problem stopping the Raptors from making the Eastern Conference Finals, and his name is Lebron James. Just when you start to think the Cavs aren’t deep playoff team, Lebron reminds everyone (not that they forgot) why he is they best player in the league. Leading this team to what looks like another Eastern Conference Finals, he continues to be dominate and putting his team on his back. He can even add a couple of game winning buzzer beaters to his playoff resume for the season. Toronto just has no answer for this team, which continues to show season after season.
Final Prediction: Cleveland Cavaliers over the Toronto Raptors 4 games to 0. Boston Celtics vs Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Well there you go, a look at the second round of the playoffs along with predictions and Conference final matchup predictions. Could we potential see another Warriors/Cavs series for the Championship or will another team put a stop to this reoccurring Finals matchup? One thing is for sure, it’s playoff basketball, and we just cannot get enough of it!