This is it! The NBA Postseason has arrived and boy do we have some questions to answer. Questions such as: Are the Celtics more vulnerable than the Warriors? Are the Raptors and Rockets for real? Will the Cavaliers have another cakewalk to the Finals? How will Ben Simmons do in leading Philly in the postseason? Where the hell did the Minnesota Timberwolves come from? There are so many more questions to answer, and in this we’ll break it down by series – so sit back, relax, then strap it down! Here we go!
(1) Toronto Raptors vs (8) Washington Wizards: The Wizards backed into the playoffs while the Raptors roared in. The Raptors since they destroyed the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier in the season has been the Eastern Conference’s best team. And you know the best thing about it? No one is giving them a chance to do anything beyond the second round, or if it happens, the East Finals. First thing’s first, the Washington Wizards. John Wall has been injured most of the season and is not in basketball shape yet. The Raptors move the ball very well, have good shooters and have come together throughout the season.
Prediction – Raptors in six
(2) Boston Celtics vs (7) Milwaukee Bucks: Oh boy! The Celtics are LUCKY – LUCKY mind you to have the #2 seed because of how the season has gone. No Marcus Smart, no Kyrie Irving, and no Gordon Hayward. Is it possible that they can still get to the finals, certainly. But they are very very thin on the bench. Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Bucks, who have been my wild card all season, comes into the playoffs fairly healthy. It’s just getting Parker and Giannis to play up to their full power and mixing in the shooters. Also keep in mind that Milwaukee was 9 games over .500 at home. If they are able to steal one, maybe two in TD Garden, we have an upset alert. Therefore:
Prediction: Bucks in Six
(3) Philadelphia 76ers vs (6) Miami Heat: The Sixers won their final 16 games to race up to the #3 seed. The Miami Heat kind of fluctuated throughout the season but both of these teams have been playoff teams all season long. But there is a HUGE question concerning the 76ers – actually two: 1) How will Ben Simmons lift his already-outstanding performance now with the playoffs looming and 2) How effective will Joel Embiid be if and when he returns from his eye injury. He’s ruled out for game one.
Prediction: Sixers in Seven
(4) Cleveland Cavaliers vs (5) Indiana Pacers: Oh Lord what a matchup we got here! LeBron James, the most dominant player of the current NBA generation could possibly meet his kryptonite. The Indiana Pacers have been in LeBron’s head since his days with the Heat and for some reason, the Pacers (aside of the Warriors) have driven him absolutely MAD on occasion. Granted LBJ has righted the ship more often than not, but it’s the Pacers. Crazy things can and will happen in this series!
Prediction: Pacers in Six
1) Houston Rockets vs 8) Minnesota Timberwolves: Defense. Defense. Defense – Which team will play the best defense to support their offense is the main question. We know the pedigree with James Harden and company and the T’Wolves started to find their rhythm offensively especially in their thrilling OT win over Denver that got them in the playoffs. For Minnesota, they need to match Houston basket for basket. If they don’t Houston will run away. Which is probably what will happen.
Prediction: Rockets in Five
2) Golden State Warriors vs 7) San Antonio Spurs: The champs are without their leader in Stephen Curry. The Spurs did NOT win 50 games for the first time in 18 seasons. San Antonio is also without Kawhi Leonard and this season San Antonio has been wildly inconsistent. And have lost to teams they should not have. The Dubs have this advantage for two reasons – 1) They’ve won a playoff series without Stephen Curry present (2016 vs Houston after Curry was lost for the series with an injury) 2) They’ve defeated the Spurs without the two-time MVP. And as a bonus, they won three of four in the season series
Prediction: Dubs in Five
3) Portland Trail Blazers vs 6) New Orleans Pelicans: Dame and CJ vs AD. Hmmmmm, very very intriguing. There will not be a shortage of points in this series. But there will be a shortage of protection for Anthony Davis. No Boogie should mean no series victory. But keep in mind after Cousins’ injury, the Pelicans took off! They won their last five games including a road victory over the World Champion Warriors. So who’s to say they won’t do it again. This should be a fun one
Prediction: Trail Blazers in Six
4) Oklahoma City Thunder vs 5) Utah Jazz: The intrigue for this series is absolutely nutty. Westbrook averages a triple double for the second consecutive season, beat the Jazz in a season series, but it’s the Jazz with the momentum after a 40-point destruction of the World Champion Warriors. How will the Jazz and the likely defensive player of the year in Rudy Gobert fare in the playoffs against 100 mph Russell Westbrook? The better question is, will Westbrook be gassed after such a style after four games and have enough to extend the series?
Prediction: Jazz in Six
There are the predictions – What do you think? Leave some comments and let’s start the chatter!