NBA Playoffs are among us and it is time to break down the first round match ups. While the Western Conference has the usual suspects, the Eastern conference seems to be a bit of a slugfest. The NBA playoffs are going to be a dog fight much more competitive than the regular season. Join us as we break down the matchups that will make and break the playoffs.
NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Preview
Boston Celtics(1) Vs Chicago Bulls (8)– This series is up for grabs more than one would think. Only one team can tote two star players with extensive playoff experience and that is the Bulls. Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade have been there and done that. Isaiah Thomas has shown he can be a lethal scorer but his counterparts do not seem to shoulder the load. Brad Stevens has built up the Celtics to be a team in every sense of the word. Fred Hoiberg is still figuring things out. Hoiberg does have the fact he has experienced players who can handle it in crunch time. Celtics have better depth and three point shooting which will be the deciding factor. Therefore whomever can consistently hit threes will win the series. Celtics will win series in 6.
Cleveland Cavaliers (2) Vs Indiana Pacers (7) – Cleveland Cavaliers are coming off bad press and are looking to prove all of the critics wrong. The Pacers barely walked in the playoffs having to win out to seed properly. The Pacers can hang with Cleveland for a quarter or two. Although, the overall consensus is that the East is better no one is better than the Cleveland Cavaliers. Pacers can possibly eeke out a game but I do not believe Paul George will be consistent enough to counteract the big 3 in Cleveland. Cavs in 5.
Toronto Raptors (3) Vs Milwaukee Bucks (6)- This series has the making of a 7 game series. The Toronto Raptors are still incorporating Serge Ibaka and Kyle Lowry is coming off an injury. Giannis Atentekoumpo has established himself as a stud. The Bucks are not an easy out for any team especially with youth like Malcolm Brogdan. Raptors have a deeper roster but Bucks have better coaching . Raptors have been in two first round series where it has gone to 7 games. I do not expect anything less from the Raptors Hence another 7 game series. Raptors will defeat the Bucks in 7 games.
Washington Wizards (4) Vs Atlanta Hawks (5) – The Washington Wizards have emerged as a force in the East. John Wall is hands down one of the best point guards in the NBA. Bradley Beal is deadly shooter that can play great defense. The Atlanta Hawks have made the playoffs despite the predictions of their demise. This is the series that has the potential to go 7 games. Although Washington has the better guard play Atlanta is overall a better team. Mike Budenholzer has better X’s and O’s then Scott Brooks. John Wall has shown the propensity to blow a gasket. This may be an upset as Paul Millsap will be too much for Washington. Atlanta in 7.
NBA Playoffs Western Conference Preview
Golden State Warriors (1) Vs Portland Trailblazers (8)– Golden State Warriors have got their mojo back winning 14 out of their last 16 games. The Portland Trailblazers have always played GSW tough but Damian Lillard’s comments about the Blazers winning in 6 has signed Portland’s death warrant. Golden State Warriors will be looking to sweep the Trailblazers based off general principle. Last year the series went 5 games and that was due to Stephen Curry’s injury. However, This year everyone is healthy and roaring to go. Golden State Sweeps this series barring some fluke injury or controversial call.
San Antonio Spurs (2) Vs Memphis Grizzlies (7) – Spurs have dominated the Memphis Grizzlies sweeping them in multiple playoff series. This year feels different as Memphis has new coaching and has added the three ball. Mike Conley has shown himself to be a difficult matchup. Spurs have “The Klaw” Kawhi Leonard who is on a major tear. Lamarcus Aldrige has a tall order to guard Z-Bo and Gasol is going against Gasol. This series will be determined who can play bigger better. The Spurs have better coaching and more star power. Spurs win the series in 6 games.
Houston Rockets (3) Vs Oklahoma City Thunder (6)- Houston Rockets have a better team and a MVP candidate in James Harden. Russell Westbrook has made history and I intend for him to make history in the NBA playoffs. The Rockets Achilles heel is defense. The Oklahoma City Thunder will kill the Rockets on the offensive boards. The Rockets will have to maintain their hot three point shooting to overcome OKC. Moreover, If they are unable to keep the three ball going they will lose this series. Rockets are a one trick pony. That is why I am choosing OKC to upset the Rockets. Once the chips are all on the line I have seen Harden fail too many times this is not an exception.
Los Angeles Clippers (4) Vs Utah Jazz (5) – First of all Clippers will win this series if they know what’s good for them. The Clippers have too many great players to go down to the Utah Jazz. Utah has great players and solid defensive anchor in Rudy Gobert. I cannot fathom Gordon Hayward putting together 4 solid games that will push the Jazz past the Clippers. CP3 and Blake Griffin are too good to get outgunned by this Jazz team. This is a statement series that will let everyone know Clippers can win a championship. If the Clippers cannot close out this series in 5 games they will be in for a dog fight. I got Clippers in 5.