The postseason of the NBA season has begun and we have eight teams representing each conference in the playoffs.
After a change to the format, four teams came out of the play-in tournament to take on the top-seeded teams from each conference. Let’s take a look at the eight different matchups we have for the first round and predict which team will remain standing.
Philadelphia 76ers(1) vs Washington Wizards(8)
The Wizards survived the play-in tournament to become the eighth seed in the East but will likely not make it out of the first round. Even though this team is led by one of the most intense players in NBA history in Russell Westbrook, they might not have what it takes to beat the 76ers. For Philadelphia, this will likely be a short series followed by a bit of rest before going up against their next opponent.
Brooklyn Nets (2) vs Boston Celtics (7)
The Nets only missed the top seed by one game and with the amount of firepower this team brings, Boston is not likely to win any games in this series. It will be a huge surprise if the Nets don’t sweep the Celtics out of the NBA playoffs in the first round. If the regular season is any indication, the Celtic players can schedule their vacations early.
Milwaukee Bucks (3) vs Miami Heat (6)
This series is going to depend upon which version of each team arrives in the series to face the other. Both have had their ups and downs all year long and offer different ways to give us the performance on the court we can enjoy. The Bucks are expected to come out of this series, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Heat make a strong run after their performance ayear ago.
New York Knicks (4) vs Atlanta Hawks (5)
The most heavily contested matchup is the Knicks vs Hawks. Separated by only the fact that New York swept the Hawks in the regular season, this could be the series to watch. Expect this matchupto go seven games and for it to be a back and forth series. If you’re looking for some excitement on the floor, tune into these two teams during the NBA playoffs.
Utah Jazz (1) vs Memphis Grizzlies (8)
The Grizzlies bring a tough-minded type of basketball to this series but the Jazz has proved all year they belong at the top of the list. Expect this series to go five games but not beyond that. The Jazz will likely give the Grizzlies a “gentlemen’s sweep” and have a few days of rest after the series is over.
Phoenix Suns (2) vs Los Angeles Lakers (7)
It’s time to feel bad for the Suns. Even though they came into the NBA playoffs as the second seed in the West, they aren’t going to be a match for a healthy Lakers squad. The Lakers have faced injuries all year and had to make it to the playoffs through the play-in tournament, but the defending champions are ready to play for back-to-back crowns.
Denver Nuggets (3) vs Portland Trail Blazers (6)
Denver offers a tough team with a big line while Portland has sharpshooters in the backcourt to drain the ball from distance. Which team will make it past this series and onto the next? That is a tough call and one that makes this matchup the one you might wantto watch. During the regular season, Denver took two of the three games these teams played.
Los Angeles Clippers (4) vs Dallas Mavericks (5)
The impression at the end of the season was the Clippers were tanking to avoid a matchup with the Lakers. If that is true, this team is gutless and should be bounced out of the playoffs by the Mavericks. With Luca Doncic in the lineup, the Clippers are in trouble and will likely be another story of a team that just wasn’t ready to play in the NBA playoffs.
What Will the Second Round of the NBA Playoffs Look Like
Let’s predict the second round and see what the matchups will look like. We can then analyze the results and see how close we are to being right. The second round of the NBA playoffs should look like this:
East –Philadelphia (1) vs. New York (4), Brooklyn (2) vs. Miami (6)
West –Utah (1) vs. Dallas (5), Los Angeles (7) vs. Denver (3)