NBA Playoffs preview

Who will move on?

The most anticipated event in professional sports is now upon us: the NBA playoffs. The eight top teams from each Western and Eastern conference will play each other in a series of seven games.

In this first round of the playoffs the higher seeded teams will play host to the lower seeded team. I would like to predict who will move on and why.

In the Eastern conference teams:

No.1 seed Toronto Raptors, will host the No. 8 seed Washington Wizards. This series would feature an interesting matchup too close to call. Even though the Raptors had one of the best season in franchise history and a really a good year from Demar Derozan and Kyle Lowry. However I believe that with the return of John Wall adding an all star frontcourt this can cause some troubles for Toronto. I will give an upset pick by choosing the Wizard to win in seven games.

Next we match up No. 2 seed Boston Celtics against the No.7 seed Milwaukee Bucks. This matchup unfortunately will not feature a full caliber Boston team, because their star player Kyrie Irving will miss the playoffs. This almost certainly seals Boston’s fate with a quick exit out. Boston already has a history of difficulty stopping the Buck’s star player Giannis Antetokounmpo. This may be a quick round. The Bucks can take the series in five games.

Then there is the No.3 Philadelphia 76ers playing against No. 6 seed Miami Heat. This is a matchup about these underrated teams. The 76ers returned back to the playoffs for after having finished in the bottom rankings for the past few seasons. Miami Heat since the trade deadline when the receive their star player Dwayne Wade back went on a roll to return to playoffs themselves. I am going to trust the processes of Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz to get them past my Miami in six games.

Lastly the No. 4 seed, Cleveland Cavaliers are looking to get back to the finals as they are opening in the first round to the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers won the season series 3-1, but that was before the trade deadline when Cleveland redid the roster. I would hope that an at times shaky Cleveland defense and an inspiring Pacers’ offense that hopefully they can get by Cleveland, so I pick the Pacers in seven games.

The Eastern Conference looks tough, however the Western Conference is more difficult.

First the No. 1 seed Houston Rockets set their franchise record with 65 regular season wins and they are looking to keep their magical season going against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Timberwolves have a lot of good players on their team that would make Houston sweat it out. It will go all seven games, but Hoston will still move on.

Next we have the defending World Champions and No. 2 seed Golden State Warriors who will try to defend their title as they take on the San Antonio Spurs. They will be playing without their star player, Kiwiad Leonard. Unless he can make a return, the Warriors can march themselves past the Spurs even without Stephen Curry in five games.

Then we have No. 3 seed, Portland Trail Blazers. The Trail Blazers are a hungry team looking to make a run for a championship as they play against No. 6, New Orleans Pelicans that made a surprising run in second half to get here. This series is too close to call, because these teams play such similar offensive styles. I think it’s going to be more in Portland’s favor as it will take all seven games.

Lastly the No. 4 seed features that rejuvenated Utah Jazz who will play host to a No. 5 seed and inconsistent Oklahoma City Thunder. Even the most recent League MVP has not been able to click together. I will have to go with the team that plays as a team, and that is Utah. I see them doing it in six games.

As I have listed my matchups and results, however I have described to you the difficulty of this round to do the team matchups that are featured. It is safe to say that this will be the most entertaining first round we have seen in a long time.