The NBA playoffs are finally set and the schedule is out. Let’s take a look at each series and pick a winner.
#1 Milwaukee Bucks vs. #8 Detroit Pistons
- Milwaukee won the season series 4-0
- The Pistons never scored more than 105, and the Bucks never scored less than 107.
- Milwaukee should breeze past the Pistons in this series. They’ve dominated the Pistons all year and have too much for the Pistons to handle.
- The only questions about Milwaukee going into the playoffs is there experience, they don’t have much. Which is a reason I think they brought in Paul Gasol. But the Pistons don’t really have any playoff experience either and they suck.
- On top of all that, the Pistons are unsure how much Blake Griffin will be able to play.
- I’ll take the Bucks to win this series 4-0.
- Giannis for MVP. Fear the Deer.
- Game 1: Sun. April 14th Detroit at Milwaukee, 7 ET, TNT
- Game 2: Wed. April 17th Detroit at Milwaukee, 8 ET, NBA TV
- Game 3: Sat. April 20th Milwaukee at Detroit, 8 ET, ESPN
- Game 4: Mon. April 22nd Milwaukee at Detroit, 8 ET, TNT
- *Game 5: Wed. April 24th Detroit at Milwaukee, TBD, TBD
- *Game 6: Fri. April 26th Milwaukee at Detroit, TBD, TBD
- *Game 7: Sun. April 28th Detroit at Milwaukee, TBD, TBD
#2 Toronto Raptors vs. #7 Orlando Magic
- These two split their season series, 2-2. The only single digit game was the first played way back on November 20th. They also split these game home/away.
- Toronto as been quiet all year with the Bucks winning 60 games, the Warrior/Nuggets battling for first in the West, Hardens push for MVP again, and the drama surrounding the Boston Celtics. This team won 58 games this year, second most in the NBA.
- Orlando is returning to the postseason for the first time since 2012, and they are lead by big man Nikola Vucevic who was an all star this year.
- Kawhi Leonard is also making is way back to the postseason after not playing for the Spurs last year. He’s been a stud in the playoff before and will be depended upon to lead the Raptors to the finals this year.
- The Magic made a run into playoffs in large part to a 15-8 record since the All-Star break. If you go back even further to the start of February, they went 6-1 in game that month before the All-Star break.
- That run was brought on by great defense. They held teams like the Warriors and Bucks to only 103 points in wins since February.
- As well as the Magic have been playing, I’ll take the Raptors to win this series 4-2.
- Game 1: Sat. April 13th Orlando at Toronto. 5 ET, ESPN
- Game 2: Tue. April 16th Orlando at Toronto, 8 ET, TNT
- Game 3: Fri. April 19th Toronto at Orlando, 7 ET, ESPN
- Game 4: Sun. April 21st Toronto at Orlando, 7 ET, TNT
- *Game 5: Tue. April 23rd Orlando at Toronto, TBD, TBD
- *Game 6: Thu. April 25th Toronto at Orlando, TBD, TBD
- *Game 7: Sat. April 27th Orlando at Toronto, TBD, TNT
#3 Philadelphia 76ers vs. #6 Brooklyn Nets
- These teams split their season series 2-2 with each team winning one game at home and one game on the road.
- Two of these games were very close back in November and December with the 76ers winning by 2 in November and the Nets winning by 3 in December.
- These two teams last played on March 28th where the 76ers won by 13.
- The 76ers are all in this year after getting Jimmy Butler and acquiring Tobias Harris from the Clippers. The 76ers need Butler to be that closer in the playoffs for them.
- 76ers also have a liability in Ben Simmons at the end of games because he fucking sucks at shooting, somehow. One of the top 20 players in the NBA, is a guard, and can’t shoot. Sad.
- For the Nets, D’Angelo Russell has been a stud for them after getting out of hell in L.A. playing with the Lakers.
- The Nets have really come on this year and they have a lot of depth. Guys like Joe Harris and Caris LeVert will have to play at a higher level if they want to win this series. LeVert looked like a stud in the making before he suffered a broken leg back in November.
- The question here is do the Nets have anybody to guard Joel Embiid. It’s a question whether Embiid will play Game 1 or not, but he’s going to play the majority of this series. I don’t think the Nets can stop him.
- I’ll take the 76ers to win this series 4-2.
- Game 1: Sat. April 13th Brooklyn at Philadelphia, 2:30 ET, ESPN
- Game 2: Mon. April 15th Brooklyn at Philadelphia, 8 ET, TNT
- Game 3: Thu. April 18th Philadelphia at Brooklyn, 8 ET, TNT
- Game 4: Sat. April 20th Philadelphia at Brooklyn, 3 ET, TNT
- *Game 5: Tue. April 23rd Brooklyn at Philadelphia TBD, TBD
- *Game 6: Thu. April 25th Philadelphia at Brooklyn TBD, TBD
- *Game 7: Sat. April 27th Brooklyn at Philadelphia, TBD, TNT
#4 Boston Celtics vs. #5 Indiana Pacers
- The Celtics won the season series 3-1. They played a close game in Boston on March 29th where the Celtics won by 2, and the Celtic also just recently won by 20 on April 5th.
- The story here is all on the Celtics. They are loaded with talent, they have both their stars back, and have been mediocre this season. They were expected to be the #1 or #2 seed in the East and win close to 60 games. They just haven’t gelled this year quite like everybody expected.
- However, they still have the best player on the court in this game and one of the best closer in the game in Kyrie Irving.
- The Pacers on the other hand lost their star, Victor Oladipo but somehow managed to stay in that 4/5 slot. They have played very well in his absence.
- The Celtics also have two other factors to overcome: they’ll be without Marcus Smart for the this series, and they went 1-7 on the road in the playoffs last year.
- The Celtics have gotten a lot of shit from the outside, and I don’t think people will be surprised if this series went 7 games. However, I think the Celtics make quick work and win this in 5. Give me the C’s to win the series 4-1.
- Game 1: Sun. April 14th Indiana at Boston, 1 ET, TNT
- Game 2: Wed. April 17th Indiana at Boston, 7 ET, TNT
- Game 3: Fri. April 19th Boston at Indiana, 8:30 ET, ABC
- Game 4: Sun. April 21st Boston at Indiana, 1 ET, ABC
- *Game 5: Wed. April 24th Indiana at Boston, TBD, TBD
- *Game 6: Fri. April 26th Boston at Indiana, TBD, TBD
- *Game 7: Sun. April 28th Indiana at Boston, TBD, TBD
#1 Golden State Warriors vs. #8 Los Angeles Clippers
- Golden State won the season series 3-1. The only win for the Clippers came very early on, November 12th where they won in overtime at home.
- I mean Golden State is fucking loaded.
- The Clippers were supposed to be the shitty team in L.A., they were supposed to tank after trading Tobias Harris. Instead, they’ve played very well and made the postseason.
- The most fun part of this series might be watching Patrick Beverley piss off who ever he is guarding. Guy loves to get under peoples skin.
- The other thing to watch out for, is how the Warriors play postseason ball with DeMarcus Cousins and if there is a close game in this series, is Cousins on the floor or does Steve Kerr put a different big man in there. Remember, they did sign Andrew Bogut.
- I think the Clippers steal one in L.A. I’ll take the Warriors to win this series 4-1.
- Game 1: Sat. April 13th LA at Golden State, 8 ET, ABC
- Game 2: Mon. April 15th LA at Golden State, 10:30 ET, TNT
- Game 3: Thu. April 18th Golden State at LA, 10:30 ET, TNT
- Game 4: Sun. April 21st Golden State at LA, 3:30 ET, ABC
- *Game 5: Wed. April 24th LA at Golden State, TBD, TBD
- *Game 6: Fri. April 26th Golden State at LA, TBD, TBD
- *Game 7: Sun. April 28th LA at Golden State, TBD, TBD
#2 Denver Nuggets vs. #7 San Antonio Spurs
- These teams split their season series 2-2. Both won each of their games at home.
- These teams are polar opposites in a lot of ways. Denver has very little playoff experience, the Spurs have a ton. Denver has a very deep bench, the Spurs do not. Denver has a ton of big guys they can throw at you, the Spurs do not.
- If the Nuggets win this series it will be because Nikola Jokic played like the all star he is. The Spurs really only have LaMarcus Aldridge to combat against Jokic, we’ll see if Aldridge is up to the task.
- The Nuggets will also need some support from their guards. It would be nice if Gary Harris could improve on a disappointing season.
- The Spurs meanwhile need DeMar DeRozan to actually play well in the playoffs.
- The Spurs are a trendy pick to upset the Nuggets here, but I’ll take the Nuggets to win this series 4-3.
- Game 1: Sat. April 13th San Antonio at Denver, 10:30 ET, ESPN
- Game 2: Tue. April 16th San Antonio at Denver, 9 ET, NBA TV
- Game 3: Thu. April 18th Denver at San Antonio, 9 ET, NBA TV
- Game 4: Sat. April 20th Denver at San Antonio, 5:30 ET, TNT
- *Game 5: Tue. April 23th San Antonio at Denver, TBD, TBD
- *Game 6: Thu. April 25th Denver at San Antonio, TBD, TBD
- *Game 7: Sat. April 27th San Antonio at Denver, TBD, TNT
#3 Portland Trailblazers vs. #6 Oklahoma City Thunder
- The Thunder swept this series, 4-0. All the game however were decided by single digits. Most recently they played on March 7th where the Thunder won in OT 129-121.
- Can the Trailblazers finally get out of the 1st round? They won the final game of the year to steal the #3 seed away from the Houston Rockets to avoid the Golden State Warriors.
- What hurts the Trailblazers is CJ McCollum isn’t fully healthy, and their big man Jusuf Nurkic is out.
- I like the Thunder to win this series 4-2. Westbrook and Paul George will prove to be too much for just Damian Lillard to handle.
- Game 1: Sun. April 14th Oklahoma City at Portland, 3:30 ET, ABC
- Game 2: Tue. April 16th Oklahoma City at Portland, 10:30 ET, TNT
- Game 3: Fri. April 19th Portland at Oklahoma City, 9:30 ET, ESPN
- Game 4: Sun. April 21st Portland at Oklahoma City, 9:30 ET, TNT
- *Game 5: Tue. April 23rd Oklahoma City at Portland, TBD, TBD
- *Game 6: Thu. April 25th Portland at Oklahoma City, TBD, TBD
- *Game 7: Sat. April 27th Oklahoma City at Portland, TBD, TNT
#4 Houston Rockets vs. #5 Utah Jazz
- These two teams split their regular season series 2-2. The Jazz won the first two meetings in October and early December.
- They haven’t played each other since before the All-Star break on February 2nd.
- They played each-other last year in the second round, where the Rockets won 4-1.
- The Rockets have been hot post All-Star break thanks to James Harden and his 36 PPG.
- The Jazz have the defense to stop Harden though, they have the top ranked defense in the Western conference and number two overall led by Rudy Gobert.
- The Jazz also have a certified stud in Donovan Mitchell to go head to head with Harden.
- Could the Rockets be looking ahead to the Warriors in round two? Although they are #4 seed, many think the Rockets have the best chance to beat the Warriors in the West.
- I think the Rockets do look ahead, but not enough to lose. I like them to win this series 4-2.
- Game 1: Sun. April 14th Utah at Houston, 9:30 ET, TNT
- Game 2: Wed. April 17th Utah at Houston, 9:30 ET, TNT
- Game 3: Sat. April 20th Houston at Utah, 10:30 ET, ESPN
- Game 4: Mon. April 22nd Houston at Utah 10:30 ET, TNT
- *Game 5: Wed. April 24th Utah at Houston, TBD, TBD
- *Game 6: Fri. April 26th Houston at Utah, TBD, TBD
- *Game 7: Sun. April 28th Utah at Houston, TBD, TBD