NBA Playoffs Preview


Aaron Kolomvotos

The NBA playoffs are here, and it’s time to see who will win the NBA Finals in June. After an 82 game season the playoffs are set as we watch the multiple series unfold into the Finals. Only one team can face off for the championship from the Western and Eastern Conferences. Lets take a look at the first round match ups and see who has the best chance to advance onto the next round and win it all.

The Western Conference – Number 1 seed Golden State Warriors will go up against the number 8 seed Los Angeles Clippers. It’s no surprise that the Warriors had the best record in the west, the teams starting 5 consist of 5 all stars and the Warriors are going for the 3 peat as champions making themselves the team to beat in the playoffs. The Warriors are one of the best teams in the league in scoring, 3 point shooting, and lead the league in assists.

As for the Clippers they have an average roster. The Clippers manage to get into the playoffs without a star player, but is it good enough to beat the Warriors? We don’t think it is.

Number 2 seed Denver Nuggets against number 7 seed San Antonio Spurs is the next matchup we will look at. The Nuggets have played very well all year long. With center Nikola Jorkic leading the team in almost every category they will rely on him to play well. The Nuggets also have the most balanced roster in the league.

For the Spurs they have played decent throughout the year, but not the best. However, you should not count out the Spurs, they have lots experience, and they are a very well coached team too.

Number 3 seed Portland Trail Blazers against the number 6 seed Oklahoma City Thunder is another to look closely at. Portland was a surprise 3 seed, but earned it in beating out other great teams to get here.

In the past Portland has always been a first round exit, but could it be different this year? The Thunder started this season off hot with Paul George having an MVP season, but drastically fell off near the end to put them at the 6th seed. The Thunder have also sweep the Trail Blazers during the regular season, but how far will they go in the post-season?

the last game in the West is the Number 4 seed Houston Rockets against number 5 seed Utah Jazz. The Rockets have the strength to go beat the Warriors, but must beat the Jazz first. James Harden, who was outstanding this year averaging 35 points a game, could be the MVP again.

The Jazz are a good team and they are led by star player Donovan Mitchell. The question that surrounds them is are they good enough and do they have what it takes to move on.

The Eastern Conference – Number 1 seed Milwaukee Bucks will go up against number 8 seed Detroit Pistons. With LeBron no longer in the east we will see a new team represent the east in the finals this year. The Milwaukee Bucks may be that time as they were absolutely great all year long and the possible MVP of the league Giannis Antetokounmpo is the reason why.

The Bucks have a top 3 offense and the best defense in the league. The Bucks should be a hard team to beat in a 7 game series, but the lack of playoff experience may be a concern. As for the Pistons they just snuck into the playoffs and will be without Blake Griffin for the first round leaving them little to no chance against the Bucks.

Number 2 seed Toronto Raptors go up against number 7 seed Orlando Magic. The Toronto Raptors are a much better team than last years because of the trade of Kawhi Leonard. The Raptors are both top 5 in offense and defense. They also a have a great roster that could make a case for deep playoff run. One thing to keep in mind is that in the past the Raptors would always under-perform in the playoffs, could this be different with Kawhi Leonard leading the team? The Magic have finally made the playoffs again, but against the Raptors the Magic should stand no chance.

Number 3 seed Philadelphia 76ers against number 6 seed Brooklyn Nets. The 76ers have one of the best rosters in the east with Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris. As they are one of the favorites to make it to the finals and with Embiid having an MVP season they have a good chance. However, the depth of their roster is a concern with the Nets ability to shoot the ball from deep.

The Nets are a surprising team that made the playoffs as star player D’Angelo Russell carried them here, but the roster inst good enough to beat the 76ers.

Number 4 seed Boston Celtics against number 5 seed Indiana Pacers. The Celtics were one of the favorites going into the season, but struggled throughout the year and earned the 4th seed. The Celtics have very good playoff experience from last year. You should never count out the Celtics due to coach Brad Stevens being one of the best at preparing and using his players externally well.

The Pacers have been average at best this year. With star Victor Oladipo out for the season from an injury. The Pacers should put up a fight against the Celtics, but the Pacers have been playing well without Oladipo so it could be interesting.