After an NBA regular season riddled with injuries, we have arrived at the NBA playoffs. I know many of you have not watched at all this year so it is my job here to predict EXACTLY what will happen in the first round of the playoffs.
There are some solid matchups in the first round as this NBA playoffs looks to be the most open playoffs in recent history. There is not one clear cut favorite to win it all so buckle up folks!
Let’s take a quick gander into each 1st round matchup and predict who will win.
Golden State Warriors vs. San Antonio Spurs
The big storyline here is about the two players who most likely will not be playing. If the basketball Gods were smart, they would magically cure Steph Curry and fix Kawhi Leonard’s brain. This series with both of them playing would be an absolute must watch series. Without either of them, the Warriors superstars will roll over the Spurs. Curry’s health will be something to watch throughout this series. Kawhi has become a complete mental midget so don’t even bother thinking about him.
Warriors in 5
Washington Wizards vs. Toronto Raptors
Could this finally be the Raptors year? If there is ever a time for them to capitalize this is the season. The Cavs have been down pretty much all year. The Celtics have suffered two gigantic blows with Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving getting hurt. The Raptors finished 1st in the Eastern conference and had a dominating 34-7 record when they played in the 6. The Wizards will forever be one more superstar away from being a serious threat.
Raptors in 4
Miami Heat vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Here is another series that will be affected by the play of an injured superstar. Joel Embiid has missed 7 games with an orbital fracture. He has gone through shootaround recently with a badass mask on. Goofy ass Joel Embiid with a mask on is really a sight to see. The 76ers are RED HOT, winning their last 16 games in a row. That is probably the ideal way to enter the playoffs if you ask me. Winning a lot of games in a row > losing a lot of games in a row. The Heat just do not have the star power to knock off the young 76ers. Embiid most likely will only play in this series if needed, the 76ers should be just fine without the tall fella.
76ers in 5
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Portland Trail Blazers
It seems like this is a running theme here, another series that would be better if everyone was playing. The Pelicans lost Demarcus Cousins to an achilles injury earlier in the year. Thankfully they have the Brow to save the day. He has played at an MVP level the entire season. He even thought he was hilarious and pulled an April Fools joke where he shaved his unibrow. Turns out he didn’t, what a silly goose! Anthony Davis is good and all but Damian Lillard is a full blown assassin. Dame is no joke and he will take over this series if needed. The Blazers look to be another legitimate threat to the Warriors. I like the Blazers in a tight series here.
Blazers in 6
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics
Let’s see, is there anyone good that is injured in this series? YOU BETCHYA!!! The Celtics are really a sad story. Jaylen Brown has really stepped up this season in Gordon Hayward’s absence. You just really can’t help but think about what could have been for the Boston Celtics. They were the best team in the East with Kyrie Irving leading the way. He also went down with an injury, pretty much crushing any sort of hope they had in Boston. There are rumblings that he may come back later on in the playoffs but I would not hold my breath waiting for that. They are good enough to beat the Bucks but I don’t see them going much further after that.
Celtics in 5
Indiana Pacers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
Zero Dark Twenty Three. Activate. This series will not be very fun. The Cavs have been quite the storyline all year but it is the playoffs. LeBron is a different beast when it matters. The Pacers will be lucky to squeak out a game here.
Cavs in 4
Utah Jazz vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
The pesky Utah Jazz and petty Donovan Mitchell. He has been playing out of this world lately and I think he will lead them to at least one victory against Russ and the gang. They have a very good, young core in Utah beginning with Mitchell. Russell Westbrook is not human though and that will be an issue for the Mormons in Utah. This is another series that I am not expecting much out of.
Thunder in 5
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Houston Rockets
The biggest threat to the Warriors are the Houston Rockets, groundbreaking stuff I am sure none of you have heard yet. I am glad I can provide that sort of insight to my Tuners. The Timberwolves squeaked into the playoffs in the last game of the year. The Rockets may be one of the best teams in the West but Tom Thibodeau is going to make them earn their stripes. He will wear out the Rockets and make them work to make it to the 2nd round. I think Jimmy and Taj will set the playoff tone for Karl Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. The future MVP, James Harden, will be too much for the Timberwolves.
Rockets in 7
Lastly, here is the playoff bracket to show who each team will play after this round.