The playoffs are finally here! Let’s get into it.
Bucks (1) vs Pistons (8)
The Bucks are 4-0 against the Pistons this season and one of the most dominant teams in the league. The Pistons have struggled to get into the playoffs and don’t even know if Blake Griffin will play. So, this is not the winning formula the Pistons need to get past the first round. The Bucks are the best defensive team in the league and the Magic have improved their three-point shooting greatly, so there is potential for a close game. While the Bucks are missing Snell, Brogdon, and possibly Mirotic for the first few games, the Pistons will have trouble stopping the three-headed monster of Giannis, Middleton, and Bledsoe.
Prediction: Bucks sweep the Pistons 4-0
Raptors (2) vs Magic (7)
The Raptors and Magic split the season series, however in both of the Magic’s wins, either Lowry or Kawhi were out. The Magic outscored the Raptors by 30 in the four games combined, however Toronto’s injuries do have significance in this situation. But, Nikola Vucevic has come up huge for Orlando in his all-star season after averaging 20.8, 12, and 3.8. Terrence Ross is entering the season on a high note after shooting 46.9% from the field and 45% from beyond the arc during his last ten games as well. With that said, we all know that the Raptors are the better team. Easily. So…
Prediction: Raptors roll over the Magic, winning the series 4-1
76ers (3) vs Nets (6)
This has potential to be a great series. The Nets are one of the most hyped up teams in the league, and for good reason. The emergence of their young core led by D-Lo has been surprising to most. With Russell as a candidate for MIP and Dinwiddie for Sixth Man, the team is quite well rounded. But, they will be going against Philly. I have zero respect for the Sixers, but you can’t say they aren’t a good team. Their starting lineup is among the best in the league, after the addition of Tobi. But, Philly has no depth. The Nets have had depth problems this season as well, but I would rather have Dinwiddie, LeVert (who is playing really well right now), and Hollis-Jefferson than McConnell, Bobi, and company in my second unit. If the Nets can use that depth to stay in games with the Sixers and get D-Lo the ball, then these games could be very entertaining. This is a good series to watch for Celtics fans, because watching the Nets at home is so much fun, especially if they’re playing the Sixers. The season series was split, but it’s hard to take much from it since the Sixers only had Tobias Harris for one game in which they won by 13, but all the other games were close as well. The Nets have a chance for an upset, but it will be hard.
Prediction: Sixers win 4-2, but in a close Game 6
Celtics (4) vs Pacers (5)
I don’t know why everyone is making a big deal. The Celtics are not a first round upset. The season series went to the Celtics 3-1 and the only game which the Celtics lost was when Oladipo hit a game-winner. I’m not worried. This team is made for the playoffs. We saw that last year when everyone stepped their game up three levels for the playoffs (and we beat a Bucks team in 7, Sixers in 5, and lost to the Cavs in 7). The regular season has been the definition of inconsistent while going on a bunch of loss streaks just to get a win against a team like the Warriors, which brought hopes up, which only got crushed when we lost to a team like the Bulls. A similar situation happened in the 2009-2010 season. The Celtics had an up and down season and got the 4th seed, just to go to the Finals that year. This shows that you can’t count out a team like the Celtics who have a winning nature. The Pacers have definetly been impressive since the loss of Dipo, but after losing to the Celtics by 20 in Indiana, I stopped worrying. We’re winning this series.
Prediction: Celtics win 4-2, silencing any haters