Imagine being someone who said the Pacers were going to win the series. It has to hurt. But life is good for Boston fans. Here are some predictions for Round 2!
Golden State Warriors (1) vs Houston Rockets (4):
The Warriors went to six games against the eighth-seeded Clippers, while the Rockets had a few dominant performances against a good Jazz team. A Warriors-Rockets series was one anticipated by many, and is especially exciting because of the meeting of these two teams last year in the playoffs, which went to seven games.
This year, the narrative has changed. The Warriors lost Boogie Cousins for a large chunk of time, and a possibility is present of Curry and Thompson missing a game or two. Harden is playing at a level no one expected. If the Rockets can steal home court by winning Games 1 or 2, which is a major possibility with homecourt meaning very little in these playoffs, this series could go either way.
The obvious two players to watch in this series are Harden and KD. It will be interesting to see Klay Thompson’s approach to guard the MVP candidate. Will he use the Jazz’s approach by guarding his side, or will he go head on? The danger with going head on is having Harden either blow by you or throw up a step-back three in your face, which are both moves in Harden’s arsenal, but with Thompson as an elite guard defender in the league, he should have a solution. KD, on the other hand, can shoot lights out, and he proved that in Game 6 of the Clippers series. This guy is built for moment and will put up crazy numbers to win the game. He’s led the Warriors in the playoffs since he’s joined the team, and he won’t stop here.
Like I said before, the Rockets could steal home court, so this series will need some popcorn. At the end of the day however, this series could be up to CP3, and whether or not he will show up like he needs too. The Rockets will need everyone, including Gordon, Capela, and Paul, if they want to win. But, one bad game, and the Warriors will make you pay. I have the feeling they were just playing around in the first round. Now they are playing.
Warriors in 6 – Rockets will take Game 1, but Golden State will take it all in Game 6, with a huge game from Klay
Toronto Raptors (2) vs Philadelphia 76ers (3)
This series probably won’t be as close some people want it to be. Ben Simmons has been putting up average numbers. Embiid is injured. And the Sixers have no depth. Zero. On the other hand, Kawhi is a monster. And the Raptors really only need Lowry to be as good as Simmons. In my opinion, the Raptors can easily win this series if they play their cards right, even though I would love to see the Celtics have a cake walk to the Finals by facing the Sixers in the ECF. The Raptors will force turnovers, get easy points, and have good defense throughout the game, which will be just too much for the Sixers to handle.
The main factor here is Embiid being injured. In the playoffs, if you are going against one of the top teams in the league and you are the best player on your team, you need to be 100% ready. That is not Embiid. Gasol will be annoying to Embiid all series. Embiid will not make this series any easier for the Sixers.
The Raptors got a whole lot of depth. The Sixers do not. The Raptors have a great player who is not injured. The Sixers do not. The Raptors have the mentality. The Sixers do not.
Raptors in 5 – Siakam and Kawhi will be the stars of this series. Embiid and Simmons will be disappointing as always
Milwaukee Bucks (1) vs Boston Celtics (4)
I’ve definitely underestimated the Bucks. I forgot they were actually good.
What scares me the most is their depth (I really like depth if you couldn’t tell already). Just look at the roster.
That’s scary. We all saw what happened to the Pistons. Without Brogdon. This is bad. Really bad. For Celtics fans, at least.
I’m having trouble seeing how the Celtics will matchup with the Bucks. My heart wants Boston to win, but my brain is saying it’s going to be hard. Really hard. The Celtics have proven they have the heart and grit now, even without Smart, but that will not matter if we give up 7-0 runs to Bucks three times a game.
Guarding Giannis is a puzzle. Brad has put a lot of the pieces together though. He puts Morris, Horford, sometimes Hayward, and Semi on him. Oh how we love Semi. This has done a good amount of damage, but we always see Giannis do Giannis things. So, will we be able to slow him down more than we did in the regular season? We have to.
For the Celtics, Kyrie and Tatum have entered their playoff versions. They hit clutch shot after clutch shot against the Pacers, and it feels good. Hayward has finally returned and it feels good. The Celtics are playing consistently and It. Feels. Good. But, honestly, I think the Bucks are winning the series. Just flat out. And it won’t feel good.
Bucks win in 7 – Tatum and Brown will show up in a few games, but Giannis and Middleton will come out on top in game 7