NBA Playoffs Preview

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NBA Playoffs Preview

By Isaiah Ahumada, staff writer

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Get student quote or opinions on who they think will do well.

The first-round of the NBA playoffs have begun. A common question running through the minds of many NBA supporters is: which teams will survive?

The Playoffs are set and many friends are excited to watch. This is the first playoffs without LeBron in 14 years. Since LeBron is no longer with the Cleveland Cavaliers, fans don’t have to watch the long overdue match up of Warriors and Cavs in the finals. There are few teams that have made it to the playoffs that weren’t in last year. The Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons, and the Brooklyn Nets have made it this year for the East. In the West, the Los Angeles Clippers and the Nuggets have made it. The Warriors have claimed the first seed once again, But this year the Milwaukee Bucks have claimed the first seed and are the only team with 60 wins.

West Playoff preview (1st Round)

Warriors vs. Clippers:

The Clippers are young and hungry. Patrick Beverley is ready to test Steph Curry and might get under Curry’s skin. Ivica Zubac has had success against the Warriors, especially when he played them Christmas day.  Their bench is much better than Warriors. They average 53 points per game. The factor of that bench, Lou Williams. He is having an all-star year and is a candidate for 6-man of the year. Even though the Clippers are impressive, the Warriors have too much star power. Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and Demarcus Cousins might be a little too much to handle.

Prediction: Warriors (4-1)

Rockets vs. Jazz:

Rockets and Jazz have almost a similar team. Both teams have a deep bench, Star defensive centers, great role players, and a point guard and shooting guard duo. The difference maker is James Harden. Harden is having an MVP year again. His ability to draw contact and make his shots are incredible. Harden also leads the NBA with the most three-pointers made. Utah’s trio of Rubio, Mitchel, and Gobert is nice but the trio of Paul, Harden, and Capella is better.

Prediction: Rockets (4-2)

Blazers vs. Thunder

Blazers and Thunder have an amazing all-star duo. Blazers have Damian Lillard and Cj McCollum and the Thunder have Paul George and Russell Westbrook. They have great teams, but the Blazers suffered a major injury. Jusuf Nurkic leg snapped almost a month ago. He was a big part of the team’s success. He will miss the playoffs and I feel like Blazers will be short-handed.

Prediction: Thunder (4-2)

Nuggets vs. Spurs

This is the first matchup that I can see an upset happening. The Spurs traded for Demar Derozan, who was an all-star last year and have paired him up with Lamarcus Aldridge. The Spurs also have one of the greatest coaches of all-time. Meanwhile, the Nuggets are making the playoffs for the first time in 5 years. 3 out 5 players from their starting lineup haven’t experienced a playoff game. Also to mention, the Nuggets do not have a good playoff record. They have lost 9 first round series in the last 20 years.

Prediction: Spurs (4-3)

 

East Playoff Preview (Round 1)

Bucks vs. Pistons:

Blake Griffin is on a day to day process of recovering because of his knee injury. I still expect him to be ready, but the pistons will be cautious with his minutes. This potentially is a good matchup but the Buck’s role players are much better. Bucks have MVP Candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo and all-star Khris Middleton. They also have Brook Lopez who is a great rim protector and can shoot the three. I don’t see the bucks losing

Prediction: Bucks (4-1)

Celtics vs. Pacers

This will be a great and competitive series, even though the Pacers lost Victor Oladipo. After Oladipo went down I thought they would fall down in the rankings, but I was wrong. They kept the 4 spot for a while until they lost it to the Celtics. The Celtics have lost their own key player, Marcus Smart. Smart is the pounding heart of the team, he is a great leader and very aggressive. Jayson Tatum is injured as well. He is a key young piece for the Celtics. It’s time for Kyrie to prove that he is a leader. The Celtics are facing a great Pacer defensive team.

Prediction: Celtics (4-3)

Sixers vs. Nets

Sixers added Tobias Harris and Jimmy Butler this season. With these additions, the Sixers have nice rotation to play with. Recently Joel Embiid has dealt with a knee injury, and might not be able to play game 1. The Nets will definitely be looking to take advantage of Joel’s injury. This helps D’Angelo Russell because he is a small point guard. Without Embiid he has a better chance to show off his skill.

Prediction: Sixers (4-2)

Raptors vs. Magic

Raptors lost Demar Derozan when they traded for Kawhi Leonard. The trade made the Raptors a better defensive team. Kyle Lowry is playing better as well, he is an assist machine and can score. Their additions of Marc Gasol and Danny Green are nice too. They are also more experienced than the Magic in the playoffs. The Magic haven’t made the playoffs since 2012. Aaron Gordon has played well for the magic and Nikola Vucevic has had an outstanding season. Their performances are great but it’s not enough to compete with the Raptors. The Raptors bench is better, and they have better stars as well as great role players.

Prediction: Raptors (4-0)

Once again these are predictions, anything can happen in the playoffs. This look to be a fun and exciting playoffs. I don’t think we have seen a more competitive set of games in a while. Let the best teams win.

 

 

 

 

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