No. 1 Milwaukee Bucks vs. No. 8 Orlando Magic
Milwaukee Bucks quest to win the NBA Championship reaches another level, as they will have to beat-off challenge from host city, Orlando Magic to move to the next round of the play-offs.
for the likes Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez, Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks, their first-round series against Orlando Magic is like the first quarter. They have to make good use of their chances.
Orlando Magic lukewarm bubble performance so far, could serve as one major boost for the Bucks ahead of this match-up, even though the Bucks understandably have their own worries.
Giannis will have it on his mind early and often to make a statement throughout the postseason, and it begins with the Magic.
Prediction: Bucks in 4
No. 2 Toronto Raptors vs. No. 7 Brooklyn Nets
Defending Champions Toronto Raptors, who have a record of 7/1 since the restart of the NBA season, will face ‘weak’ Brooklyn Nets sides, in one of the play-offs games, in the Western Conference.
Brooklyn Net are without 5,6 of their key men, but have the likes of Caris LeVert to thank, with consistent performance. Toronto Raptors have lesser worries ahead of the clash, with the major of their team fit. Fred VanVleet, Serge Ibaka. Kyle Lowry all should feature for the Raptors.
Even though Brooklyn Nets have been able to keep their head above water so far in the season restart, they are surely aware of the gigantic threat, Toronto Raptors pose to them.
Toronto Raptors come into the playoffs well galvanized after managing their own injuries, during the regular season and boast the league’s second-best defense. They will now have to slow down Caris LeVert, Joe Harris and Jarrett Allen, who have been the key to Brooklyn’s success in the bubble.
Prediction: Raptors in 4
No. 3 Boston Celtics vs. No. 6 Philadelphia 76ers
All-star guard, Joel Embiid will be on for Phildelphia Sixers, as they prepare to face hot, Boston Celtics. Embiid who have suffered some minor injuries this season, has not doubt bee one of the top-performers for the Sixers, since the restart of the NBA season, both offensively and defensively.
Since the restart, the Cameroonian has shown huge signs of improvement passing out of double teams to find shooters, he’s averaged 30.0 PPG, 13.5 RPG and 3.3 APG in their first four seeding games.
Celtics have Enes Kanter to defend him, while Jayson, Kemba and Jaylen would do more of the offensive job.
Prediction: Celtics in 6
No. 4 Miami Heat vs. No. 5 Indiana Pacers
With Victor Oladipo gradually returning to full-form, Indiana Pacers will be hoping to finish-off what they have started. Pacers have key players in their rotation miss crucial part of the season with injuries, Malcolm Brogdon, Myles Turner and Victor Oladipo being the most prominent.
Miami Heats lost the last game of the regular season to Oklahoma City Thunder 116-115, and will now ensure their superb season, do not come to an abrupt end. They have use Aaron Holiday to continue his strong play from the seeding games and for Justin Holiday to regain his shooting touch.
No. 1 Los Angeles Lakers vs. Portland Trail Blazers
One of the biggest pairing, Los Angeles Lakers vs Portland Trail Blazers, promises to a mouthwatering. The Latter had to go through the play-in game to face LA Lakers after beating Memphis Grizzlies.
Blazers have had a mix but superb season, the entire players in the team have got extra-ordinary character. Damian Lilliad at some point of the season, was the saddest, with unfavorable officiating that could have ensure PTB do not make the play-offs, but the former rookie of the year winner, has been putting up some sublime display lately.
LA Lakers had a regular season bubble to forget, with unimpressive performances. Losing ‘big’ and ‘small’ games.
Make no mistake, Los Angeles Lakers number one place finish is no-fluke. After going 52-19, behind Anthony Davis’ monstrous interior presence and play making and scoring of LeBron James, Portland Trail Blazers are going to have their work cut out for them.
Prediction: Blazers in 6
No. 2 LA Clippers vs. No. 7 Dallas Mavericks
Luka Doncic Regular Season display was phenomenal, is high-time we see how the Slovenian is going to fare in the play-offs. But this time they will be up against LA Clippers who also will fancy their chances of winning the NBA Championship this season.
Meanwhile Doncic knows he’s got some huge work to do for the Mavericks, as he will be up against two of the best perimeter defenders in the league in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, no to forget Patrick Beverley, who is one of the peskiest defenders at the point guard position.
Prediction: Clippers in 4
No. 3 Denver Nuggets vs. No. 6 Utah Jazz
It is a match-up of 2 of the best big Basketball players the league has to offer in Rudy Gobert and Nikola Jokic.
Rudy Gobert main aim here will be to ensure, Nikola Jokic does not get the needed balance, offensively and aslo be in enough on the other side so that the Nuggets star can’t rest defensively.
Prediction: Nuggets in 6
No. 4 Houston Rockets vs. No. 5 Oklahoma City Thunder
Offensively Rockets are brilliant, defensively they buffooned. They will be up against 2012 finalist Oklahoma Ciy Thunder, who are had a lukewarm regular season.
Depending on how the first game of the series pan-out, Houston Rockets could be forced to bring back the former OKC man, Russell Westbrook.
Prediction: Rockets in 7