NBA Playoff Preview

As the playoffs are right around the corner, take a look at the bracket and how it can play out.

With the NBA playoffs starting April 14th, fans are ready to watch their teams battle for the Larry O’Brien trophy in June. Here is a preview of the playoffs:

Eastern Conference

1 Milwaukee Bucks vs 8 Detroit Pistons

The Milwaukee Bucks have arguably had the best season in the history of the Bucks, with the record 61-21. Leading the way, Giannis Antetokounmpo had led the Bucks in every single stat while he leads the race for MVP. With great depth and a good 3 and defensive team, the Bucks will be tough to handle in the playoffs.

The Detroit Pistons have been a wildcard all season long. They started out the season 10-1 and ended the season 40-42. Although the Pistons have been a lot better since they acquired him last season, they were expected to be a lot better than they are. With the scoring and rebounding combination of Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond, the Pistons will be tough to hold off the glass.

4 Boston Celtics vs 5 Indiana Pacers

The Boston Celtics have been one of the most disappointing teams this season. After reaching the Conference Finals without their two best, Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, they were projected to win the championship this season. But they ended the season 49-33, surprising to all. The Celtics look to prove themselves as they begin postseason play on Sunday.

The Indiana Pacers, on the other hand, have been one of the biggest surprises this season. With the tragic injury of All-Star guard, Victor Oladipo, the Pacers fell in the standings. With a great frontcourt in Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner, it’ll be hard for teams to take them in the paint. The experience of the Pacers and the loss of Oladipo, the Pacers are motivated to make noise in the playoffs.

3 Philadelphia 76ers vs 6 Brooklyn Nets

The 76ers are ready to bring greatness back to Philadelphia. After acquiring Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris earlier in the season, the 76ers are the first team in history to have their whole starting lineup average more than 15 points a game. Concerns for the Sixers are Joel Embiid’s health and the fact that their Point Guard, Ben Simmons, has never made a 3 pointer in his career. With scoring and defense up and down their lineup, it’s only a short matter of time before another championship is back to Philadelphia

The Brooklyn Nets made themselves the most entertaining team to watch in the state of New York. With the play of D’Angelo Russell and upcoming Center Jarrett Allen, the Nets have made themselves one of the highly marketed teams. Last season, the Nets were 26-56. This season they are 42-40, improving by 16 games. This Atlantic coast division rivalry will be one for the books.

2 Toronto Raptors vs 7 Orlando Magic

Ever since the Raptors traded for superstar Kawhi Leonard, they received two players with championship experience, giving the rest of the team the courage to follow their lead. Kawhi Leonard instantly gave Toronto the exact player they needed to get over the hump and possibly play in the NBA finals. The Raptors ended the season as the 2nd seed in the Eastern Conference with a 58-24 record. Toronto’s fanbase is hoping to make a deep run and not get booted in the first to rounds.

The Orlando Magic have made the playoffs for the first time since 2012. As the season came to an end, the final 3 spots in the East were within 1.5 games from each other, as the Magic ended up with the 7th seed. With the combination of frontcourt players with Aaron Gordon, Nikola  Vucevic and Jonathan Isaac, the athleticism is there. But the question all Magic fans are asking, which guards will step up?

Western Conference

1 Golden State Warriors vs 8 Los Angeles Clippers

The Golden State Warriors arguably have the greatest starting lineup in the history of the NBA with 5 All-Stars in their starting lineup. The Splash Bros have both made over 200 three’s this season with Stephen Curry averaging 27 points a game and Klay Thompson averaging 21, not to mention 2 times finals MVP Kevin Durant, who averages a quiet 26 points a game. The one weakness teams will try to expose is the fact the Demarcus Cousins is not great on Pick and Roll defense. The Warriors are looking to win their 3rd straight championship as they play the Clippers Saturday night.

The Los Angeles Clippers have stolen the show in LA as the Lakers didn’t make the playoffs this season. When it comes to free agency, free agents look at big market cities such as Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, etc, but most people don’t anticipate the Clippers being the Los Angeles team to get a big-time free agent, but why not? They have one of the greatest coaches to ever coach, and a good and deep bench, and youth to round out the roster. The Clippers are hoping for success in the postseason, but also want to have a strong offseason as well

4 Houston Rockets vs 5 Utah Jazz

The Houston Rockets look to regroup in this year’s playoffs after suffering a 4-3 series loss to the current defending champions, the Golden State Warriors. With reigning league MVP James Harden, he might very well repeat. Being the first player in NBA history to average 36 points and 7 assists, Harden is likely the MVP for this season. With the record of 53-29, the Rockets open up the first round of the playoffs playing against the Utah Jazz

The Utah Jazz have been the most slept on team in the NBA this season. With the improved play of star players Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, the Jazz are a threat for years to come. Although they aren’t a high free agency destination, the leadership and communication of the Jazz are attracting top-notch free agents.

3 Portland Trail Blazers vs 6 Oklahoma City Thunder

Portland has always been a great team throughout the regular season, but never can come through in the playoffs, but will it be different this year? After being swept by the New Orleans Pelicans last postseason, rumors about Damian Lillard’s commitment to the Blazers came in question, but Lillard let all the fans know this is where he wants to be. The Blazers ended the season 53-29, 18-2 in the last 20 home games. After a horrific injury to Jusuf Nurkic, the Blazers will be needing additional help to make a deep run.

Paul George is back and Thunder fans could not be more excited for the playoffs. The Thunder ended the season 49-33, with Russell Westbrook being the first player in NBA history to average a triple-double in 3 straight seasons. Paul George has been having arguably the best season of his great career, averaging 28 points and 8 rebounds a game. This unstoppable dynamic duo will be hard to take out in a 7 game series.

2 Denver Nuggets vs 7 San Antonio Spurs

The Denver Nuggets have surprised everybody after getting the 2nd seed in the Western Conference, especially after they missed the playoffs last season.  The Nuggets and Spurs split their season series this season and haven’t faced each other in the postseason since 2007, waiting for another anticipated playoff series

Again, Gregg Popovich in the playoffs. But who’s surprised? Not Spur fans. The Spurs have made the playoffs for 20 straight seasons, the longest streak ever in NBA history. With the blockbuster trade of Demar DeRozan for Kawhi Leonard, the Spurs were not expecting to be this good. Hoping to knock off one of the hottest teams in the NBA.