NBA Playoffs Preview: 1st Round

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Bracket of the 2018 NBA Playoffs . Photo Credit to CBS Sports

With the NBA playoffs about to start, a preview is in order. I will be breaking down each of the upcoming series below with my prediction.

Before we start, here is some background information.   Seeding is determined by regular season wins and losses in your conference. Low seed are normally weaker teams and high seeds are normally contenders.

 

Previous match up of Rockets and Timberwolves earlier this season.

Western Conference: (1) Houston Rockets vs. (8) Minnesota Timberwolves 

The Rockets have to be the favorite in this series because they tore through the regular season. While they have a few known playoff chokers, the Timberwolves just don’t have enough talent to compete unless Karl Anthony-Towns goes atomic.

Prediction: Rockets in 5

Previous match up of the Thunder and Jazz earlier this season

Western Conference: (4) Thunder vs. (5) Jazz 

Maybe the most interesting series in the these playoffs, the Thunder somewhat under performed this year while the Jazz were not even expected to make the playoffs. The Thunder have a star studded team who I wouldn’t doubt in the playoffs. If the Jazz keeps their defense from the regular season, it will go down to the wire.

Prediction: Thunder in 7

Previous match up of Pelicans and Trailblazers

Western Conference: (6) Pelicans vs. (3) Trailblazers 

This series is probably the one I won’t watch out of all of them, but Anthony Davis facing off against Damian Lilliard does sound enticing.

Prediction: Pelicans in 7

Previous match up of Spurs and Warriors earlier this season

Western Conference: (2)Warriors vs. (7)Spurs 

For the third year in a row, the Spurs will meet the Warriors in the playoffs, albeit in the first round instead of the second or third. The Spurs are missing Kawhi Leonard, but the Warriors are missing Steph Curry. Still, it should be an easy win for the Warriors.

Prediction: Warriors in 5

Previous match up of Raptors and Wizards earlier this season

Eastern Conference: (1) Raptors vs. (8) Wizards

The raptors finished off a spectacular regular season yesterday, and they will steamroll the Wizards barring any John Wall heroics.

Prediction: Raptors in 4

Previous match up of Cavs and Pacers earlier this season.

Eastern Conference: (4) Cavs vs. (5) Pacers 

As well as the Pacers have done this year, it almost seems unfair for them to have to face LeBron James in the first round. This will be an entertaining series. Victor Oladipo is a star who should do very well this year.

Prediction: Pacers in 7

Previous match up of 76ers and Heat earlier this season.

Eastern Conference: (3) 76ers vs. (6) Heat 

The 76ers are hot and this shouldn’t bode well for a strong veteran Heat team. Ben Simmons will have to carry until Joel Embiid comes back from his face injury.

Prediction: Sixers in 6

Previous match up of Bucks and Celtics earlier this season.

Eastern Conference: (2) Celtics vs. (7) Bucks

The Celtics have dealt with injury all year, but this latest blow may be too much. Kyrie Irving has been declared out for the playoffs with a knee injury. This will be an upset because of Giannis Antetokounmpo, a burgeoning MVP candidate.

Prediction: Bucks in 7

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