NBA playoffs’ intrigue more than first thought

NBA playoffs’ intrigue more than first thought
April 19
12:11 2018

After 82 long and grueling games we have finally arrived at the NBA Playoffs.  What was thought to be another sure fire matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals could turn out to be more than we all could have expected.

In the East, the Cavs fell all the way to the fourth seed heading into the playoffs, with Toronto sitting on top.  When it comes to the West, the Warriors literally limp into the playoffs with the second seed behind the juggernaut Houston Rockets.

Every single matchup in the Eastern Conference has its question marks when it comes to the higher seeds chances of winning.  Toronto, for instance, has the task of playing the under performing Washington Wizards.  Yes, the Wizards are an eighth seed but with two All-Star players in John Wall and Bradley Beal, this series could easily go seven games.

The Cavs play the Indiana Pacers in the first round.  This may seem like a mismatch but let’s not forget the Pacers took three of four games from the Cavs during the regular season.  They are also the best defensive team against isolation plays, which is a staple for Cleveland.  Should be a good series.

The 76ers are coming into the playoffs riding a 16-game win streak.  As the third seed they play against the Miami Heat.  By all accounts they should dispatch the Heat rather easily but without star player Joel Embiid it could be harder than expected.

The Celtics are the Number 2 seed in the East and play the young Milwaukee Bucks.  The Celtics are without Kyrie Irving who is done for the year with an injured knee so the Bucks have a great chance to advance.

Out West things are just as hard.  Take the top seeded Houston Rockets for an example.  They have the unfortune of playing the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first round.  Yes, the Wolves are the Number 8 seed but they are the last team you’d want to play in the first round.

Golden State is without their stud player Steph Curry, who should return for the second round of the playoffs.  The Warriors face the always tough San Antonio Spurs.  Yes, the Spurs are without Kawhi Leonard but the Warriors have not been playing the best basketball down the stretch of the season.

Oklahoma City versus the Jazz and Portland versus the Pelicans are the other two series in the West and both should be great.

Lets fast forward to the conference finals now.  I fully expect the Rockets and the Warriors to make it out West.  This may shock some people but my picks to make it to the Eastern Conference finals are the Toronto Raptors and the 76ers.

Yes, Lebron James will be going home and not making it to the NBA Finals for an eighth straight time.  I know he is the best player in the game right now but I do not trust his supporting cast.

In years past the Raptors have flamed out early in the playoffs due to their star players not playing up to their regular season standard.  This year I feel it is their time to push through and make it to the Finals.

When it comes to the Rockets and the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals I went back and forth for hours thinking about this.  All in all I have to lean toward the defending champions due to the fact they have been in the NBA Finals the past three years winning two championships in the process.  Now if Curry is not 100 percent, then I will have to pick the Rockets.

Essentially the finals of the Western Conference will probably be more entertaining than the NBA Finals because whomever comes out of the East, which I expect Toronto will, is going to be beaten in five games or less.  The top teams in the West are just too powerful for anyone, even Lebron James, to handle.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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