The NBA playoffs have been considered less entertaining in past years with the Warriors and Cavaliers paving their way to the finals year after year. The Toronto Raptors battled their way through the playoffs in 2019 after being wrote off as true contenders. This season 14 of the 16 teams have a legitimate chance of a playoff run with anything begin possible in the playoffs with the right momentum a Darkhorse could make a run for the NBA championship. Injuries have derailed some team’s ambitions as the Pacers will miss All-Star Domantas Sabonis as well as the Philadelphia 76ers losing star point guard Ben Simmons. Considering injuries and changes 10 of the 16-playoff teams have a shot at the Larry OB.
Bucks Vs Magic
Orlando was able to steal game 1 which really showed how alone Giannis is in Milwaukee, His abilities heighten those of the players around him making the Bucks a dominate regular season team. As the Bucks lose just one game it shouldn’t mean too much as the Raptors lost game 1 to the Magic last season as well before going on to win an NBA Championship. The Bucks will win this Matchup in just 5 games.
Pacers Vs Heat
Jimmy Butler vs TJ Warren head to head matchup a exciting matchup for NBA fans as both players were expected to trade blows throughout the series as the first 3 games end the Pacers fall into a 3-0 hole looking for answers. Without a big man presence like Sabonis this team does not have the fire power to take down the Miami Heat. The Heat will advance to the second round beating the Pacers in 5 games.
Celtics Vs 76ers
The Philadelphia 76ers came into the season with high hopes as many analysts predicted the team as a top seed in the east. As the best home team in the NBA the Sixers struggle to win games on the road finishing with a under 500 record of 12-26 away from home. Going into the first round against the blazing Boston Celtics the Sixers were quickly counted out as star guard Ben Simmons left the bubble with a knee injury. The Celtics quickly took a 2-0 lead as the beat down will continue and the Celtics will sweep the Philadelphia 76ers.
Raptors Vs Nets
The Brooklyn Nets roster is depleted, missing key players Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Spencer Dinwiddie and Deandre Jordan. The Toronto Raptors on the other hand are almost at full strength for one of the only times all season. The Raptors currently have one of the deepest rosters as the Nets have one of if not the weakest roster in the bubble. As the Raptors go up 2-0 the Nets truly don’t stand a chance as the Toronto Raptors will go on to sweep the series.
Lakers Vs Trail Blazers
These teams had a very different 8 seeding games as the Lakers locked their spot as the number 1 seed in the west with a 116-108 victory against the Utah Jazz in the 3-seeding game, The Trail Blazers had a much different path to the playoffs as they needed to scratch and claw for every win. Beating the Memphis Grizzlies in the play in game, these teams had different energies to start the post season as Portland was able to sneak in and steal game 1. This game one loss woke up LeBron and he showed just how good he was in game two reminding the world that he is still the king. The Lakers will win the next 3 games as they will take the series in 5.
Rockets Vs Thunder
The Houston Rockets have two of the best players in basketball as the Oklahoma City Thunder are without a real star. What wins star power or strength in numbers, the Houston Rockets have stars in Russell Westbrook and James Harden both have the ability to put up huge numbers every game, the Thunder have more of a well-rounded roster with players like Chris Paul, Shai Gilgeous Alexander, Danilo Gallanari and Steven Adams none of these players are a true threat to score 40 but each can hurt you in different ways a combined attack with 4 players scoring over 15 is harder to defend then one player scoring 60. The Rockets did start out winning the first two games of the series but don’t count out the Thunder to win a couple more as the Thunder will win the series in 7 games.
Nuggets Vs Jazz
Donovan Mitchell is not the same player that he was in the bubble now in the playoffs, Mitchell has now blossomed into an elite offensive player as he is averaging a cool 43.5 point per game through the first two games of the series to go along with 7.5 assists per game, Mitchell has always been a great scorer but his efficiency as well as his passing real show just how good he is shooting 29/47 an above 60% clip. Although the series is even at 1 a piece, I believe with Mitchell’s unbelievable play the Jazz will be led to the second round beating the Nuggets in 7 games.
Clippers Vs Mavericks
The Mavericks are a tough team coming with a star in Luka Doncic and key scores Kristaps Porzingis and Seth Curry as well as defenders in Tim Hardaway and Dorian Finney-Smith. But the Clippers have Kawhi Leonard and one thing fans and analyst have found out about Kawhi Is that he likes to win and he’s good at it. The Mavericks have a bright future, but the Clippers will take control and take the series in 6 games.
Bucks Vs Heat
The Bucks need one thing this series, they need Khris Middleton to step up. Bam Adebayo has done a very good job at slowing down Giannis Antetokounmpo in past matchups for this reason the Bucks will need scoring and leadership from Khris Middleton twice so far in the restart Giannis has been frustrated by the defense resulting in a Bucks loss in these two matchups Middelton scored 14 and 8. Without a scoring step up the Bucks could be upset by the 5th seeded Miami Heat. I do believe that Middleton has the ability to lead this team past the Heat as the Bucks will battle through and take it in 6 games.
Celtics Vs Raptors
This will be the best closest series of the playoffs each team has weapons and threats to win 4 games, whoever wins this series will play in the NBA finals. The Celtics have a lead scorer with Jayson Tatum a veteran point guard in Kemba Walker and a breakout two-way scorer in Jaylen Brown, The Raptors have players to match up with each of them perfectly with Siakam, Lowry and VanVleet. But with VanVleet’s unbelievable improvement into the playoffs he will be the deciding factor in who wins the series. VanVleet will keep up his star level play and close out the Celtics in 7 games although this series could go either way the slight edge is going toward the Toronto Raptors.
Lakers Vs Thunder
The Thunder have an above average team defense with a surprise rookie Lugentz Dort who has done a good job of defending other teams’ stars. Dort although a great defender cannot hold LeBron for 7 games in a series no defender can this is what makes Lebron led teams so difficult to stop with Anthony Davis back playing at his top 6 player in the NBA level the Lakers won’t be stopped by the Thunder as the Lakers will take the series in just 5 games.
Jazz Vs Clippers
The Jazz have been mostly overlooked in the restart as a true contend, playing without Bojan Bogdanovic they were at a great loss for wing play both offence and defensively they are still a strong team on both end of the floor as they have a great rim presence with Rudy Gobert and as well with a revitalized Mike Conley they pose a real threat to the Los Angeles Clippers. Each team may trade blows, but the Clippers will overpower the strong Utah Jazz in 6 games.
Raptors Vs Bucks
A rematch of the conference finals from a season ago, The Series will have the same result from a season ago. The main reason for this is the Raptors stifling defense, the NBA’s top defense is the one factor that will bring them to the finals for the second year in a row. In this bubble it has become obvious that Giannis has become a loose cannon at times dealing with a suspension after a head butt to Mo Wagner. Strong defense is what can be used to frustrate Giannis making it difficult for him to operate as he can get into foul trouble as he plays more aggressively the Raptors coaching staff knows this and will use it to their advantage as they will defeat the Milwaukee Bucks in 6 games.
Lakers Vs Clippers
The series every NBA fan wants to see the battle of Los Angeles, Kawhi Vs LeBron who will win each team has traded games in the regular season as the season series is even at 2 games each big plays will be the deciding factor in who takes the series, although the Clippers have a deeper roster the Lakers have their lead duo and shooting off the bench and around LeBron with the hopes that Danny Green, Dion Waiters, J.R. Smith or Kyle Kuzma can get hot from deep the Lakers will edge out the Clippers in 7 games.
Lakers Vs Raptors
The question of the series is can the Raptors get stops, if the answer is yes there is a ray of hope for the defending champions. When the stops come the Raptors play in Transition and are one of the toughest teams to beat this happens to most teams when they come against the Raptors, they miss shots and get outran in transition. The main flaw of the Raptors is their half-court offense without a true star scorer the team lacks the ability to consistently score against a set defense. If the Raptors force the Lakers to stay outside shooting threes the possibility of a repeat increases the Lakers shooters have been cold to start the playoffs if that continues the series could go a different way but you can’t expect shooters to consistently miss shots that is why the Lakers will win the NBA Championship in 6 games over the Toronto Raptors.
2020 NBA World Champion Los Angeles Lakers
This article is original content published by sports writer Matthew White. Please feel free to link to and discuss this article but do not copy content.