The NBA playoffs are finally here. Here’s a short preview of what will happen in the first round, with only two games played within each series to go off of.
1 Golden State Warriors Vs. 8 New Orleans Pelicans (Warriors lead 2-0)
Nothing is stopping the Warriors this year, especially not the mediocre Pelicans. Stephen Curry is the best player in the NBA and the Warrior’s roster is deeper than the Pacific Ocean. Expect Golden State to sweep New Orleans, who just don’t have enough talent outside of Anthony Davis and aren’t organized enough to stand much of a chance.
2 Houston Rockets Vs. 7 Dallas Mavericks (Rockets lead 2-0)
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban made a bold statement recently, saying that the Rockets weren’t a very good team outside of James Harden. He’s already eating his words: the Mavs are down and just lost Rajon Rondo and Chandler Parsons for the remainder of the series. The Rockets should win this series comfortably, unless the brilliant Rick Carlisle can make miracle changes fast.
3 Los Angeles Clippers Vs. 6 San Antonio Spurs (Series tied 1-1)
As usual, the Spurs have come into the playoffs on fire, winning nine of their last 10 games. The games so far have been extremely close. These teams are so evenly matched. This is the only series that is impossible for me to call. The Clippers have all the talent in the world, but the Spurs’ strategy and experience can never be doubted. This series could go either way; I expect it to go seven games.
4 Portland Trailblazers Vs. 5 Memphis Grizzlies (Memphis leads 2-0)
It’s a shame one of these two incredible teams will be eliminated in the first round. The Grizzlies seem to be a bad matchup for the Blazers, as Memphis swept Portland in the regular season. It doesn’t help that Wesley Matthews is out and so is his replacement Arron Afflalo. The Grizzlies exterted their dominance through the first two games, beating the Blazers down with their powerful defense. The Grizzlies look poised to take this series, but the Blazers will put up a fight and take a few games at home, where they seem to gain superpowers.
1 Atlanta Hawks Vs. 8 Brooklyn Nets (Atlanta leads 2-0)
I’m still not sure how the Nets made the playoffs with a 38–44 record, but it doesn’t really matter because the Hawks are going to make them their prey. Atlanta played terribly in the first game and still managed to win, which can’t be a good sign for Brooklyn. Game 2 was more of the same. Atlanta shouldn’t be worried about the Nets, but they do need to fix some of their current problems if they want to fare well against their next opponent.
2 Cleveland Cavaliers Vs. 7 Boston Celtics (Cavaliers lead 2-0)
I was surprised to see the Celtics in the playoffs as well, but whatever, they’re going to get swept. This isn’t 2009; LeBron’s Cavaliers are completely loaded and have no reason to drop a game to a team with so little experience and depth.
3 Chicago Bulls Vs. Milwaukee Bucks (Bulls lead 2-0)
Game 2 between the Bulls and Bucks was ugly, with skirmishes erupting and poor shooting plaguing both teams. Don’t expect the Bucks to give the Bulls much of a challenge. Right now the Bulls are better than the Bucks in every single category. The young and inexperienced Bucks might be better in a couple years, but at this moment they are going to get thrashed. This is one of the more lopsided 6 vs. 3 seed matchups I’ve seen in a while.
4 Toronto Raptors Vs. 5 Washington Wizards (Wizards lead 2-0)
Toronto somehow managed to blow the first two games of the series at home, giving the Wizards complete control of the series. The Wizards have completely outrebounded the Raptors and John Wall is dominating Kyle Lowry. This has so far been a worst case scenario for the Raptors, they should not be down 2–0 right now with how evenly matched both teams are. I’m confident the Raptors will regain their form during the series, but it likely won’t be enough with the Wizards already in such an advantageous position.