Predicting the NBA Playoffs

LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo

The NBA playoffs are going to be very good this season with no clear answer as to who could win it all. We’ve seen teams like the Rockets give the top dogs in the West a ton of trouble. We’ve also seen teams like the Pacers somehow do better in the standings than the heavily favored 76ers. This season’s been a great one so far, but now it’s time to start looking at predictions. 16 teams, 8 per conference, 1 champion. Who’s going to climb to the top and win what would be the weirdest NBA Finals ever.

Round 1 Of the NBA Playoffs

Let’s start by saying that I think the Trailblazers will be th 8th seed. With this in mind the seeding will be the same. Round 1 will end up with these matchups and results

Matchup Result
Lakers VS Trailblazers Lakers in 6
Clippers VS Mavericks Clippers in 5
Nuggets VS Jazz Nuggets in 6
Thunder VS Rockets Rockets in 7
Bucks VS Magic Bucks in 4
Raptors VS Nets Raptors in 5
Celtics VS 76ers Celtics in 6
Heat VS Pacers Pacers in 7

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I didn’t get too crazy with upsets outside of the Pacers beating the Heat. I think the Pacers healthy starting 5 even without Sabonis is something that can go toe to toe with the Heat. This looks relatively sound, so let’s get to round 2.

Round 2 Of the NBA Playoffs

The second round of the playoffs are going to be a bit more close in the East and pretty dicey in the West, so here’s how I think it goes down:

Matchup Result
Lakers VS Nuggets Lakers in 7
Clippers VS Rockets Clippers in 6
Bucks VS Pacers Bucks in 6
Raptors VS Celtics Raptors in 7

The matchups are close for a reason, the Pacers and Bucks matchup is surprisingly close. The Bucks are 3-1 against the Pacers but in all 3 of the wins Victor Oladipo did not play. The only time they lost was when Oladipo did play and they were able to get that victory. Will that mean that the Pacers beat the Bucks? No, the Bucks are still better. There aren’t any upsets here so let’s move on to the Conference Finals

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Lakers and Clippers potentially could face off in the Battle for L.A.

NBA Conference Finals Prediction

This is what most fans think will happen, but here’s where I’ll deviate from some (but not all) fans.

Matchup Result
Lakers VS Clippers Lakers in 7
Bucks VS Raptors Bucks in 6

I think LeBron is able to outmatch Kawhi, he’s simply the better scorer and is a good defender. He is also the better playmaker and will be able to get his co-star in Anthony Davis to shine in the postseason. While the Clippers have better depth, LeBron’s always been able to beat teams with much better depth with his sheer dominance. The Bucks beating the Raptors is chalked up to the fact that the Raptors are just worse on both sides of the court and don’t have an answer for Giannis without Kawhi.

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With that all in mind, who takes the chip and wins the NBA Finals?

NBA Finals Prediction

Matchup Result
Bucks VS Lakers Bucks in 7

The Lakers got to the finals, but Giannis is the one who gets it done. Giannis is the best player on the planet and with the shooters around him and their clapmps on defense, they’re going to capture a title. LeBron will fall to 3-7 in the finals which will hurt his legacy, but Giannis will capture his first and claim the crown of best team in the NBA, and best player in the NBA too.

These NBA playoffs are exciting and I don’t know if I’ll be right, but this will be one heck of a ride.

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