NBA Playoffs 2017 Round-By-Round Preview

 

 

Credit; Photo courtesy of  Creative Commons //commons.wikimedia.org/w

Staff Writer: Corey Darko

NBA Postseason Predictions

The NBA season is now over and the playoffs are much anticipated this year. After a season full of broken records, historic performances, and exciting storylines, nobody knows what to expect for the postseason, where everything gets much more intense. These are my predictions for the postseason, and ultimately my decision on who will hold up the Finals trophy for the 2016-2017 season.

Round One: East: No. 2 Cavs vs No. 7 Pacers: The Pacers have always been a bad matchup for the Cavs. Paul George always dominates and Miles Turner can stretch the floor, however, The Cavs should and will win this series. WHS Sophomore Bailey Rende stated, “Paul George has the potential to wreak havoc in this series, however Lebron James will be too much to handle.” Lebron James is a different animal in the playoffs and Kyrie Irving and love will be too much to handle. Not to mention the number of sharpshooters Lebron James has at his disposal helps. The only thing concerning is the Cavs defense which will help the Pacers steal one game at home, however the cavs should win this series in no more than five Games. Prediction: Cavs; 4-1

No. 1 Boston Celtics vs No. 8 Chicago Bulls: Despite winning all three games in this series, this is a bad matchup for the Celtics. Jimmy Butler is playing some of the best basketball of his career and that will carry on in the playoffs and Rajon Rondo is providing a late spark for the Bulls and Robin Lopez will cause some matchup problems. I am also concerned how Isiah Thomas will do in the playoffs since his height limitations with more tape on him will make it a little easier to neutralize him. Not to mention his defense is concerning. Despite how great Jimmy Butler is, I have the Celtics winning. They are the better team and even if Isiah Thomas struggles, the Celtics have great perimeter defenders to neutralize Jimmy Butler and Dwayne Wade, Al Horford is too skilled for Robin Lopez not to mention Jae Crowder, and Avery Bradley will give Jimmy Butler fits since he is physical and big enough to handle Jimmy Butler. With the exceptional coaching of Brad Stevens, the Celtics should win this series. Prediction: Celtics; 4-2

No. 3 Toronto Raptors vs No. 6 Milwaukee Bucks: The Raptors have been read hot lately and with the return of Kyle Lowry could potentially make them the favorite in this matchup; however, don’t count out these young Bucks. Giannis is a matchup nightmare for any team and Kris Middleton has been the late season spark they needed in the wake of Parker’s injury, however the raptors will win this series for many reasons. Demar Derozan will most likely get his along with Kyle Lowry and the additions of Serge Ibaka and P.J Tucker have given them the defensive energy they’ve been lagging. The young Bucks will make it interesting, however the Raps are the more experienced and better team. Prediction: Raptors; 4-1

No. 4 Washington Wizards vs No. 5 Atlanta Hawks: This series will be the best series in the East first round. The wizards have been red hot ever since they started 2-8, however the Hawks have beaten the Cavs 3 out of 4 times and have long perimeter defender that can pester John Wall and Bradley Beal and have more depth than the Wizards. Despite the advantages the Hawks have, I have the Wizards winning simply because of John Wall. He is playing the best basketball of his career and will be the best player on the floor every game. Not to mention his backcourt mate Bradley Beal has been getting it done also plus an improved bench will help the wizards squeak by the disciplined hawks in 6 games. Prediction: Wizards; 4-2

 

Round Two: No 2 Cleveland Cavs vs No 3 Toronto Raptors: The raptors are better equipped to take on the Cavs this year. The additions of Ibaka and Tucker buffered their defense and made them more formidable and are more bodies to throw at LeBron James. Kyle Lowry is a bad matchup for Kyrie Irving as he will force Kyrie Irving to try to stop him and Kyrie is a bad defender. Most importantly, Demar DeRozan, barring another playoff slump, is going to get his. However, the give are the more talented team. Lebron James will still dominate in this series and the number of shooters they have will be the difference in this series. The raps will make it interesting but will bow down in 6. Prediction: Cavs 4 Raptors 2

Round Two: No 1 Boston Celtics vs No 4 Washington Wizards: Expect these two teams to throw punches. The Wizards and Celtics hate each other, which will make this series even better. Despite how well coached the Celtics are, I have to give the edge to Washington. Isiah Thomas’s defense will get exposed in this series since he can’t guard either Bradley Beal or John Wall or even porter since he’s a lights out shooter. Not to mention John Wall is the best player on the floor in this series, and with the help of his backcourt mate Bradley Beal, the Wizards should win this in 6 hard fought games. Prediction: Wizards 4- Celtics 2

Conference Finals: No 2 Cleveland Cavaliers vs No 4 Washington Wizards: This series will be Lebron’s hardest conference finals since his battles with Indiana. The Wizards matchup perfectly with the Cavs. They have the backcourt to give Kyrie Irving and Iman Shumpert problems and they have bodies in Otto Porter Jr. And Markeef Morris. Not to mention, they have the offensive fire power to go blow for blow with the Cavs. However, this series come down to Lebron James. Kyrie Irving might have trouble shacking off Wall, however Lebron James is a dominant force and when he wants to win, it’s pretty hard to stop the king. Not to mention a few key defensive stops and plenty of shooter will help the Cavs escape the Wizards in a 7game thriller. Prediction: Cavs 4- Wizards 3

 

West

 

Round 1: No1 Golden State Warriors vs No 8 Portland Blazers: Damien Lilard is pretty confident the Blazers can compete with the Warriors since he previously stated that the Blazers will win in 6. As cool as it is for Lilard to have confidence in this team,  Damien Lilard will be lucky if this series last 5 games. The Warriors are the much better team and are even good defensively, something the Blazers are awful at. Klay Thompson’s length will bother lilard and there is not answer for Kevin Durant. Not to mention Steph Curry will get his against Damien Lilard. This series might be a little interesting in the rose garden, however the Warriors will wrap this up in 5. Prediction: Warriors 4- Blazers 1

N 2 San Antonio Spurs vs No 7 Memphis Grizzlies: Before Tony Allen got injured, I felt the Spurs might be in trouble in this series. Their Grind-it out style would’ve bothered the Spurs and Tony Allen would make Kawhi work for every shot. However, the Grizzlies chances went down with Allen’s injury. They don’t have the offensive fire power or an answer for Kawhi. Not to mention the Spurs also have  Lamarcus Aldridge, Tony Parker, and Dwayne Deadmon, whose been balling. The Grizzlies will steal a game, however they just don’t have the depth or talent as the Spurs. Prediction: Spurs 4- Grizzlies 1

No 3 Houston Rockets vs No 6 Oklahoma city thunder: This series will no doubt be the most exciting first round series in the playoffs. Getting to see two of the top two MVP candidates is always exciting in seeing James Harden and Russell Westbrook battle. Westbrook will do whatever it takes to will the thunder to a victory. However, the rockets have too much fire power. James harden is surrounded by multiple three point shooters while Westbrook is surrounded by some of the worst shooters in the league. Shooters will be the difference in this series and harden has too many of them Unless Russell Westbrook gets help from Victor Oladipo and Steven Adams and Enes Kantar dominate the boards, the Rockets should win this series in 7 games. Prediction: Rockets 4-Thunder 3

No 4 Clippers vs No 5. This series should be another good one. The Jazz are a up and coming team will the clippers are a team with veterans. During the regular season the Jazz were owned by the clippers and on paper match up with them well. Jordan will cancel out Rudy Gobert impact offensively and Luke mbah-amoute can keep Gorden Hayward in check. The Clippers should be the favorites in this matchup: however, there is one important thing that separates the Clippers and he Jazz: The Clippers are dysfunctional and lack chemistry. While the Jazz have great chemistry and really enjoy playing with each other. In terms of talent the Clippers should win, however in terms of execution, I slightly favor the Jazz in 7 games. Prediction: Jazz 4- Clippers 3

 

Second Round: No 1 Warriors vs No 5 Jazz. This is where the Jazz good season ends. The warriors are a matchup nightmare for the Jazz. For starters, the Jazz struggle against fast pace teams and the Warriors happen to be one of the best in the league. Another reason is the Jazz just don’t have a Kevin Durant or Steph Curry. As much as I love  Gobert and Hayward, would you really choose them in a series over Durant and  Curry? I know I wouldn’t. The Jazz will make it interesting since there well-coached have great chemistry, however the warriors will win this series in no more than six games. Prediction: Warriors 4- Jazz 2

No 2 Spurs vs No 3 Rockets: The battle of Texas. This series has everything you can hope for: High scoring, superstars, and good coaches. James Harden and the fast paced Rockets will give Kawhi’s Spurs some problems since the spurs when they lose in the playoffs to more fast-paced teams. However, this series will come down to who gets more stops and I trust the Spurs defense way more than the Rockets. The Rockets shooting and James Harden will push this series to 7 but Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard will be huge x-factors especially Kawhi. As a result, the spurs will pull this one out in 7. Prediction: Spurs 4 – Rockets 3

Conference Finals: No 1 Golden State Warriors vs No 2 San Antonio Spurs: We have been deprived the last two years of seeing the spurs vs the Warriors in the conference finals. However, this year it will finally happen. The spurs will make things hard on the warriors as Green’s length and athleticism will bother curry and Kawhi’s strength and physicality will bother Kawhi, not to mention Aldridge will feast on the spurs on the low block. However, I have the Warriors winning this one for one reason: There a fast- pace team. This has been the Spurs achilles heel. They were lucky to sneak past Houston because their incapable of getting stops, the Warriors aren’t. Their right after them in defensive efficiency. The Spurs will give the Warriors a run for their money, however the Warriors are the hungrier, younger and more athletic teams. They will close this out 6 game. Predictions Warriors 4- Spurs 2

Nba Finals: No 1 Warrios vs No 2 Cavs: Did you expect anything different. Whs sophomore student hunter Leonard stated, ” This game will truly define LeBron’s legacy.” Even before Durant joined the Warriors, the Cavs and the Warriors were inevitably going to meet in the finals. This matchup will come down to: Durant vs James. The two best players battling and the warriors finally get someone to match Lebron’s dominance. Assuming he’s healthy, Curry won’t get burned by Kyrie this year. Draymond Green was most likely take Love out of the series as he did last year. This series will come down to who makes better paly calls between Lue and Kerr. As good as Lue is, I give Kerr the slight edge. This series will be amazing, however, we Durant I see the Warriors finally breaking through and winning the NBA title and Durant finally winning his first title. Prediction: Warrios 4- Cavs 3

        

Credit: Photo courtesy of Creative commons //common.wikimedia.org/w

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