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  • Writer's pictureDan Carney

Playoff Predictions: First Round

Here's WTF is gonna happen.

Eastern Conference

Milwaukee/Orlando: Bucks win 4-0

The Magic have home court advantage in this series, just with no fans (sorta like a normal home game for them). It won't matter. The one guy they have who could possibly slow down Giannis (Jonathon Isaac) is out for the season. This could be a blood bath.

Toronto/Brooklyn: Raptors win 4-1

Caris LeVert is going to have at least one big game in this series, and it might be enough to get them a win. The Raptors are scary good and are poised to make another Finals run this year.

Boston/Philly: Celtics win 4-2

I don't see Philly getting any more than 2 wins from this bunch. Embiid is absolutely going to have to dominate if they want to even have a chance, and I'm just not sure he's interested in doing that.

Indiana/Miami: Heat win 4-2

This will be a fun series. Butler and Warren should good for a tech or two each, but I just don't think the Pacers have enough fire power to keep up with Miami. TJ Warren has to go berserk to keep them in it, but it'll be tough without a fully healthy Oladipo.

Western Conference 

LAL/Portland: Lakers win 4-3

Maybe it's wishful thinking, but I do think the Lakers could be in trouble here. They have been extremely underwhelming in the restart meanwhile the Blazers have essentially just played 9 playoff games while their star player had the best stretch of his career. I don't bet against LBJ, though, so as long as he's playing I go with the team he's on.

LAC/Dallas: Mavericks win 4-2

This is my big upset. I kinda think Luka is going to go bonkers in this series. He plays with an alpha dog mentality while at the same time has this chip on his shoulder and wants to prove people wrong. Porzingis has been great in the bubble too. Either way, this'll be a fun series.

Denver/Utah: Nuggets win 4-2

If Michael Porter Jr. continues his recent success then this Denver team could make a deep run. Regardless, they'll be competitive for the next 5-10 years if they can keep this squad together. They're big, can pass, shoot, and are quite possibly the most versatile team in the NBA.

Houston/OKC: Rockets win 4-3

This is such a tossup. I love OKC and what they've done this year. They're deep as hell, have length, athleticism, and three point guards who all perform at a high level led by their all-star CP3. It's all about the Westbrook factor. I know he's supposed to be out at least a few games to start the series, but I get the feeling he comes back sooner than expected. If he's around and healthy, the Rockets could make a deep run this year.

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