This is Basketball.

The NBA Playoffs for Dummies

May 31, 2018

Imagine this: There’s 10 seconds left on the clock. Your favorite team is down by one point with the ball. They take the ball up the court and pass it to the open man. He shoots the ball and it goes in with 0 seconds left on the clock. Your team has won the game, and the playoff series.

This feeling is going to be running rampant all throughout May and June. This is a basketball fan’s favorite time of year. This is NBA playoff season.

The teams that are going to be playing for the Larry O’Brien trophy, The NBA Finals prize, will all be pushed to their limits physically and mentally.

The favorites in the league are the number one seed in the Western conference, the team with the best record overall; My choice to win the ‘ship: the Houston Rockets. They’re led by  the front-runner for league MVP this season, James Harden, along with 9-time all-star Chris Paul. With the best offense of all time and the sixth best defense in the league, the Rockets have a very reasonable chance to win the finals.

In the Eastern conference, the Toronto Raptors are the favorite to come out, record-wise. They have a star studded duo in MVP candidate DeMar Derozan and veteran All-Star Kyle Lowry, and along with the deepest bench in the league and a six game win-streak, expect this team to come into the playoffs hot.

The defending champions in the league, The Golden State Warriors, are surprisingly not the favorites to win the championship by Vegas odds. This is the first instance in which this has happened ever since Kevin Durant made his infamous move and decided to join one of the greatest dynasties in NBA history. However, the injuries to the Warriors’ stars such as Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, have severely hurt their record. But with all of these guys healthy, which they most likely will be, the Rockets will have their work cut out for them.

The Philadelphia 76ers are one of the most surprising teams in the league this year. Led by All-Star Center Joel Embiid and Rookie of the Year Ben Simmons, this team is going to have their way with their opponents in the Eastern Conference. With some of the best role players in the league in Dario Saric, Robert Covington, and number one overall pick in the 2017 draft Markelle Fultz, expect this team to give the Cavs a run for their money. This team is going to the Finals, and they’re gonna give the Rockets a tough time.

And the last of the contenders, the New Orleans Pelicans. This team came into the first round of the playoffs on an absolute tear, with their minds set on the idea of destroying the Trail Blazers. Anthony Davis has been incredible thus far, and with the fantastic guard-play of Jrue Holiday and Rajon Rondo, expect this team to give Golden State a very, very tough time in the Western Conference Semifinals.

These are the teams that I don’t expect to do the best in the Playoffs

The Boston Celtics had a very promising start to the season, but after season-ending injuries to multiple stars on the team such as all-star point guard Kyrie Irving, I don’t expect this team to come out of the first-round. They play the Milwaukee Bucks, who really I feel also don’t have a chance to even make the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Utah Jazz are a lot like teams outside of the playoffs. They don’t have any important pieces that have had truly great playoff runs. The team’s best player, Donovan Mitchell, has never been to the playoffs and will have a hard time proving himself against the defense of Paul George and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

So my final predictions: Rockets-76ers finals. Golden State Warriors to the Western Conference Finals, Cleveland Cavaliers to the Eastern Conference Finals.

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