The 2017 NBA Playoffs are about to start in a couple of hours and I wanted to do my Playoff predictions. While I said it before and I’ll say it again, it will be another rematch of the Golden State Warriors verses Lebron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers. There are, however, some really good first round matchups and potentially, really good semi and conference finals match ups. So even though the Finals are predictable, there will still be good games, and it is definitely worth watching the playoffs.
Western Conference 1st round matchups
1 GSW vs 8 POR – Golden State in 5
This is easily going to be one of the more entertaining first round matchups. For the sake of good competitive basketball, hopefully Jusef Nurkic is healthy and able to play. He has been awesome since he was traded to Portland. It is going to be raining threes. GSW beat Portland in all four regular season matchups, but that was before Portland landed Nurkic. While the games will be closer than they were in the regular season, Portland Just cannot match the fire power of the warriors.
4 LAC vs 5 UTA – Clippers in 7
This will be a very hard fought series between two evenly matched teams. Usually the 4th and 5th seeded matchups are the most competitive and this one is no different. Both teams finished with the exact same record, even winning the same number of games at home and on the road. Which is why the Clippers will win it in game 7 at home. The Clippers are healthy, and hopefully can stay that way. Time is running out for the Clippers championship hopes, but unfortunately Chris Paul will still not see the Western Conference Finals, as they will lose to the Warriors in round 2. The Utah Jazz are a team just really getting started and should be in the playoffs for the next few years at least.
3 HOU vs 6 OKC – Houston in 5
The two top MVP candidates square off in this 1st round matchup. Sure it is The Houston Rockets versus The Oklahoma City Thunder, but it really is James Harden vs. Russell Westbrook. The regular season had Houston beating the Thunder 3 games to 1, but three of those games were only 1 possession games. While these games are going to be close and entertaining, OKC just can’t compete with Houston. Even though Westbrook will beat Harden in the MVP voting.
2 SAS vs 7 MEM – Spurs in 6
What another great 1st round matchup. Throwback Old School style. Love it. This is a really good matchup for a 7th seed versus the number 2 seed. Expect a low scoring physical style of play throughout the series. Memphis actually split the season series against the Spurs 2 game apiece. Even though this is going to be a good series and Memphis matches up well against the Spurs, they simple aren’t as good.
Eastern Conference 1st round matchups
1 BOS vs 8 CHI – Boston in 4
The Celtics are going to sweep the Bulls. They surprised everyone outside of Massachusetts by getting the top seed in the East. It is no surprise that they are a really good team and are going to make it to the Eastern Conference Finals. Isaiah Thomas has really thrived in Boston and is clutch down the stretch. The Bulls are lucky to be in the playoffs with a .500 record in the east. The scary thing about BOS is they also have the Nets 1st pick, which has the top odds (25%) of the number 1 pick. So they have the best pick and the top seed. Unreal.
4 WAS vs 5 ATL – Washington in 5
Washington won 3 of the 4 games during the regular season and 6 more overall games. So this matchup isn’t as close as the Utah vs. Clippers is. The Hawks had a decent season for them. Dwight Howard had a revival season in the ATL. Marcin Gortat used to be D-Ho’s back up in Orlando, so he knows how to defend against him. John Wall is one of the best point guards in the NBA, while Bradley Beal and Otto Porter are in consideration for most improved player. This is in large part because of the play of John Wall. Washington should be able to handle Atlanta without too much drama
3 TOR vs 6 MIL – Toronto in 6
Any time you get to watch Giannis Antetokounmpo playing under the bright lights of the playoffs, that is must see TV. The Greek Freak is a budding superstar. The Bucks have a bright future, but aren’t there yet. Losing Jabari Parker is a huge loss for them. Malcom Brogdon, however, has been a bright spot. He will finish 1 or 2 in rookie of the year. Toronto is a team on a mission. They want to get past Cleveland in rd two. Kyle Lowry is back and healthy. The team made some great mid-season moves acquiring Serge Ibaka and PJ Tucker. They are planning a deep playoff run and rd two should be a great series.
2 CLE vs 7 IND – Cleveland in 4
Cleveland lost their last 4 game and ended up 10-14 going into the playoffs. So yes they are struggling going into the playoffs. Honestly they just didn’t care. The mailed it in, gave up the top seed. They only had 1 goal in mind coming into this season; defend their title. Lebron James has been to 6 Finals in a row and this year will be number 7. Of course he isn’t concerned with the regular season. The only thing he cared about was going into the playoffs healthy. Now that they are there they are going to switch gears and quickly dispatch the Indiana Pacers. Paul George is a borderline superstar, but not at James’ level. Miles Turner is a great young center and is worth watching.
Once the first round is over, I’ll revisit my predictions and write about round two matchups. No sense writing about theoretical match ups, but I will go ahead and make my predictions.
Western Conference Semi Finals
1 GSW vs 4 LAC – Golden State in 5
2 SAS vs 3 HOU – Houston in 7
Eastern Conference Semi Finals
1 BOS vs WAS – Boston in 6
2 CLE vs 3 TOR – Cleveland in 5
Western Conference Finals
1 GSW vs 3 HOU – Golden State in 6
Eastern Conference Finals
1 BOS vs 2 CLE – Cleveland in 7
GSW vs CLE – Golden State in 6
There you have it The Golden State Warriors are your 2017 NBA Champions. Shocking I know, Cleveland vs Golden State wooooooooo. I said it at the beginning of the year and it is still true. I tried to be more outside the box with my MLB picks this year and even my NBA Award picks, but the NBA Playoffs aren’t going to be surprising. Let me know what you think, and thanks for reading Cheers! 15 minutes til the first game starts, so sit back relax and enjoy the playoffs!