Greetings everyone, been a minute but I am back with a post previewing the 2019 NBA playoffs! In what looks to be an interesting post season, one that for the first time, will not feature Lebron James and gives us teams not many projected to make the post season once the year began back in the hunt for a Championship. I’m excited, there is a lot go over so let’s get right to it.
Here’s a look at my bracket from NBA.com Bracket Challenge.(Above)
I don’t predict any sweeps in the first round and I have two series going seven games, both in the Western Conference. I have the Clippers winning two games against the defending Champs who look less dominant than they have in years past. Some might say it was regular season woes and that they are waiting for the post season to turn it on. Some believe that the Warriors have some things going on internally due to pending off season plans by Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson that have thrown the chemistry off. I believe the Warriors will be able to fend off the Clippers and advance to the next round with little problem.
The Milwaukee Bucks have been a pleasant surprise. I know I didn’t predict them to be the number seed and have such a great year, but they’ve played well all season, led by MVP candidate, Giannis Antetokounmpo. Their first round match up gives them the Detroit Pistons. The Piston having played them four times, should be familiar with the Bucks and Blake’s health will be the key to whether or not this series will a long or short one.
The most intriguing match up for me is the Portland/Oklahoma series. This will be a very close series and one of the ones that I believe will go seven games. Oklahoma City is one of the more scarier teams in the Western Conference. They play tough defense and have one of the best 1-2 punches in the league in Russell Westbrook and Paul George. Portland has been solid all year but injuries have seen their roster suffer major issues in terms of depth. The loss of Jusuf Nurkic and possibly C.J. McCollum were huge blows for a Portland team looking to erase the thought of last year’s meltdown against the New Orleans Pelicans. I feel they will, contributions from others will be needed as the blueprint to beat Portland has been laid out, trap Lillard and force others to beat them.
Over on the East side of the bracket, the series that I think will be intriguing is the Celtics/Pacers series. Even with out Pacer star, Victor Oladipo, Indiana has been a team that has still been competitive without their leader. Boston on the other hand, once thought to be a title contender when the season started, looks very vulnerable. Inconsistent play is the only thing that can hold them back. An injury to Marcus Smart definitely does not make things any easier as he played stellar this season. I have Boston winning 4-1 but feel every game will be hard fought!
After the first round, I don’t have many surprises. I do feel that the later rounds will deliver some long and competitive series, as they should. I ultimately have Golden State facing off with the Toronto Raptors in the Finals, with the Warriors coming out on top to secure their third championship in a row.
It will be interesting to see how everything plays out! I look forward to seeing some great games!