I have to admit, I gave up on the NBA a couple years ago. The agony of watching my favorite sports team disintegrate was probably the most painful thing I’ve ever gone through. The Derrick Rose/ Jimmy Butler/ Joakim Noah era was the coolest thing I had ever seen… and before you could see their full potential as a team, major (if not career ending) injuries ruined 2 of the 3 stars. And then began the era of boring ass basketball. Playoffs that were meaningless until the NBA finals came around. The NBA offseason was 10x more entertaining.
But now… It’s back.
Mark my words… this year is different. The NBA regular season came down to the wire for most teams and it was phenomenal. I never thought an entire NBA season could be meaningful, but from GM Lebron just blowing up his team, to the injuries that plagued most teams during the regular season, to my personal favorite, Andre Ingram balling out in his NBA debut at 32-years old… this season kicked ass.
And the playoffs are going to live up to the hype as well. There’s obviously a couple teams that are going to standout (Cavs/Sixers in the East and Warriors/ Rockets in the West) but every matchup is tough. There’s no guarantees this year like there have been in years past.
Raptors (1) vs Wizards (8)
How disappointing of a season for the Washington Wizards. Just thought about how god damn disappointing it would be to be a Washington sports fan in general…The Wizards, Capitals, and Nationals always flirt with success, then break your god damn heart at the last minute. DC’s suicide rates have increased nearly 7 percent since 2001, and it’s no surprise what so ever. The Raptors suck in the playoffs and they will most likely be upset at some point… but I do not believe it is going to be here. Wizards fall.
Celtics (2) vs. Bucks (7)
Poor Boston… this was their year. All the pieces come together and then BOOM… now we consider the fucking Milwaukee Bucks are the potential favorites in this series. No Kyrie. No Heyward. The Bucks seem to have a ton of talent… but are kind of like the T-Wolves as neither team has seemed to put it together. The Bucks are young and could have a great deal of success in the future. A first-round win will give them a ton of confidence moving forward… but I just don’t see it happening still. Celtics probably play some shut-down defense and the final scores of these games end up being like 77-72. Celtics somehow move on.
Sixers (3) vs. Heat (6)
The Sixers are hot. Sizzling coming into the playoffs. In what world do the Sixers not move on? Does D-Wade return as Miami’s savior? Do Dragic and Whiteside play at an all-star level to triumph the hot, young team out of the east?
No chance. Sixers easy.
Cavs (4) vs. Pacers (5)
Although I have the Cavs winning… don’t sleep on the Pacers. This is not the matchup the Cavs want. The Pacers are a gritty, physical team that will kick your ass regardless if they win or lose. The Cavs need to build some chemistry still.. and facing the Pacers will not help moving forward. I think Lebron balls out (unfortunately) and the Cavs move on… but seeing how the side-kicks react to a physical team like the Pacers could be interesting. Not what the Cavs want.. but they will take whatever is given to them after the shit-show season tey just had. Lebron is probably heading down to the biogenics lab in Miami to get an extra pick-me-up before the playoffs start. Normal shit. Gritty series…but Cavs move on.
From top to bottom, the western conference has some awesome matchups. Do not be surprised to see upsets across the board.
Rockets (1) vs. T-Wolves (8)
Whenever there is a 1-seed… the hances are they are going to move on to the second round with ease. I can’t imagine anything different with this series, but do not forget how much talent the T-Wolves have. They were easily the most confusing team of the year (outside of the Cavs) because of the talent they brought in. Prior to the year people were suggesting that their new star-power and additional to their bench could easily land them in the third spot in the western conference, but they just could never put it together. Wiggins was inconsistent. Butler was injured. And their bench didn’t make as much noise as we thought. Can’t imagine this series doesn’t go to the Rockets… but if the T-wolves could finally put it together they could make it an interesting series.
Warriors (2) vs. Spurs (7)
This is the absolute best-case scenario for the Warriors this year. Yes, the Spurs have historically been an excellent playoff team, but this year… they suck. Bottom line. They snuck into the playoffs this year and there’s a 0% percent chance Kawhi comes back to a team that fucking hates him. With Steph out for the first round the Warriors need a series to build some confidence. The Spurs are that perfect matchup. Spurs still have the big name that most teams are aware of and the Warriors need to find some rhythm after a shitty end to their season. Warriors make it happen.
Blazers (3) vs Pelicans (6)
Dame has been ballin-out all year. The loyalty this man has to his team and his city is reminiscent of my favorite Derrick Rose/Joakim Noah years when they fucking hated everyone (the awkwardness of every all-star game they played in). But my upset pick comes here as the Pelicans finished strong at the end of the regular season. They didn’t miss a step once Boogie went down and AD is playing at an MVP level. Pelicans seem to up their game against better teams so do not be surprised if the Pelicans move on. (Sleeper Team)
Thunder (4) vs. Jazz (5)
One of the most appealing series on the first round… goes to the Jazz vs. the Thunder… who would have thought? Neither team will get any farther than the first round… but how can you not be interested. Just waiting to see the disappointment on Melo/George/Westbrooks faces when they collectively go 0-10000000 in game tying situations. This team never gelled this year… just as everyone expected. Russel kind of just said fuck it, it’s all back on me…and decided to just take over yet again. Donovan Mitchell is fucking awesome to watch. The side pieces of Gobert/Rubio/ Exum/ Ingles probably make them a 4 or 5 seed in the eastern conference, but in the west is doesn’t matter. Don’t really care who wins… neither team is going any farther than the first round.