The quest for the Larry O’Brien trophy has begun. The 1st round of the NBA Playoffs starts tomorrow afternoon and to get you in the right mindset for these games; Tops Sports breaks down which team will make it out of the 1st round of the postseason in 2017.
Bulls vs Celtics
The Chicago Bulls locked up the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference Playoff Picture when the Brooklyn Nets decided to rest their starters. Their first opponent will be the Boston Celtics, a team that is the number one seed in the East this season. Bulls guard Dwayne Wade is clearly not the man that contributed to the Miami Heat winning three World Championships a few seasons ago, however; opposing teams are still aware of the damage he is capable of doing. However, his efforts along with fellow teammate Jimmy Butler will not be enough to win this series.
Celtics wins series 4-2
Pacers vs Cavaliers
Back in 2013, the LeBron James-led Miami Heat were taken to a seven-game series when they faced the Indiana Pacers. The 2013 version of the Pacers featured players such as Paul George, Lance Stephenson, David West, and Roy Hibbert. Everyone thought that the Pacers would be perennial contenders in the East on a consistent basis; unfortunately, that never came to pass. The 2017 playoff version of the Indiana Pacers does not stand a chance against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Cavaliers wins series 4-1
Bucks vs Raptors
In this series, we will get to see if Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo is capable of being an impact player in the postseason. Standing in his way will be the Toronto Raptors led by DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowery. I believe that this contest could become one of the more entertaining series of the first round. Expect the Raptors to be pushed to the limit throughout this contest, but they will prevail at the end.
Raptors wins series 4-3
Hawks vs Wizards
The Washington Wizards are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2015. They will be facing the team that eliminating them 4-2 in 2015, the Atlanta Hawks. 2017 will be the Hawks 10th consecutive playoff appearance. Will this be more of the same old story for the Hawks when it comes to the postseason? They advance to the playoffs, but cannot get out of first gear when they face some of best teams in the Eastern Conference. I predict that this series will be hard fought which will result in the Wizard coming out victorious.
Wizards wins series 4-3
Blazers vs Warriors
“Blazers in 6.” That quote came straight out of the mouth of Blazers point guard Damian Lillard. You cannot be upset at Lillard for having confidence in himself and his teammates when they take on the Golden State Warriors this Sunday. As for me, I believe that the Blazers have no chance of winning a single game against the Warriors during this series.
Warriors In 4
Grizzlies vs Spurs
No matter who the head coach is for the Memphis Grizzlies, they always manage to make the playoffs on a consistent basis. Unfortunately, it will be an early 1st round exit for Mike Conley and the Memphis Grizzlies. They just do not have the personnel to deal with players such as Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard.
Spurs wins series 4-1
Thunder vs Rockets
The Oklahoma City Thunder versus the Houston Rockets will feature two of the top league MVP candidates in James Harden and Russell Westbrook. In this contest, you can expect huge games from both Harden and Westbrook on a nightly basis, however; the Rockets shall prevail in the end.
Rockets wins series 4-2
Jazz vs Clippers
It’s that time of the year again when everyone is wondering if the Los Angeles Clippers can at least make it to Western Conference Finals. As for me, I expect another letdown from the second franchise from Los Angeles.
Jazz wins series 4-3