NBA Midseason Predictions/Possible First Round Playoffs Series
Basketball, the sport that has the least cheating, best plays, and an array of new playoff teams every year. Speaking of Playoffs, now that we're more than halfway through the NBA Season, it's about time that I project records, and predict some Playoff matchups that could be in the first round come April. I will go by division and predict each champion of that division then will predict some first playoff matchups.
First off, let's start with the Western Conference.
(internal laughing), (more internal laughing), (excessive internal laughing). My God does this division suck. You've got basketball's New England Patriots in the Golden State Warriors who seem to win the division and go to the Finals every year, the Clippers who can be a hit and miss team as they always seem to choke in the first round of the Playoffs, and don't even get me started on the freaking Suns or Kings, the days of Steve Nash and Demarcus Cousins are over now that one's retired and the other is on a surging New Orleans Pelicans team. Oh wait, yeah he's out of the season isn't he. (See Southwest)
I think you and I both guessed that it would be a cakewalk to the division for the Dubs.
Hey Denver and Minnesota! Glad you guys have shown up fashionably late to the party because some guy named Russell Westbrook had a buzzer beater and sent the entire Northwest division into complete chaos last year. But anyways, if it stays like this through the rest of the season, the Northwest will have made up half of the entire Western Conference Playoff teams. First off with Minnesota. Boy, am I glad that the Jimmy Butler trade all worked out. The Wolves have been a dominant dark horse West team that could surprise some people when they face other Western powers like San Antonio and Houston. As for Portland, the Blazers have made the Playoffs every year from 2014-2017, and the unstoppable duo of C.J. McCollum and All-Star Damian Lillard have made NBA critics everywhere shut up and tell their fans and all NBA fans that they are the new team of the Western Conference. They could shake up the entire Conference in April. Just don't set your expectations too high Blazers fans, they will make the Semifinals but don't expect to see them in the Conference Finals. Hey OKC Thunder fans, I've got something to ask you. What are the chances of a team choking in the Playoffs or Championship game? 28:3. Despite being another force in the West, the only good player on the Thunder is Westbrook and this ain't a one man show. Bye by Russell, your team is one and done. As for the Nuggets, you'll barely snag the #8 seed from the #9 and your story will be the same as OKC. And a quick note (no pun intended) for the Jazz. I hope you enjoyed your playoff series win last year. Have fun in the Northwest's Pit of Misery.
Now for a division winner. I probably be wrong about this but, Wolves fans, please forgive me.
There was one time where the Southwest actually produced decent playoff teams like Dallas, New Orleans and Memphis. Especially Memphis in 2013 where they were 4 wins away from the NBA Finals. What do these Southwest teams have in common? They all get blown out by the freaking Rockets and Spurs in the Playoffs. This year the Southwest has flipped the script, where Houston and San Antonio reign supreme and Dallas and Memphis are in the Southwest dungeon. And what about New Orleans? Let's just say that when Demarcus Cousins tore his Achilles, the entire team went to shit, yet the Pelicans are hanging on to the #8 seed by 0.0001 of Captain Hook's hooks. The point is, the Pelicans season is over. Have fun with the #8 seed for about 5 seconds.
As for a division winner, here's my rule. The team that beat the champs in the first of game of this season will be the one to dethrone them in the West Finals.
Here's the story. Last year the Celtics got their butts handed to the Cavs in the East Finals. What do hey do this year? Trade for Isaiah Thomas and Kyrie Irving and by midseason, trade Thomas to the Lakers only to find out that karma bit you in the ass in the form of the Toronto Raptors taking the top seed in the East and you getting beat by the Cavs on the day of Paul Pierce's jersey retirement, AT the Garden! As for Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, like Denver, you guys will escape the season with the #8 seed but you'll have to play Toronto up North. And the Knicks are still rebuilding with Kristaps Porzingis. And the Nets might as well be eating a pile of crap from a port-a-potty after the horrible seasons you guys have had for the past few years.
The Atlantic division will go to the team who did not make horrible decisions. And I'm not talking about Boston.
Two words. GREEK, FREAK! If you're wanting to talk about dark horse teams to win the Central and even take the Eastern crown, it's gotta be the Bucks. Now that Cleveland only has Lebron thanks to the trade of 6 Cavs players, Giannis Antetokunmpo is about to be his worst dunking nightmare. I'm not saying they'll win the division, but if the Bucks took the #6 seed and the Playoffs started today, get ready for a hell of a first round Playoff matchup. As for the Pacers, they'll make either #6 or #5 in the East Playoffs, but without Paul George they won't be the team they once were. As for the Pistons and Bulls, Blake Griffin will have a tough road to the Playoffs and besides, he always chokes. As for the Bulls, I feel sorry for you especially after you guys thought you'd upset Boston last year.
Division winner. Lebron, you've been to the Finals and always choke. It's about time you choke your team to second place in the Central due to lack of offensive depth. The win against Boston today was a fluke. Just wait until you play the Bucks. Because Giannis. is. coming.
Despite the loss of John Wall this season, the Wizards have managed by producing a 32-24 record so far. Meanwhile in Miami, Dwayne Wade was back with the Heat. Need I remind the Cavs fans that he was one of the 6 players who got traded. And with Charlotte, Orlando, and Atlanta on a rebuild for the next 5 years, let's just say that someone has a cakewalk to the Southeast title.
As for the seeding and the First Round Playoff matchups, these are the series that I think will happen in the First Round of the Postseason in April.
PHI Vs. TOR: Raptors in 5
BOS Vs. MIA: Celtics in 6
MIL Vs. IND: Bucks in 6
WAS Vs. CLE: Cavaliers in 7
DEN Vs. HOU: Rockets in 4
NO Vs. GS: Warriors in 4
OKC Vs. SA Spurs in 6
MIN Vs. POR: POR in 7
Now may I remind everyone reading this that these are just predictions. Everything stated in this blog is just a projection on Playoff matchups. But one thing will be for sure. If there is an underdog in a series against a heavy favorite, expect the seris to go down to the wire in either 6 or 7 games. From buzzer beaters to posterizers to crowd reactions, this is what makes the Playoffs epic. Players making clutch moments when it matter most that will be etched into NBA history forever. It will definitely be a fight to the finish with plenty of unexpected surprises.
To finish this blog off, I am going to give my dark horse NBA Finals prediction.
Bucks Vs. Rockets Bucks in 7
A Giannis and James Harden matchup would be really fun for all NBA fans to see in the Finals.
16 teams, 16 cities, 16 stories. But only one team can taste NBA glory in June. The easy part is over. The hard work starts on April 14, 2018.