2018 NBA Playoffs Preview

Eastern Conference

1. Toronto Raptors vs. 8. Washington Wizards

Players to Watch: G DeMar DeRozan and G Bradley Beal

Who Wins: Raptors in 6 games

2. Boston Celtics vs. 7. Milwaukee Bucks

Players to Watch: F Jayson Tatum and F Giannis Antetokounmpo

Who Wins: Celtics in 7 games

3. Philadelphia 76ers vs. 6. Miami Heat

Players to Watch: F Ben Simmons and C Hassan Whiteside

Who Wins: 76ers in 6 games

4. Cleveland Cavaliers vs. 5. Indiana Pacers

Players to Watch: F Kevin Love and G Victor Oladipo

Who Wins: Cavaliers in 7 games

Western Conference

1. Houston Rockets vs. 8. Minnesota Timberwolves

Players to Watch: G Chris Paul and C Karl-Anthony Towns

Who Wins: Rockets in 6 games

2. Golden State Warriors vs. 7. San Antonio Spurs

Players to Watch: F Kevin Durant and G Dejounte Murray

Who Wins: Warriors in 5 games

3. Portland Trail Blazers vs. 6. New Orleans Pelicans

Players to Watch: C Jusuf Nurkic and G Rajon Rondo

Who Wins: Trail Blazers in 6 games

4. Oklahoma City Thunder vs. 5. Utah Jazz

Players to Watch: G Russell Westbrook and G Donovan Mitchell

Who Wins: Thunder in 6 games

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NBA Finals and Award Projections

* – indicates playoffs

MVP – Kawhi Leonard – Spurs

Rookie – Ben Simmons – 76ers

Coach – Tom Thibodeau – Timberwolves

Defensive Player – Kawhi Leonard – Spurs

Most Improved – Blake Griffin – Clippers

Sixth Man – Lou Williams – Clippers

Executive – Sam Presti – Thunder Continue reading “NBA Finals and Award Projections”

Pacific Division

1. Golden State Warriors

There shouldn’t be any doubt that they will be in line for another title run.

2. Los Angeles Clippers

Their identity has changed a bit, but they should be considered favorites to make the playoffs.

3. Sacramento Kings

A different looking roster has them poised to make a move up the standings.

4. Los Angeles Lakers

In the grand scheme of things this should be the year they show improved play.

5. Phoenix Suns

Another year of transition should have them be contenders for the playoffs next year. Continue reading “Pacific Division”

Northwest Division

1. Oklahoma City Thunder

The reigning MVP has two superstars to help carry the load.

2. Minnesota Timberwolves

An influx of talent has been added with the likes of Towns and Wiggins.

3. Portland Trail Blazers

A full season with Nurkic at center will be interesting to see.

4. Denver Nuggets

This will be a sneaky good team with the emergence of Nikola Jokic.

5. Utah Jazz

Losing Gordon Hayward will hurt, but Utah should remain competitive. Continue reading “Northwest Division”

Southwest Division

1. San Antonio Spurs

There wasn’t any splashy moves, but their depth is what will help them stay as contenders.

2. Houston Rockets

Getting Chris Paul could put them into the top tier of the conference.

3. New Orleans Pelicans

A full season with Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins should have them in the hunt for a playoff spot.

4. Memphis Grizzlies

The conference has gotten tougher for them to sneak into a low playoff seed.

5. Dallas Mavericks

There is some excitement surrounding their lottery pick Dennis Smith Jr. and what the future holds for this franchise. Continue reading “Southwest Division”