2019 NBA Playoffs Preview

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Eastern Conference

1. Milwaukee Bucks vs. 8. Detroit Pistons

Players to Watch: G Eric Bledsoe and F Blake Griffin

Who Wins: Bucks in 5 games

2. Toronto Raptors vs. 7. Orlando Magic

Players to Watch: F Kawhi Leonard and C Nikola Vucevic

Who Wins: Raptors in 5 games

3. Philadelphia 76ers vs. 6. Brooklyn Nets

Players to Watch: C Joel Embiid and G D’Angelo Russell

Who Wins: 76ers in 6 games

4. Boston Celtics vs. 5. Indiana Pacers

Players to Watch: G Kyrie Irving and F Myles Turner

Who Wins: Celtics in 6 games

Western Conference

1. Golden State Warriors vs. 8. Los Angeles Clippers

Players to Watch: F Kevin Durant and F Danilo Gallinari

Who Wins: Warriors in 5 games

2. Denver Nuggets vs. 7. San Antonio Spurs

Players to Watch: C Nikola Jokic and F LaMarcus Aldridge

Who Wins: Nuggets in 6 games

3. Portland Trail Blazers vs. 6. Oklahoma City Thunder

Players to Watch: G Damian Lillard and F Paul George

Who Wins: Trail Blazers in 7 games

4. Houston Rockets vs. 5. Utah Jazz

Players to Watch: G Chris Paul and G Donovan Mitchell

Who Wins: Rockets in 6 games

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NBA Finals and Award Projections

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* – indicates playoffs

MVP – Giannis Antetokounmpo – Bucks

Rookie – Luka Doncic – Mavericks

Coach – Mike Budenholzer – Bucks

Defensive Player – Kawhi Leonard – Raptors

Most Improved – Kawhi Leonard – Raptors

Sixth Man – Kyle Kuzma – Lakers

Executive – Magic Johnson – Lakers Continue reading

Pacific Division

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1. Golden State Warriors

Until they are dethroned, they are still the favorites to win again.

2. Los Angeles Lakers

The best player in the league has decided to take his talents out west.

3. Los Angeles Clippers

They’ve rebuilt this roster into a very cohesive and complimentary team.

4. Sacramento Kings

There’s plenty of talent, but what is the direction of this franchise?

5. Phoenix Suns

This will be a crucial year for this team that has a good core to build around. Continue reading

Northwest Division

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1. Oklahoma City Thunder

Russell Westbrook has a full commitment from Paul George. Now let’s see how this will play out.

2. Utah Jazz

They have a star in Donovan Mitchell and they will take advantage of his talents.

3. Denver Nuggets

As long as Nikola Jokic continues to improve they should have no problems getting to the playoffs this year.

4. Portland Trail Blazers

There’s no reason to think they’ll be in playoff contention, but this conference is stacked.

5. Minnesota Timberwolves

An offseason with a trade demand from Jimmy Butler only adds to the dysfunction in the organization. Continue reading

Southwest Division

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1. Houston Rockets

They were one win away from the Finals last year. They won’t change what worked for them last year.

2. San Antonio Spurs

Gone is Kawhi Leonard and replacing him is a perennial scorer in DeMar DeRozan who changes the focus of this team.

3. New Orleans Pelicans

Even without DeMarcus Cousins this team is capable of making a surprising run in the competitive Western Conference.

4. Memphis Grizzlies

Health is the biggest factor for them. Mainly with their point guard Mike Conley.

5. Dallas Mavericks

Getting Luka Doncic was exactly what this franchise needed. Continue reading