In the most recent memory, the 2018 NBA playoffs are more open than any other playoffs. But can any competitor really prevent another Cavaliers opponent in the NBA Finals?
Let’s go through the NBA playoff bracket and provide drafts and forecasts for each round before the championship.
NBA playoff bracket
NBA playoffs: East first-round winners
We don’t foresee any sweeps here, but we don’t see any upsets, either…
Raptors over Wizards
Celtics over Bucks
76ers over Heat
Cavs over Pacers
NBA playoffs: West first-round winners
The sweep alert is out for the Rockets and Timberwolves, but this round is mostly about the Warriors surviving without Stephen Curry…
Rockets over Timberwolves
Warriors over Spurs
Trail Blazers over Pelicans
Thunder over Jazz
NBA playoffs: Conference semis
Raptors vs. Cavs
You must feel for the Raptors. They have done their best and achieved considerable success. They changed their style of play last year and expanded their reserve seats.
They won the top seeds in the Eastern Conference. Their reward was the second round of the duel with the Cavaliers after a tough first-round opponent in Washington.
Despite this, Toronto’s main problem did not arise: Keeping LeBron James. As long as this issue is not resolved, they will not be able to surpass Cleveland.
We foresee seven classic series, at least one game won the late shooting of Toronto bench ace Fred VanVleet and James’s monster game 7 (let’s go 38 points, 16 rebounds and 8 assists) to win the series.
Cavs over Raptors, 4-3
Celtics vs. 76ers
For the 76ers in the Eastern Conference playoffs, the situation cannot be much better. They should let Joel Embiid be full of strength here.
He will be a big problem for Aron Baynes and Greg Monroe. The Celtics’ defense is a good protection for intruders such as Ben Simmons, but offensive monsters such as Antini are too much.
If Marcus Smart can return, Boston may be promoted – a thin list will need all the help – and the Celtics will make this series an interesting series.
We at least thought of the triple-double of point guard Terry Rozier. But the 76ers have more upfront talent and depth. They should wear Boston.
76ers over Celtics, 4-2
Rockets vs. Thunder
Thunder is a wild card for the playoffs and may not be the team the Rockets hope to see in the second round.
Oklahoma City won two-thirds of the season against Houston, but overall, including last year’s playoffs, James Harden defeated his former teammate in 14 games. Their last 19 meetings.
The Thunder has been a center defending team since losing Andre Robson in January, which means there is something to be done here – the Rockets will shoot 35-40 three pointers per game against the Thunder.
The team has allowed the opponent to score 3 points 39.1% in the last 25 games. In each game of this series, three numbers of two teams must be found and Houston will win in five games.
Rockets over Thunder, 4-1
Warriors vs. Trail Blazers
The Blazers defeated the Warriors 2-1 this year, thanks to 131 points in two wins by C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard. This is an ugly trend for Portland.
In the past 20 games, the game against the Warriors has been 2 wins and 18 losses, including two losses in the playoffs.
The defense of the Warriors this year is not entirely correct. Their defensive rating is only ninth, which is the lowest record since 2013.
They plan to return Stephen Curry to this series and it is at the right time because Portland is an improved team on both ends of the floor.
Despite this, the Trail Blazers still lack depth, and the Warriors’ Nick Young will also come up with some random 16 points to help the Warriors win a game.
Warriors over Trail Blazers, 4-2
NBA playoffs: Conference finals
76ers vs. Cavs
So the 76ers had 10 wins to home advantage in the two season finals. “Process” supporters will be pleased and may ask for Samsingki statues outside Wells Fargo Center.
The last time the two teams met was a classic 132-130 76 victory. Ben Simmons scored 27 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists while LeBron James scored 44 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists.
The 76ers will be full of strength here with Joel Embiid (hope) and be able to give James all he can handle. But he was still unstoppable in the Eastern Conference playoff series and averaged three doubles in six games.
Cavs over 76ers, 4-2
Rockets vs. Warriors
Because the Warriors faced the Warriors this season and refused to fold, replaced by Chris Paul to bravely move forward and introduce defensive players like P.J. Tucker and Luc Mbah Moute. But the interesting ending is here.
The problem with the Rockets is that the playoffs are about the game, and the Warriors have a way to create a match problem – headed by Kevin Durant – the Rockets can’t really match.
James Harden is the NBA’s toughest trivia and should win the MVP, but the Warriors can cast different opinions on him (Andre Iguodala, Kre Thompson, Durant) and do enough to harass the Rockets at the same time The team’s outside shooter.
It’s interesting to see old colleagues Steve Cole and Mike De Anthony play against it, but Kerr is playing stronger here.
Warriors over Rockets, 4-2
Warriors vs. Cavs
The playoffs feel that in the past few years, more than any other player feels, it seems that it is because of accidental breakthrough and shake the finals.
Maybe Toronto can knock down Cleveland in the semifinals. Houston can use offense to overwhelm Golden State. Alas, the 76ers can break through and continue what we saw in the Philadelphia Magic.
But here we predict (yawn!) the fourth straight Cavaliers and Warriors Finals. The first two games are very interesting. The third game is a very good match, even if it is an unbalanced match.
For most of the audience, the fourth point may be a bit too much, and will not particularly please the pursuit of parity followers Adam Silver.
It’s hard to see how the Toronto team actually beat the Cavaliers and it’s hard to see how the Rockets compare with the Warriors. So we are here.
As we have seen in the past, the Warriors knew very well how to harass James and make his night difficult, and this time he had an unsure support team.
He will again release some incredible numbers. But he has already piled up the results of the game and the game. He will be panting for this team. Find another Finals MVP for Kevin Durant.
Warriors over Cavs, 4-1