This archived article was written by: Tai Justice
My last article was about the most fun Playoff matchups that we could get. The Playoffs are set and I’m ready to run through all the first-round series and give my keys and my predictions to them.
Chicago Bulls vs. Boston Celtics. This series is fascinating because I think there’s a real chance that the Bulls win this series.
The Bulls need to contain Isiah Thomas on offense and make Thomas work on defense. If the Bulls can do that, they have a chance. The Bulls will also have the luxury of having the best player in the series play for them in Jimmy Butler.
Now, Boston has a lot of different bodies to throw at him to give him trouble, but like this matchup for the Bulls. If I had more guts, I would pick the Bulls.
Predictions: Celtics in 7
Indiana Pacers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers. The “let’s see who can be more dysfunctional as a team” series. Not much to talk about here, LeBron James going up against Paul George should be fun, but other than that, this doesn’t really intrigue me.
Prediction: Cavs in 4
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Toronto Raptors. This is an interesting series. I’m excited for this one. The Bucks are a young team and think the Raptors are the biggest threat to Cleveland in the East.
I love the midseason trades the Raptors made. I think those moves will help them even more in the Playoffs than they did in the regular season.
Prediction: Raptors in 6
Atlanta Hawks vs. Washington Wizards. The NBATV series. None of these games should be shown on the main channels like ESPN, ABC and TNT. Stick these games on NBATV.
The Wizards struggled and the Hawks struggled for almost two years, but they keep making the playoffs because the East is bad. I’ve already talked too much about this series.
Prediction: Wizards in 5
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Golden State Warriors. Alright, finally onto the Varsity Conference. East is JV, West is Varsity.
The Warriors are too good. I don’t expect this series to be too close at all. Steph Curry vs. Dame Lillard will be a fun matchup to watch though.
Prediction: Warriors in 4
Memphis Grizzlies vs. San Antonio Spurs. I think that the Grizzlies match up well against the Spurs. They have a lot of different types of defenders to throw at Kawhi Leonard and the Grizzlies can also slow the game down and make the Spurs play at their pace.
Prediction: Spurs in 6
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Houston Rockets. The NBA is depriving us of one of the all-time great revenge series by not announcing the winner of the MVP until after the playoffs.
I wanted whoever lost that award between James Harden and Russell Westbrook to go into this series with the mindset of, “I’m going to destroy everyone.”
Prediction: Rockets in 7
Utah Jazz vs. Los Angeles Clippers. This is going to be a great series. The key to this is the Rodney Hood and Derrick Favors have to step up if the Jazz are going to win.
The Clippers have no one that can guard these two. The Jazz need them to have monster series. This won’t be like your normal 4-5 matchup. Both of these teams play at a 60-win pace when they’re both healthy.
Prediction: Jazz in 6