The NBA Playoffs are underway and 16 teams dream of earning that ring, yet only three have a legitimate shot at winning the title this season. More realistically, only two have a shot, but I am adding the Cavs because Lebron is a complete wildcard. I do not believe the Cavs have enough chemistry or coaching to knock off the Warriors or the Spurs, but injuries to Steph Curry or Kawhi Leonard could change everything and open the door for the Cavs. This is how it’s going to happen.
East 1st Round
1 Cavs vs. 8 Pistons
The Pistons will make the Cavs work, but ultimately the Cavs will prevail in 4 or 5, discovering some rhythm in the process.
4 Hawks vs. 5 Celtics
The Celtics are sneaky good, but playoff experience matters and the Hawks will show theirs, winning in 5 or 6.
3 Heat vs. 6 Hornets
The Heat is peaking at the right time and the Hornets are going to feel the burn. Heat in 4.
2 Raptors vs. 7 Pacers
Pacers will test the Raps, but the Raps have been too good this year to fall in the first round. Raptors in 7.
West 1st Round
1 Warriors vs. 8 Rockets
Warriors will dominate the Playoffs and the Rockets are just the first of those teams to be swept out of the Playoffs by the returning champs.
4 Clippers vs. 5 Trailblazers
The only close series in the first round out West, but no upset here. The Clips win in 5.
3 Thunder vs. 6 Mavs
The Mavs are banged up and are one of the least athletic teams in the league. Tough to match up against one of the most athletic. Thunder in 4.
2 Spurs vs. 7 Grizzlies
The Spurs defense will smother the overmatched Grizzlies and it will be the story of a low scoring series. Spurs in 5.
East 2nd Round
1 Cavs vs. 4 Hawks
The Hawks will make Lebron uncomfortable, but not enough to get them over the top. Cavs in 6.
2 Raps vs. 3 Heat
The Heat’s experience and balance will be too much for the young Raps. Heat in 6 to set up the match-up against their former MVP.
West 2nd Round
1 Warriors vs. 4 Clippers
Warriors steam roll the Clippers just like everyone else in the way to earn their 2nd straight sweep and then they watch and rest while the Spurs and Thunder beat each other up.
2 Spurs vs. 3 Thunder
Spurs defense is too much for the Thunder to overcome, but the Spurs pay a high price physically and go into the series against the Warriors worn down.
1 Cavs vs. 3 Heat
In a back and forth slugfest of a series, the Cavs prevail on the strength of homecourt advantage as Lebron earns his 6th straight trip to the Finals.
1 Warriors vs. 2 Spurs
The series everyone has been waiting for is anticlimactic as the rested Warriors attack the Spurs and make it impossible for the Spurs to slow them down. The Spurs are unable to contain Curry and Green and are lucky to get one win in the series. Warriors in 5.
1 Warriors vs. 1 Cavs
A rematch from last year’s Finals, with a slightly different result. Lebron has a healthy roster, but the Warriors show the world how much better they have gotten since last year and cement themselves as a team for the ages in a 4-0 sweep. Curry wins the Finals MVP in a dominant playoff run where the Warriors go 16-1 in a repeat championship performance. Lebron falls short of bringing a title to Cleveland, triggering a dramatic overhaul for the Cavs this off-season. Kevin Love and Lebron James will not play on the same team next season.
That’s how it’s all going to happen…