NBA Playoff Predictions


With the NBA Conference Finals underway, the race for a championship is all but finished. After two rounds, this year’s playoffs have already provided us with a handful of classic series.

One of the most memorable series was the shocking upset the No. 8 seed, Miami Heat, got over No. 1 seed, Milwaukee Bucks, during the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Originally, the Bucks were a -1,200 to win the series, everyone thought there was no chance they would lose, including us, but the odds changed drastically, lowering down to -200 after the first game. 

Not only did the Heat win, they did it impressively by only dropping one game.

Even though the Heat are a weak team compared to the Bucks, you can never count them out because they have Jimmy Butler, who is known for showing up in the playoffs, hence his nickname ‘Jimmy Buckets’.

The Bucks are known for being the team to beat in the NBA, they were the favorite to win it all, but unfortunately the pressure got to them. 

In the Western Conference, the Sacramento Kings’ Cinderella story came to an abrupt end at the hands of the Golden State Warriors. 

Although they were projected to be the No. 10 seed, The Kings ended up being the third best team in the west. They have exceeded every expectation that was made for them this year, creating a great culture in the process.

On the opposing team, the Warriors are the reigning champions and are an established franchise. This difference in experience was the deciding factor for the series, as the lights were just too bright for the Kings team. 

Even in the face of defeat, the Kings’ fans were proud to be in that moment and have a bright future to look forward to. However, this series also showed that our current stars are not finished just yet. This was evident in Stephen Curry’s 50-point explosion in game seven.

Two rounds later, the conference finals consisted of matchups between the Lakers and Nuggets for the west and the Heat vs Celtics for the east.

The Nuggets ended up sweeping the Lakers, leaving Laker fans disappointed. Throughout the four games, the Nuggets were on fire, while the Lakers could not find their footing with multiple bad games from several players.

In the Eastern Conference, the Heat are up three games to one against the Celtics. The Celtics have not been able to find an answer for Jimmy Butler, and this trend seems like it will be their undoing.

As it looks now, the whole tournament comes down to the finals where the Nuggets will play the Heat for the championship. This is a fun, exciting, and even matchup all around. It’s going to be a great series watching Nikola Jokic and Jimmy Butler go at it for all the gold. 

On top of the actual matchups, this series is full of great narratives. After years of disappointing playoff results, the Nuggets aim to make franchise history and win their first championship. 

The Heat are looking to make history as well. If the Heat win, they will be the lowest seeded team to win it all. And as if their story couldn’t be even more inspiring, Jimmy Butler’s performances have made him extremely deserving of a ring.

The Celtics are still not out of the race to be immortalized, however. If the Celtics can pull off the improbable and win the next four games, their team should match up with the Nuggets very well. With their mixture of pristine offense and defense, they would be sure to give the Nuggets a run for their money. Their team is looking to win the championship following their loss last year to the Warriors.

With either of their potential opponents being tough, the Nuggets still seem to be the favorites to win the champions due to Jokic being a jack-of-all-trades on offense. With his skill in the post, it is tough to guard him one-on-one, but if a teammate provides help defense or even doubles, Jokic could pass out to the open man with his other-worldly playmaking abilities. This was evident when Jamal Murray’s stats took a huge jump in the Lakers series, averaging 32.5 points in four games.

This year’s playoffs have shown off some of the best generational talent we have ever seen; there are only exciting games and greatness left to come.