The NBA regular season is over; enter the 2019 NBA Playoffs!
We knew that the playoff race was reaching its climax, but the end of the regular season almost snuck up on us.
They haven’t been released yet, but top betting sites like BetDSI will have odds on the upcoming series’. Let’s look at the seeding and first-round matchups.
The No. 1s vs. No. 8s
The Warriors get the Clippers and the Bucks get the Pistons.
This should be an easy series for each of these No. 1 squads, especially the Bucks. The Golden State Warriors destroyed the Clippers on April 7th, 131-104, but the Clips did get a win against Dub City back in November. In December, the Warriors only squeaked out a 2-point victory and in January, the Warriors won, 112-94.
The Warriors are going to win this; no doubt. But the Clippers may stretch the series a game or two longer than Golden State would like. Meanwhile, the Bucks swept the Pistons this season, beating them in all four meetings, and only one game was close. So, we are likely to see the Bucks sweep Detroit and get some rest while waiting for Round-2.
The No. 2s vs. No. 7s
The Denver Nuggets have split wins with the San Antonio Spurs this season, 2-2. If there is an upset waiting for us, it’s in this series. Although the Spurs are not as stacked as they used to be, Pop is an amazing coach. And over the last ten times that these two teams have met, the Spurs hold a 6-4 advantage. Expect this series to go all seven games.
Orlando vs. Toronto will be another interesting series. The Magic also managed to split wins with the Raps this season. That said, Orlando just doesn’t have the consistency that Toronto does. We should expect a 5 or 6 game series here.
The No. 3s vs. No. 6s
The Trail Blazers finished strong again, but will they fall apart in round-one like last year? It’s quite possible. Oklahoma City has Portland’s number this season. They won in all four meetings. I don’t expect OKC to sweep the Zers like NoLa did last year, but with Nurkic out, I doubt the Blazers will survive the first round, especially is Paul George is feeling better. Sorry, Rip City.
Brooklyn was a bit of a surprise this season. But there is no way they are pulling past the 76ers. Game 1, the Sixers are 8-point favorites. Even with Embiid questionable, the Nets won’t survive.
The No. 4s vs. No. 5s
A lot of people are putting the Houston Rockets on their list as the Darkhorse to take down the Warriors. Sorry. I don’t think so. The Jazz is a good team and will give the Rockets a
challenge. Houston blasted Utah last time around, but that was back in February. The game before that was 102-97. But the Jazz won the two previous games, so Houston is not a shoo-in.That said, they will move on, but expend some energy in doing so.
If the Celtics lose to the Pacers, it will be a disappointing season, indeed. But the Celtics open the series as 6.5-point favorites in game one and they have beaten the Pacers in the last three meetings. The Celtics are healthy, so look for them to move on to round two.