It's time for Portland to rebuild
Hello darkness my old friend...
Please note I am writing this article a day after Saturday's games and a few hours prior to Sunday's games.
Toronto entered the post season as the No.1 seed in the East with their all star back court and a very deep bench. Dwane Casey can easily be a Coach of the Year candidate. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Washington enters a disappointing 8th seed and that's due to John Wall missing significant time. Toronto claimed game 1 and I don't see them having any issue beating Washington in 5.
Remember how people thought Indiana was destined to fail when they traded Paul George for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis? Well, the Pacers proved us all wrong by muscling their way to 5th in the East behind Most Improved Player candidate Victor Oladipo. Cleveland on the other hand looked like they were going to barely scrape into the post season before they overhauled their roster entirely. Despite all their issues they got it together and behind another MVP worthy season from Lebron, they're posed to make another run to the Finals. This match up will be fun but in the end, the Cavaliers over powered offense will push Indiana out in 5 games.
The 76ers put up 130 points last night. Let me say that again, in their first post season game in years they put up 130 points vs Miami. Ben Simmons ruled the court and posted 15 points, 9 rebounds, 14 assists and was a +15 in his 34 minutes. The 76ers shot an insane 64.3% from deep and just out worked Miami. The Heat were led by Kelly Olynyk and their star center, Hassan Whiteside, could only watch from the bench as Miami was crushed. With Joel Embiid due back for Game 2 or 3, I say Philly shocks the NBA world and sweep the Heat.
The Boston Celtics are without Kyrie Irving, Marcus Smart, Gordon Hayward, and Daniel Theis. While the young guns in Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Terry Rozier have shown spots of brilliance, Boston is really limping into the post season. What a shame. The Bucks on the other hand are coming into the playoffs fully healthy and will be expecting huge work out of Giannis. If Boston was healthy, I'd say they'd cruise to an easy sweep; unfortunately I say Bucks in 6.
Toronto fans, I am so sorry you have to see this again. If there's still one demon Toronto has yet to get rid of it's Lebron James. Last year we all expected a better fight but you guys got swept, the year before you at least pushed them to 6 games. I don't think this year is going to be any different. Don't get me wrong, Toronto has continually shown they're the better team this year, but Lebron James is just better in the post season than he is in the regular season.There isn't a guy like Kawhi Leonard on Toronto who can give Lebron James trouble. I see this series going the distance, Cavs in 7.
This is an awesome matchup for the fact we get to see Ben Simmons vs Giannis, two Magic Johnson like players on the same court. That being said, Philadelphia will be coming off an easy first round while the Bucks will have had one hard battle. Despite being the younger and more inexperienced team Philly is overall better and have shown they can hang with the big guns in the East. 76ers in 5.
The Kings verses The Prince. This is a matchup we all want to see. The present and the future collide in what is probably a surprising Eastern Conference Finals. A seasoned and experienced Cavaliers team will face a young but strong 76ers team. I'm going to shock everyone and say Philadelphia goes onto their first NBA Finals since 2001. Yes, I said it. Philadelphia is a match up nightmare for Cleveland with guys like Joel Embiid surrounded by shooters like JJ Reddick. On top of that their defense isn't actually a raging dumpster fire like Cleveland's While I think the greatness of Lebron James will make it difficult, Philadelphia shocks the world and moves on in 7.