Sorry Detroit fans, but this won't be much of a series.
The Detroit Pistons wrapped up the NBA's final playoff berth Wednesday night as the regular season concluded. "Not to take it for granted what we've been able to do in the past and what we're doing now". I think the Bucks' improvement this season will show in the first round and, in the words of Bucks legend Brandon Jennings, "Bucks in six". This will be the most important playoff appearance to date. The Warriors Death Sentence is now looming over their season.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are just the 6 seed in the West after going 49-33 on the season. Although it's unclear how soon Steph will make his playoff debut, Golden State will breeze through this series. I think he plays, but he looked injured in the last game he took the court and after that the Pistons sat him for the final game of the regular season. And although it's been moderately enjoyable to watch their run, they've met a buzzsaw that they really have no chance to overcome.
"We've been in these types of series before, where it's about the gamesmanship, understanding players' tendencies", Shaun Livingston said. Additionally, 11 of the 16 teams who made the playoffs a year ago have returned for seconds to try and dethrone the Warriors. "I like them in the West". To make matters, worse, they're facing an OKC Thunder team they failed to defeat even once during the regular season. Coach Nate McMillan deserves a lot of credit, too.
Hidden Storyline: The Jazz go to the line at the third highest rate in the National Basketball Association, but they also sit in 26th in free-throw percentage.
In one corner is last year's victor, the Houston Rockets' James Harden. "My game was talking to me". Hats off to Nikola Jokic, Michael Malone, and the Nuggets on a magnificent regular season... It will be interesting to see if the Bucks speed up the timeline if the first round series gets interesting.
The Nets have covered six of their previous seven road games and 10 of their previous 14 divisional games. Paul Millsap's experience will help a young roster, and they are also aided by not having to worry about the Warriors until the Conference Finals. Ultimately, I'll pick the Sixers to come out on top. Every team in the playoffs has the talent to pull off an upset. "I plan on taking full advantage of it". The x-factor in this series will be DeMar DeRozan. Denver is set to meet with the San Antonio Spurs (+5000) in the opening round.
Where Can I Watch In Ireland? Let's break this down.
Key matchup: Simmons vs. D'Angelo Russell. Tough to stop around the rim, but can also handle the ball and is an elite passer - averaging 7.7 assists per game. "Moreover, his 6'11" height and 7'3" wingspan allowed him to guard any position on the court - in the game against the 76ers, Giannis blocked 76ers' All-Star center Joel Embiid four times. And Jimmy Butler has been a great closer for Philly in the 4th quarter.
In the last three games against the Knicks, Clippers and Kings, the Rockets scored at least 120 points and won by at least 25 points. Have proved very hard to beat in Toronto in recent years.
This is definitely a new series, and the Warriors like how they have come together from a topsy-turvy season that featured embarrassing losses at home, a rarity in recent years. And in a scoring matchup between James Harden and Mitchell, you have to take Harden.
Post All-Star break, he's averaging 27, 5, and 5, shooting 46%, 45%, 83%.
What's more impressive for Orlando is the offense.
The new era of foreign-born National Basketball Association players, which includes Antetokounmpo and Rookie of the Year front-runner Luka Dončić, is certainly making the game more competitive and more exciting than ever before for fans all over the world.
24-year-old Antetokounmpo gives even more hope to the city of Milwaukee.