Golden State Warriors vs New Orleans Pelicans (Warriors Lead 2-0)
Game 3: Pelicans win to cut Warriors lead to 2-1
Game 4: Warriors win to take a 3-1 lead
Game 5: Warriors win series 4-1
Already holding a 2-0 lead on the Pelicans, I can’t pick against the Warriors to lose this series. This team has too much talent. The Pelicans have a talented team, but they don’t come close to what the Warriors have. Getting Steph Curry back only strengthens the Warriors as they go throughout the playoffs. The Pelicans came close to a win in game 2, which makes me believe they can win at least one game in the series. I think that game comes in the Pelicans first home game, giving Pelicans fans hope for the series. That hope will quickly die, as I have the Warriors winning games 4 and 5 to eliminate the Pelicans and move on to the Conference Finals.
Houston Rockets vs Utah Jazz (Series Tied 1-1)
Game 3: Rockets win to take a 2-1 lead
Game 4: Jazz win to tie the series 2-2
Game 5: Rockets win to take a 3-2 lead
Game 6: Rockets win series 4-2
How did the Rockets win game 1? They shot 32 three pointers and made 17 of them, shooting 53.1%. How did the Jazz win game 2? The Rockets shot 37 three pointers and made 10 of them, shooting 27%. Utah forced the Rockets into a bad shooting night from beyond the arc, which is the key to beating them. If the Jazz can hold the Rockets to a low shooting percentage from three point range, their chances of winning go up significantly. The problem is, the Rockets have been winning games with three pointers all season. Even though their three point percentage ranked 15th in the league (36.2%), they led the league in three pointers attempted (42.2). The more three pointers they shoot, the more they make, and the more points they score. They live and die by the three point shot, and as made obvious by their 65-17 regular season record, most of the time they live by it. Utah and their defense can make things competitive, but Houston’s three point shooting will overcome.
Boston Celtics vs Philadelphia 76ers (Celtics Lead 2-0)
Game 3: 76ers win to cut Celtics lead to 2-1
Game 4: 76ers win to tie series 2-2
Game 5: Celtics win to go up 3-2
Game 6: 76ers win to tie series 3-3
Game 7: Celtics win series 4-3
Much like the Celtics against the Bucks, I think they’ll allow the 76ers to get back in the series. This 76ers team is too good to go down easily. With Boston already being up 2-0, it will be tough to come back, but with the talent they have they should be able to. The 76ers have a lot of talent, but they need their best players to step up. Ben Simmons can’t have 1 point again. He’ll recover from that and have some good games, along with Embiid, Redick, and Covington, allowing them to get back in this series. Some may look at Boston and think they don’t have any star players because Kyrie Irving is out, but their young players are turning into stars right before our eyes. Jaylen Brown, Jason Tatum, Terry Rozier, and pretty much the entire Celtics team is stepping up. I believe Brad Stevens has been the best coach this year, and it’s easy to why. The way he has this Celtics team playing is incredible, which is why I’m picking the Celtics to come out on top in a hard fought series.
Toronto Raptors vs Cleveland Cavaliers (Cavaliers Lead 2-0)
Game 3: Cavaliers win to go up 3-0
Game 4: Raptors win to cut Cavs lead to 3-1
Game 5: Cavaliers win series 4-1
Cleveland came out of “LeBronto” with a 2-0 lead over the best team in the Eastern Conference. Once again, the greatness of LeBron is too much for his Eastern Conference opponents. To add to that, he’s finally getting some help from his teammates. Kevin Love just had a 31 point game, while J.R. Smith, George Hill, and Jeff Green all scored in double figures. With the Cavs being up 2-0, they’re not going to let this series slip away, especially not LeBron. I can’t forget though that the Raptors have played great all season, so I have them winning one game in this series. They’re too good to allow a sweep. I have the Cavs winning the series 4-1, which may not seem competitive, but it will be. Although the Raptors won’t come out with multiple victories, they won’t let the Cavs walk all over them, even if they go down 3-0. The way LeBron is playing right now, this was probably the worst match-up the Raptors could have had.