Round 1 of the NBA Playoffs:

So the NBA restart has come to an end and now we are in playoffs mode. Let’s take closer look at the match-ups and see which of these teams will advance to next round. We’ll start with the Eastern and the work our way to the the West.

Toronto vs Brooklyn:

To this is an intriguing match-up especially for the Raptors, as the last, time these teams met in the playoffs, Raptors General Manager Masai Ujiri, caused a little controversy when he decided that an F-bomb would throw Brooklyn off their game. But in instead it gave them momentum and eventually the series.

This year’s match-up is a little different Ujiri has stayed quiet, and maybe that is why the Raptors are one win away from sweeping the Nets. Actually I think there are a couple of factors that play a role in this series:

  1. Not having Kevin and Kyrie two offensively gifted players in the lineup makes a huge difference, I feel with those two in the line-up this series is not 3-0 it’s much closer

2. Without KD and Kyrie, Caris LeVert is going to have to carry the majority of the nets offense on him.

3. Lowry and Fred VanVleet have to play lights out basketball and help lead the Raptors offense.

4. Pascal Siakam and Marc Gasol have to assert their dominance on the boards.

5. Others players like Jarrett Allen, Garrett Temple, Rodians Kurucs need to step up.

With that said, I am taking the Raptors to sweep the series simply because I don’t see enough from the nets to win the series. Toronto looks stronger and hungrier.

Boston is one game away from sweeping the 76ers

Boston has shown it’s dominance in the series with the Philadelphia 76ers, as they currently lead the series 3-0. Watching the last three games, it hasn’t been close.

If Philadelphia’s top guys don’t step to the plate and help contribute the series will be over before 76ers know it. Questions will be asked what happened to this team? Losing Ben Simmons was a huge loss but what about guys like Tobias Harris, Joel Embiid and Al Horford all three are making huge amount of money.

Well, all I can, I wouldn’t say I like Philadelphia’s chances as the Celtics have been dominating every aspect of the series. Philadelphia has no answer to Boston’s offence. Makes you wonder if the 76ers want to win or do they like being the Eastern Conference’s punching Bag.

Bucks and Magic:

This series, I would say, has been relatively close with Orlando taking game one 122-110. Milwaukee took games 2 and 3 and currently lead this best of seven series two games to one. From an offence standpoint, it has been back and forth between these two teams.

For Milwaukee, it’s been Giannis Antetokounmpo, Eric Bledsoe, Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez. That is a lot of scoring from four outstanding players. On the other side, Nikola Vucevic, and Markelle Fultz have been the two main guys scoring for Orlando.

Mind you, though, Orlando does have a strong bench, and it could take the bench scoring for the Magic to get back on even terms in this series. Game four is crucial for Orlando if they want stay even with the Bucks.

Miami vs Indiana:

There isn’t much to say about this series, to be honest, I mean Indiana have done their best to hang in, but the Heat are proving to be a handful, and rightfully so. Jimmy Butler, Kelly Olynyk, Goran Dragic, and Bam Adebayo need I say more? Miami just won’t let Indiana get any offence going.

And so my final analysis on the series is Miami sweeps and moves to play with the winner of the Orlando Milwaukee series.

Now we will look at match-ups in the west and see if they fare any better. The first series we’ll look at:

Lakers vs Trail Blazers:

This series is a star-studded one with Lebron James and Anthony Davis on one side and Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum on the other. The Lakers are currently leading this series 2-1, but I don’t the Blazers laying down and letting Los Angeles rollover Portland.

Having watched the first few games of this series, I feel as though Portland is just one win away from changing the complexion of this series and perhaps getting some momentum back in their favour. But to be honest, there is a possibility that the Lakers take this series on the move on to face the winner of the Utah Denver series. But I would like to the Blazers beat Lebron and be the ones to move to the next round.

Houston vs Oklahoma City

The match-up between the Rockets and Thunder to me is going to be a tough one to win for the Thunder. On paper, Houston is the better team, but to my surprise, these two teams are two games apiece. Chris Paul, and Shai Gilgeou-Alexander having to two main drivers for the Thunder but they need more from their supporting cast if that want to beat James Harden and the Rockets.

Utah vs Denver:

This is match-up of two Behemoths in Rudy Gobert and Nikola Jokic. Both are very dominant players in there own right and have proved as such, the only difference being that Gobert and that Jazz lead this series 3-1, mean the Nuggets have to find a way to win game 5 in order to give themselves a fighting chance otherwise like the 76ers it is going to be a long offseason.

Jamal Murray, the Canadian, doesn’t seem to be right physically; maybe it’s just me, but something seems off in his game. The Nuggets need his offence to have any hope of extending this series beyond five games. Let’s see how game five does play out. I don’t like Denver’s chance but I hope I am wrong.

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