2018 NBA Playoffs Bold Predictions
Four bold predictions for the the 2018 NBA playoffs. Who will win the Championship? Who will get upset and more.
With the 2018 NBA playoffs starting this weekend, 16 teams are on the quest to capture the NBA Title.
In the spirit of such exciting times, let’s have some fun and make four far-fetched predictions that may come to fruition and catch people by surprise this postseason.
Utah Jazz will upset the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round
The Oklahoma City Thunder brought in Carmelo Anthony and Paul George to join forces with Russell Westbrook in attempts to become a super team in the west. Although the Thunder has been good, it’s hard to call them a serious title contender at this point.They have been a very inconsistent all year and have lost more games to non-playoff teams than they would have liked.
In the first round of this year’s playoffs, they will face a fifth-place Utah Jazz team that might be able to upset the higher seeded Thunder in a seven-game series.
The Utah Jazz has quietly been one of the best teams in the NBA since late January. Which included an impressive 21-2 run from January to late March. Sine the return of Rudy Gobert the Jazz’s defensive rating has also jumped to the top of the league.
Combine that with the weapons they have on offense; which the likes of Derrick Favors, Joe Ingles, Donovan Mitchell and Ricky Rubio. Along with a sneaky good second-unit that features, Jae Crowder, Royce O’Neale, and Dante Exum, one must like the Jazz’s chance of beating the Thunder.
Especially, since the Thunder is not an overly dynamic team on offensively with a very mediocre second unit. If the Jazz’s elite defense can force Russell Westbrook into making bad decisions with the ball, there is a great the Thunder’s offense will dry up; giving Utah a great chance to win the series.
The Philadelphia 76ers will make the Eastern Conference Finals
Many people expected the Philadelphia 76ers to be a playoff team this year. But few expect them to be a 52-win team and finish third in the Eastern Conference. I will go even one step further to say they will make the Eastern Conference Finals.
Yes, the Philadelphia 76ers will be a final-four team in the NBA this year!!
It might sound far-fetch to some, but the Sixers have two of the most dominant young players in the NBA in Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. Add that to a team with a supporting cast that features; J. J. Redick, Markelle Fultz, Marco Belinelli, Robert Covington, Dario Saric makes them one of the deepest teams in the East.
Finally, we can’t forget that the Sixers don’t have to play the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Toronto Raptors in the first two rounds this year. In reality, Philadelphia has a legitimate shot at beating teams like the Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks or a Kyrie Irving-less Boston Celtics team in the first two rounds of the 2018 NBA playoffs.
The Toronto Raptors will make the NBA Finals
It’s fair to say the East is still Lebron’s conference but this might be the year where the Toronto Raptors surprise everyone and prevent Lebron from making his eighth straight final appearance.
The Toronto Raptors have been incredible all season as their record shows they are the best team in the Eastern Conference. They have done a nice job retooling their roster and increasing the roles of players like Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, and Delon Wright makes them one of the best teams in franchise history.
It also doesn’t hurt that All-Star Kyle Lowry has consistently been one of the best point guards in the east, meanwhile, DeMar DeRozan has elevated his game to a new level making him a dominant as ever. They also have a frontcourt of Serge Ibaka and Jonas Valanciunas who are both at the peak of their prime.
The Raptors played the Cavs three-times this season and despite holding a 1-2 record; they blew them out in their first meeting and only lost by a cumulative nine points in the other two games.
This is Raptors best chance of beating LeBron and advancing to the NBA finals, and I think everyone in “The Six” knows and will relish this opportunity!
Houston Rockets will win the NBA Championship
Many people picked the Golden State Warriors to win the NBA title this year, and rightfully so it’s hard to argue against.
However, over the course of the season the Houston Rockets have gradually worked their way into the conversation, and at this point in the season, many experts consider them a legitimate threat beat the Warriors for several reasons.
For one, they hold an impressive 65-17 record and finished first in the Western Conference. They have been the best team in the NBA all year, are getting All-Star caliber play from James Harden and Chris Paul.
They are also one of the healthiest teams in NBA heading into the postseason. Besides that, they have locked up home-court advantage for the entire playoffs and have won over 80% of their games at home this season, giving them a huge advantage against any team they play.
Combine that with the Warriors and their injury troubles, especially with Steph Curry being out the first round and possibly more, it might be a real possibility that the Rockets will finally get the better of the Warriors this postseason.
You heard it heard first! Chris Paul will finally get out of the second round of the playoffs and capture his first NBA title.
What do you think of these bold predictions? Let us know in the comment section below and be sure to vote in the poll as well!