Sadly, I don't anticipate much late series drama in this first round. I DO expect the Atlantic division to be embarrassed.
Warriors in 4
It will be a tremendous boost to the Trail Blazers to win a game in this series. My guess is that the Warriors will win each by double figures. Don’t be surprised if Klay Thompson has a 50 point game.
Spurs in 5
The Spurs and Grizz play marvelous basketball against each other. However, getting a chance to watch Pau and Marc Gasol battle is likely to be the best memory Memphis fans will pull from this matchup. I anticipate that the Grizz will work very hard and look very old.
Rockets in 5
Houston might well sweep the Thunder despite Russell Westbrook having multiple 40 point triple doubles. The Rockets may have a game where they make 20 more 3 pointers than OKC.
Clippers in 7
This is the one Western Conference series I anticipate living up to our expectations of greatness. These teams are evenly matched despite being so different. By Game 5, Clippers fans will be dreaming of how fantastic they would be if Gordon Hayward were on their team. Home court and Chris Paul’s playoff cool will ultimately prove to be the difference in Game 7.
Bulls in 6
The Bulls veteran toughness will come to the fore as the Celtics experience playoff pressure. The King of the Fourth will be revealed as a playoff pauper while Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade finally give the Bulls a series victory over Boston.
Cavs in 6
The Cavs have advantages everywhere except the Center spot where Myles Turner will have to prove he’s ready for stardom. He’s not. LeBron ALWAYS is and can simply will the Cavs to a comfortable series win.
Wizards in 5
Unless Dwight Howard time travels to 2009, the Hawks stand little chance against this Wiz team that has the most cohesive starting lineup in the East. I won’t be surprised if Washington sweeps the Hawks into the offseason.
Bucks in 6
The next two weeks will be the first time casual fans realize that Giannis Antentokounmpo is Scottie Pippen 2.0. While the Bucks don’t have enough firepower to do damage moving forward, they’ll be able to take advantage of their tremendous size while Toronto’s playoff demons rise to torment them again.
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