By Anthony Dyce
Published: April 3rd, 2019
With the NBA season coming to an end and the playoffs set to take place on April 13th, teams are still competing for a playoff spot while other teams continue to lose games on purpose to have a better draft choice in the lottery. It’s an ideal time to provide predictions.
When it comes to making predictions during a forecast, usually it isn’t always accurate. Bottom line, the postseason is unpredictable. No one can accurately predict which teams will upset who or which stars will outperform the other. There’s no way to be certain about matchup advantages, injuries, or coaching errors.
As of now, the Milwaukee Bucks are the only team out of the 16 playoff teams to have secured a division title. The Bucks have the best record in the league. Even with the injury bug hitting this team hard with Malcolm Brogdon, Nikola Mirotic, Pau Gasol, Tony Snell, and their promising rookie, Donte DiVincenzo, who is out for the entire season. With all these nagging injuries and setbacks, the Bucks still has managed to maintain the best record in the league.
During the season’s final stretch in the Eastern Conference, the Toronto Raptors are within 4.5 games from the Bucks but still must finish the season strong due to only four games separating the third, fourth, and fifth seeds in the East. While in the West the Golden State Warriors and Denver Nuggets are the two top teams tied with the same record. Each seed could change daily throughout the end of the regular season.
Overall, the Golden State Warriors are the favorite to three-peat for another NBA championship. But this season seems different with LeBron James gone, the Eastern Conference is up for grabs. Milwaukee, Toronto, Philadelphia and more hoping to win the race to the NBA Finals. The Bucks have the best record in the league and also have the best offensive rating and defensive rating. But that doesn’t mean they are going to cruise through the playoffs. They have a talented roster led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is one of the favorites to the win the MVP award for the first time in his young career.
The Raptors, are clearly a threat with the new addition of Kawhi Leonard and the 76ers have taken big steps this year with the addition of trading for Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris. The Pacers are looked upon as overachievers and Celtics are viewed as underachievers based on not being able to replicate and improve on the success that they had last postseason. Boston is talented enough to win the series against the Pacers due to the loss of all-star Victor Oladipo for the season. If they win as the fourth or fifth seed, they will most likely have to play the Bucks in the second round.
The Celtics have the talent and experience to defeat the Bucks but they have struggled this season with consistency. If they get it together, they could push the Bucks to seven games but that doesn’t seem to be a likely outcome.
The Raptors or 76ers have a better chance of meeting the Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals, they both pose a threat to push the Bucks to seven games as well. The Bucks will more than likely prevail and go on to the NBA Finals where they will meet the Golden State Warriors.
The Warriors seemingly own the Western Conference. Nuggets, Rockets, and Trail Blazers can give the Warriors a challenge but it seems unlikely due to the Warriors having an all-star starting five. The Finals will most likely include the Warriors as they will steamroll their way there. The time is now to see who could defeat the Golden State Warriors this June.