Connect with us


NBA Playoffs: Eastern Conference Predictions

Adam Shay



Let the fun begin! The NBA playoff seeding is finalized and in two days, the first round of games begin. Just a quick impressive, yet sad note: this is first time since 1999-00 the playoffs will not be seeing future Hall of Fame players Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki. And of course, it is the first time in 13 years LeBron James is not in the playoffs. The NBA will miss their incredible Spring time performances.

But the games must go on and as it goes for first round match-ups in the Eastern Conference, it will be tough for any upsets. The East is top heavy with loaded teams against mediocre lower seeds, but there is a series to make the first round interesting. Here are the predictions:

#1 Milwaukee Bucks vs. #8 Detroit Pistons (Bucks 4-0 sweep)

This will not be the interesting series. The Bucks are as well rounded as a team gets as they are first in team scoring averaging 118.1 PPG and allow 109.3 PPG, 11th in the league. The Bucks are without Malcolm Brogdon, which will hurt them further in the playoffs, but not in the first round. As for the Pistons, they have arguably the best front court in the league with All-Stars Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond. But with struggles at the guard positions, the chances of them winning a game are unlikely.

#2 Toronto Raptors vs. #7 Orlando Magic (Raptors win 4-1)

The Raptors have a team loaded with playoff experience in Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka, and Danny Green. With the eighth ranked offense and ninth ranked defense in the league, they are another well-rounded group. Plus, the Raptors do not have a significant injury. The Magic may be able to squeeze a game out at home with their fifth ranked defense, allowing 106.6 PPG. Their All-Star center Nikola Vucevic had a great season and is due for a breakout playoff game. However, their lack of offense, (107.3 PPG, 24th in NBA), will not be able to sustain more than one victory.

#3 Philadelphia 76ers vs. #6 Brooklyn Nets (Nets win 4-3, but it’s really a toss up)

This is the most interesting series in the Eastern Conference. The 76ers are loaded with talent, proven stars, and a high octane offense as the team has four players averaging over 18.0 PPG. Nevertheless, their offense has carried the team as the defense ranks 19th in the league at 112.5 PPG. They do have some playoff experience as they went to the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Now the Nets are one of the surprise teams this season, performing a complete 180 degrees turn around. The Nets were 9-18 on December 7, 2018, and led by All-Star D’Angelo Russell, the team finished 42-40. The “Nothing to lose” attitude has propelled their team and coming off a three-game win streak, the Nets have a solid chance of beating the 76ers. 

#4 Boston Celtics vs. #5 Indiana Pacers (Celtics win 4-1)

The Celtics have produced an underwhelming season as they were expected to be a top two team in the East. But, after a losing 4-3 in the ECF last year to the Cleveland Cavaliers, they have a chip on their shoulder. Out of all the teams in the East, they have the deepest bench with Gordon Hayward being healthy, a great blend of young talent and veteran-ship, and of course, superstar Kyrie Irving. Not to mention, the Celtics dropped a 20-point win against the Pacers on April 5. The Pacers do have the number one defense in the league, but in this series against experience, it won’t matter. Even if the Pacers had All-Star Victor Oladipo, they may win a second game in the series. 

Ever wished you could start a career covering your favorite sport? Have you spent time wishing you could combine your love of sports with your passion for writing and reporting? CMN’s Sports Journalism course is an experiential learning program designed to give the practical experience you need to get your foot in the door in this ultra-competitive industry. You’ll get useful, direct feedback on your reporting, exposure to experienced sports journalists and influencers, and a great place to build your portfolio. You can get college credit, too. Get all the details on the CMN's Sports Journalism Course here.

Adam Shay is a graduate from Eastern Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, During his four years at EIU, he wrote for the Daily Eastern News for two and a half years, covering multiple sports, news events, and writing feature stories. He was also on the rugby club team for two years, a member of the Society of Collegiate Journalists, and finished third in applying for his commencement speech. Currently, he runs a public relations system for a bar in Palatine, Illinois, and in his free time, he is always learning about music, sports history, and American history.

CMN Reports

Equality3 weeks ago

Colorado Bans Conversion Therapy for LGBTQ Youth

The Centennial State moves forward in progress for the queer community.

by , The Catholic American University
Government3 weeks ago

Illinois Legalizes Recreational Marijuana

The Prairie State advances towards cannabis legalization.

by , The Catholic American University
Government4 weeks ago

New Hampshire Becomes the 21st State to Abolish Capital Punishment

The Granite State makes a huge step towards criminal justice reform.

by , The Catholic American University
Equality4 weeks ago

Maine Bans LGBTQIA+ Conversion Therapy for Minors

The Pine Tree State further progresses in queer rights.

by , The Catholic American University
Election 20201 month ago

Elijah Manley: The Youngest Person to Ever Run for U.S. President

Meet the youngest person ever to run for U.S. president.

by , The Catholic American University
Government1 month ago

Poll: More than 40% of Americans Embrace Socialism

Socialism is gradually on the rise.

by , The Catholic American University
Government1 month ago

Washington Becomes First State to Have a Public Insurance Option

The Evergreen State is going to compete in the healthcare insurance market.

by , The Catholic American University
Free Speech2 months ago

Serious Controversies Ensew Turning Point USA at University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Controversies ranging from racism to assault plague UNLV.

by , The Catholic American University

Most Read From CMN Writers