NBANews365’s 2017 Playoff Preview

NBANews365’s 2017 Playoff Preview

The 2016-17 NBA regular season has been one for the ages. Russell Westbrook and James Harden had two of the most impressive stat-lines in basketball history, Giannis Antetokounmpo turned into the best 6’11” point guard anyone will ever see, and the Golden State Warriors cruised to their third consecutive 67-win campaign. But now, it’s playoff time, where the last 82 games mean nothing and all that matters is right now. This is where the NBA season is really made, and this is what goes down in the history books for years to come.

 

Eastern Conference

 

First Round

 

Boston: 4

Chicago: 1

 

Cleveland: 4

Indiana: 0

 

Toronto: 4

Milwaukee: 1

 

Washington: 4

Atlanta: 2

 

Conference Semi-Finals

 

Boston: 4

Washington: 2

 

Cleveland: 4

Toronto: 2

 

Conference Finals

 

Boston: 2

Cleveland: 4

 

It’s been the biggest story of the last few weeks: the Cleveland Cavaliers are not the number one seed in the East. How can this be? Aren’t the Cavs the far-and-away most talented team in the conference? Yes, they are. But as the regular season began to dwindle down, Cleveland made a statement: they didn’t care about the one seed. They even sat down their Big Three for their final two contests, practically begging Boston to take that top spot. And guess what- it won’t matter. The Cavaliers will still bully their way through the first few rounds, ripping the hearts out of each team one-by-one until they meet the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. Then, when Lebron James and company clinch their third-straight NBA Finals berth right in front of the Celtics’ home crowd, Boston will wish that they would’ve just let the Cavs take that #1 seed for themselves.

 

Western Conference

 

First Round

 

Golden State: 4

Portland: 0

 

San Antonio: 4

Memphis: 0

 

Houston: 3

Oklahoma City: 4

 

LA Clippers: 4

Utah: 2

 

Conference Semi-Finals

 

Golden State: 3

LA Clippers: 4

 

San Antonio: 4

Oklahoma City: 1

 

Conference Finals

 

San Antonio: 3

LA Clippers: 4

 

I’ve explained my Clippers pick enough, so if you’d like some reasoning behind that one you can read my mid-season predictions or my specific article regarding that bold selection. For now, I’ll just focus on some of these other Western Conference matchups, including one that has most basketball fans drooling over its potential. Houston-OKC is no doubt one of the best first round clashes in recent memory, with the two MVP favorites about to go head-to-head in what will most surely be a fantastic series. And in the end, I have Russell Westbrook and the Thunder prevailing, sending the Rockets and their spread offense home for the summer. Westbrook just has that fire you can’t teach, the determination and desire to show everyone why he’s one of the best basketball players alive. He wants to prove that he is the MVP this season (even if the postseason doesn’t technically count for that honor), and there is no better way to do that than for him to pound his greatest competitor to the ground for seven games. That is why Russ will lead Oklahoma City to victory, putting the finishing touch on his already outstanding campaign.

 

NBA Finals

 

Cleveland Cavaliers: 3

Los Angeles Clippers: 4

 

Read it one more time: the Los Angeles Clippers will be the 2017 NBA Champions. They will no longer be the team that chokes away postseason leads or disappoints when it matters most. This time, they will get it done; they will finally win the title. As Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and the Golden State Warriors stole the headlines all year, the Clippers were left as the odd unit out. Even the notably-quiet San Antonio Spurs received some positive attention for their incredible season, whereas Los Angeles was continuously ignored. Everyone believes that the Clippers’ opportunity for a championship has passed, and that the clock is ticking until they simply blow up their roster and start from scratch. That is why their title would be one of the best storylines in NBA history. Every single fan and analyst counted them out. Every single one said they didn’t stand a chance. Yet in the end, this is the season that they will go out and get it done. 2017 will be the year that LA’s Chris Paul trade from six years ago finally proves its worth, and the franchise that has constantly been forgotten since its inception becomes the center of the basketball universe.
Finals MVP: Chris Paul

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s